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2 January 1967 Operation BOLO - Vietnam

WarbirdsWarbirds Member Posts: 16,804 ✭✭✭✭
edited January 2021 in US Military Veteran Forum

2 Jan 1967–Operation Bolo: 30 US Air Force F-4 Phantom jets, operating from Ubon in Thailand, shoot down a third of North Vietnam’s MiG-21s, loosing only 1 Phantom. 

NVA aircraft would not engage USN and USAF fighters but loiter awaiting the bombers to pounce on them and then return to base-bases which were off limits to US air attack. 

US 7th Air Force selected Col Robin Olds (photo) to lead an ambush to stop the harassment. To lure out the North Vietnamese, USAF F-4s would fly the same routes into the country as the heavyset F-105 bombers—and at the same altitudes and speeds while using the same radio call signs. Special C-130B-IIs would listen in on enemy radio chatter and feed information straight to American pilots throughout the mission. 

Hanoi’s pilots were caught completely off guard. When Olds’ strike team started its attack, the C-130s picked up enemy pilots shocked to find that “the sky is full of F-4s,” according to the declassified report. “Where are the F-105s? You briefed us to expect F-105s!” Seven MiGs were shot down. During this operation, Col. Robin Olds shot down one of the MiGs, becoming the first and only U.S. Air Force ace with victories in both WW II and Vietnam.


  • WarbirdsWarbirds Member Posts: 16,804 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2021

    I guess there was just too much action in General Discussion & this post out of thousands of military stories in GD had to be moved.

    It was relevant to January 2nd- the date I posted it.

  • Sam06Sam06 Member Posts: 21,253 ✭✭✭✭

    Cool story.

    Col Olds looks like a certified Badass


  • diver-rigdiver-rig Member Posts: 6,342 ✭✭✭✭
  • Wild TurkeyWild Turkey Member Posts: 2,426 ✭✭✭✭

    A "side note" to the ambush -- it shows how dogmatic the Air Force was about some things. Certain routes, call signs, etc were used repeatedly and allowed the NVA to plan how to inflict damage without risk.

    Another example was that the B-52's would make their bomb runs and then execute a "Post-target turn" in the same manner each time.

    So NVA crews would aim their SAM's at the point the BUFF's would be making that "PTT" and volley some missiles at them with guidance systems turned off until they got very close to avoid the jamming. Took several losses before we switched tactics.

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