Possible Evacuation Of U.S. Citizens From East Pakistan


Possible Evacuation Of  U.S. Citizens From East Pakistan 

DECEMBER 31--Constellation and Enterprise operated on Yankee Station together during the month until 10 December when the latter was unexpectedly directed to transit to the Indian Ocean where she operated as flagship for the newly formed TF-74 for the possible evacuation of U.S. citizens from East Pakistan in connection with the Indian-Pakistani war. Constellation's tour was extended to the end of the month due to the new contingency operations. Coral Sea came on the line 15 December. A total of 2,462 ordnance delivery strike sorties were flown during the month.

The number of surface-to-air missile firing incidents increased and the bold excursions by MiG aircraft into Laos prompted both the USAF and USN to develop new tactics, combining efforts, to suppress the MiG threat. A major protective reaction strike effort by both USAF and USN commenced 26 December and terminated 30 December. In this period, TF-77 flew 423 strike sorties employing all-weather A-6A systems backed up by A-7Es as pathfinders, with Dong Hoi, Quang Khe and Vinh the major targets assigned to the Navy. During the month, the Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) was introduced by squadrons aboard Constellation. Initially, 16 trial LGB drops were road cuts, with subsequent targets antiaircraft artillery sites. In the coming year, LGBs were to be used effectively against heretofore seemingly indestructible targets in NVN, such as heavy steel bridge structures built into solid rock.

2 MiG's In Gunsights
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