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Military Monday: Bach Mai Hospital Bombing Acknowledged 1973

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Man H Hai Bach Mai Flickr Image
Image Credit: Manhhai
Flickr
Hanoi 1973
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Fifty years ago, today…

The Pentagon acknowledged for the first time that Bạch Mai Hospital and Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi had been accidentally damaged during December’s Operation Linebacker II bombing raids but, without clarifying if the damage was caused by bombing, falling debris or anti-aircraft weapons.

Vietnam War 1973 Wiki

During Nixon’s Christmas bombing, Operation Linebacker II, on December 22, 1972, American bombs struck the hospital, obliterating the building, […] killing 28 hospital staff members and an unconfirmed number of patients.

Bạch Mai Hospital Wiki

On the 22nd, a wing of the Bach Mai Hospital, located in the southern suburbs of Hanoi, was struck by a stick of bombs from a B-52. The US military claimed that the hospital “frequently housed anti-aircraft positions.” The civilian deaths were criticized by the North Vietnamese and U.S. peace activists. The hospital sat one kilometer from the runway of [the] Bach Mai Airfield and a major fuel storage facility was only 180 metres (200 yds) away. While the patients of the hospital wing had been evacuated from the city, 28 doctors, nurses and pharmacists were killed.

Operation Linebacker II Wiki

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed today for the first time reports of damage to the Bach Mai Hospital and Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi during heavy air raids last month over North Vietnam but, he denied that the damage was either massive or intentional. Jerry W. Friedheim, Pentagon spokesman, said at a morning news briefing:

“It appears that some limited accidental damage has occurred to some facilities at Gia Lam Airport and at a hospital the enemy calls Bach Mai. The exact extent of this damage is uncertain, as is its cause. Our information does not square with Hanoi’s propaganda claims of massive destruction at these sites.”

Report of Damage to Hanoi Hospital Confirmed By U.S.
New York Times
Anthony Ripley
January 2, 1973

The True Story of the Christmas Bombing in North Vietnam 1972 (Americong/Roger Canfield/November 11, 2011)
Vietnam Christmas Bombings: 1972 Mutiny of B-52 Crews (The Veteran/VVAW/Summer 1977)

Flick Friday: Just Plane Beep 1965

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Just Plane Beep Amazon Internet Animation Dbase Image One
Image Credit: The Internet Animation Database &
Amazon

Fifty-five years ago, today, the short, animated film Just Plane Beep was released. Produced by David DePatie & Friz Freleng and, directed by Rudy Larriva, Paul Julian was the uncredited voice of the Road Runner.

Synopsis from the Looney Tunes Fan Site (possible future broken link as Fandom is in the middle of a migration):

Wile E. Coyote chases Road Runner on foot but, Road Runner produces dust and runs off the side, smacking the coyote against a wall. While lying down on the ground, a paper for Acme War Surplus is blown towards the coyote and he sends a coupon in the mail. He receives a World War I bi-plane kit and plans to catch the Road Runner using it.

Needless to say, things don’t go well. ~Vic

Additional Reading & Sources:
Big Cartoon Database
IMDb
IMDb Movie Connections List
Internet Animation Database
SuperCartoons
Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies Filmography 1965 (Wikipedia)
Wile E. Coyote & the Road Runner (Wikipedia)

Wayback Wednesday: Beirut Bombing 1983

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Beirut Bombing Image One
Photo Credit: Veterans Today

A suicide bomber drives a truck packed with explosives into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. military personnel. That same morning, 58 French soldiers were killed in their barracks two miles away in a separate suicide terrorist attack. The U.S. Marines were part of a multinational force sent to Lebanon in August 1982 to oversee the Palestinian withdrawal from Lebanon.

In 1975, a bloody civil war erupted in Lebanon, with Palestinian and leftist Muslim guerrillas battling militias of the Christian Phalange Party, the Maronite Christian community and other groups. During the next few years, Syrian, Israeli and United Nations interventions failed to resolve the factional fighting and, on August 20, 1982, a multinational force including 800 U.S. Marines was ordered to Beirut to help coordinate the Palestinian withdrawal.

[Following] the massacre of Palestinian refugees by a Christian militia, [the] next day, the first U.S. Marine to die during the mission was killed while defusing a bomb. Other Marines fell prey to snipers. On April 18, 1983, a suicide bomber driving a van devastated the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people, including 17 Americans. Then, on October 23, a Lebanese terrorist plowed his bomb-laden truck through three guard posts, a barbed-wire fence and into the lobby of the Marines Corps headquarters in Beirut. [He] detonated a massive bomb killing 241 Marine, Navy and Army personnel. The bomb, which was made of a sophisticated explosive enhanced by gas, had an explosive power equivalent to 18,000 pounds of dynamite. The identities of the embassy and barracks bombers were not determined but, they were suspected to be Shiite terrorists associated with Iran.

Johnny Copeland Image Two
Beirut Memorial Online

Serious questions also arose over the quality of security in the American sector of war-torn Beirut. The U.S. peacekeeping force occupied an exposed area near the airport but, for political reasons, the Marine Commander had not been allowed to maintain a completely secure perimeter before the attack.

On February 26, 1984, the main force of Marines left Lebanon, leaving just a small contingent to guard the U.S. embassy in Beirut.

[Source]

This one hits home. One of the Marines killed in that bombing graduated from my high school. He graduated in 1982 (two years ahead of me) and I never got to meet him but, I knew his younger brother whom was a year behind me. Many years later, I wound up married to the Corps for 12 years. My ex and I visited the Beirut Bombing Memorial in Jacksonville when he returned from Iraq War duty. I took pictures but, I don’t remember what happened to them. ~Vic

Burlington Times-News Article (Web Archive)