Hanoi exhibition remembers Christmas bombings of 1972

By Ngoc Thanh   December 13, 2017 | 08:45 pm PT
Photos and artifacts are on display to tell the story of some of the capital’s darkest days during the Vietnam War.

An exhibition has opened at the Air Force Museum in Hanoi to remember the city’s fight against U.S. aircraft during Operation Linebacker II in December 1972.


The clothes and helmet worn by Vietnamese pilot Pham Tuan during the battle. Pham Tuan, 70, reported that he shot down a B-52 bomber, making it the only B-52 downed in aerial combat, which was later confirmed by Vietnam’s army.


Part of a supersonic MiG-21 jet fighter, the model of Vietnamese aircraft designed by the Soviet Union that shot down a B-52 on the night of December 27, 1972.


An archive photo on display shows Vietnam’s Air Force soldiers ready for battle after news that the U.S. had launched Operation Linebacker II, the heaviest bombardment launched by the U.S. Air Force since the end of World War II.


Soldiers from this regiment shot down three B-52s with surface-to-air missiles.


Vietnamese pilots and soldiers discuss plans of attack.


Pham Tuan (R) discusses strategy with other pilots before the battle on the night of December 27, 1972.


The pilots and their jet fighters


A photo shows the first B-52 shot down in a paddy field in Phu Lo Commune, Dong Anh District at 8:31 p.m. (Hanoi time) on December 18, 1972.


Kham Thien Street in Dong Da District was practically destroyed after the deadliest bombing raid of the campaign that killed 287 people and injured 290 others on the night of December 26, 1972, according to Vietnamese records.

The exhibition will be open until the end of January at 171-173 Truong Chinh Street.

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