President Nixon Suspended Peace Talks And Ordered Operation Linebacker
December 18 NORTH VIETNAM Because of the North Vietnamese offensive, President Nixon on May 8 suspended peace talks and ordered Operation Linebacker, the renewed bombing of North Vietnam and the aerial mining of its harbors and rivers. When North Vietnam appeared ready to talk peace in October, yet another bombing halt was directed.
North Vietnam then balked for two months over some of the cease-fire provisions, so President Nixon ordered on December 18, 1972 the heaviest bombing of the war against Hanoi and Haiphong, Operation Linebacker II. For 11 days, the USAF pounded every possible military and transportation target with B-52s and tactical fighters. This brought a North Vietnamese agreement on December 29 to return to the peace table. The loss of B-52G "BRASS 02" On the night of Dec. 20, 1972, B-52G s/n 57-6481, assigned call sign "BRASS 02", was a flying Linebacker II mission to North Vietnam from Andersen, AFB, Guam with a crew from Loring AFB, Maine.
Shortly after releasing its bombs on the Hanoi railroad yards, BRASS 02 was hit by two SAMs and badly damaged. For the next 40 minutes the pilot was able to control the plane as he headed it southwestward toward Thailand, but slowly the crippled aircraft lost altitude. When the plane had descended to 10,000 feet, and with no hope of a successful landing at night, the six men on board ejected near Nakhom Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base. All six escaped with their lives and following their parachute landings, helicopters were sent out to locate and retrieve them. Capt. Silverio A. Barroqueiro, USAF, was the Electronic Warfare Officer on BRASS 02 and donated the items on display at the Museum.
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