Academic journal article Military Review

One Day Too Long: Top Secret Site 85 and the Bombing of North Vietnam

Academic journal article Military Review

One Day Too Long: Top Secret Site 85 and the Bombing of North Vietnam

Article excerpt

ONE DAY TOO LONG: Top Secret Site 85 and the Bombing of North Vietnam by Timothy N. Castle. 352 pages. Columbia University Press, New York. 1999. $24.95.

Few secrets of US wartime operations in Southeast Asia were more closely guarded than US Air Force Operation Project Heavy Green. Operating near the crest of a remote mountain in northeastern Laos, scarcely 12 miles from the LaotiaNorth Vietnamese border, the topsecret radar bombing facility's sole purpose was to guide Thailandbased strike aircraft against North Vietnam's most sensitive bases.

To the North Vietnamese, the high-tech facility posed a dangerous, intolerable challenge. In November 1967, barely four months after the facility began operating, an elite North Vietnamese commando unit destroyed it in a bloody predawn assault. Seven of the 19 Americans escaped, three were killed. The fate of the remaining nine remains a mystery.

The US government classified all military and CIA operations in Laos, as in North Vietnam, because US presence in the politically neutral country violated the 1962 Geneva Agreements that barred all foreign military forces. …

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