Strikes Against Haiphong, Ninh Binh, Ha Tinh, Kien An,
Tam Da and Than Hoa Bridge
DECEMBER 23--An example of attack squadron action during the year is portrayed by the following partial roundup of operations by VA-56 which ended its seventh line period this date. Flying combat with CVW-5 off Midway during portions of every month since April, the squadron recorded a total of 180 days on the line, engaged in 5,582.9 combat hours, flew over 3,000 sorties, performed 2,090 and 781 day and night carrier landings, respectively, and amassed a total of 6,301 flight hours during its line periods.
It conducted strikes against such targets as the Haiphong, Ninh Binh, Ha Tinh, Kien An, Tam Da and Than Hoa bridge complexes, the Haiphong, Vinh, Doung Nham and Nam Dinh petroleum areas, and the Gia Lam railroad yards across the Red River from Hanoi. Other actions, for example, included mining operations and protective flights for four search and rescue (SAR) missions, including one at night inside NVN, and one for two Air Force officers downed off the coast.
During the line periods, four of the unit's A-7Bs were lost to antiaircraft artillery and surface-to-air missile fire, with two pilots taken prisoner of war, one listed as missing in action, and one retrieved.
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