During the Vietnam War, Steven Hoare, Sr., as a member of the United States Air Force flew 168 sorties in a B-52D with the 486th Bomb Squadron.
In May of 1961, the United States sent 400 Green Beret special advisers to South Vietnam beginning America’s official involvement in the war. Our involvement would end at 0835 local time when ten U.S. Marines were airlifted from the embassy in Saigon. During the time, over 500,000 American were involved in the war with 58,000 plus giving their last measure of devotion.
The B-52 Stratofortress is a long range heavy bomber that was originally designed to deliver nuclear weapons. In 1964 it was modified to handle conventional bombs. During Vietnam, the B-52 was capable of carrying 84 500 pound bombs internally and another 25 750 pound bombs externally mounted. It had a range of over 8,000 miles without the need for refueling and had a crew of 6. On 18 June 1965, the B-52 flew it’s first missions over Vietnam and would eventually fly 124,532 sorties.
Steven Hoare, Sr. received his training at Craig Air Force Base in Selma, Alabama during 1962 and 1963. He learned to fly in a Piper J3 while in ROTC. He began his flight training in the Air Force in the T-37 and progressed to the T-33. He learned to fly the B-52 at Castle AFB. Mr. Hoarse flew missions over Vietnam from Guam with missions lasting between 12 and 14 hours as well as from Thailand and Okinawa.
In this interview, Mr. Hoare details the mission of the B-52 in Vietnam, the tactics used and the lesson’s learned through trial and error as well as some of his more memorable missions.
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