The sound of bombs landing in a small area delivered by B52s
As our choppers headed toward Saigon, I looked down and could see many craters in the terrain caused by bombs dropped over the course of the war. Quite often the Blues were inserted to assess the damage and detonate unexploded bombs inflicted by B-52 strikes.
Our mission in Saigon was for Charlie Troop 1/9th to recon the outskirts of the city in preparation for an upcoming visit by V.P. Agnew scheduled for August 27th, 1970.
The 52s had three nick names:
*Whispering Death. So called by the NVA because the altitude from which the B52s released their bombs meant you got no warning of their presence. When the bombs arrived was the first sign. Luckily for them bombs do little damage in a jungle.
*Rolling Thunder. From the sound of 318 bombs landing in a small area in a carpet bombing mode with only 3 planes. Rarely did the Yanks use only 3 planes. In 3 years they dropped 860,000 TONS of bombs. 52,000 North Vietnamese died as a result.
*BUFFS. The troops called them this from “Big Ugly Fat Fuckers” or in the presence of the Vicar or ladies, “Big Ugly Fat Fellows”
Their normal bomb load was 84 bombs internally and 24 bombs under the wings. Each bomb weighed 500 pounds. Sometimes they carried 750 lb bombs.
This photo was taken by Bert Schreibstein at Fire Support Base Buttons in January, 1970. A B-52 air strike (Arc Light) can be seen miles away.
B-52 bomb craters full of water