Until now the day-to-day working and opinions of the Vietnamese Peoples' Air Force (VPAF) has remained relatively unknown. For the first time the author focuses on the pilots and, using rare first-hand accounts and many new photographs analyses their fighter operations over North Vietnam between 1965-1975.
Frank opinions are voiced on how the North Vietnamese viewed the gradual escalation of the aerial conflict over their country, including details on key operations and VPAF tactics against USAF F-4s, F-105s, F-8s and B-52s.
Details of the Black Friday Massacre, America's heaviest aerial defeat are related in the words of Nguyen Van Coc (the highest scoring pilot of the Vietnam conflict) who tells of his first kill and Dong Van De who recalls how he achieved the first ever double kill over American-flown aircraft, events which have never, until now, been released into the public domain.
Leading VPAF pilots including Major General Pham Ngoc Lan discuss their aerial engagements and tactics and Nguyen Tiem Sam recollects his kills of F-4 Phantoms using only ATOLL air-to-air missiles.
Following exhaustive research, the author reveals much new data, which challenges previous reports. Three kills claimed by Lt. 'Duke' Cunningham, later a US Senator and the success of Operation Bolo, America's response to the Black Friday Massacre are discussed. Also for the first time outside Vietnam, details of the Christmas bombings are released including the controversial first night fighter kill of a B-52 by Vu Xuan Thieu - a fact which the US military have never accepted.
Comprehensive appendices reveal the complete loss list of all VPAF personnel and a victory table with a break down of all known kills and shared kills and types.
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Roger Boniface was educated in Saint Joseph's Institution in Singapore. After completing military service in 1980, he read Law in London. He completed a postgraduate degree at Dundee University in Natural Resources Law. On passing his Solicitor's Finals he worked in legal practices in London and Bournemouth. He returned to Singapore in 1994. His Interests include military and aviation history, especially that of the Luftwaffe in World War Two as well as the air wars over North Vietnam and North Korea.
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