Segments in this Video

Advancing Air Power (03:59)


During World War II, aviation became a vital part of militaries. Bombers destroyed cities and cleared the way for ground offensives, while aircraft carriers dominated naval fleets. During the Cold War, the bomber formed part of the Nuclear Triad; Lockheed U-2 spy planes were used for reconnaissance.

Korean War: Communist Perimeter (03:39)

In 1950, South Koreans and the United Nations were driven into Port of Pusan by North Korea. The United States used B-29 bombers to aid in Inchon landings, allowing coalition forces to break through the barrier in September. China sent 300,000 troops, backing the conflict to the 38th Parallel.

Korean War: Thirty Eighth Parallel (06:25)

Chinese MiG-15 jet fighters were superior to United Nations’ aircraft; the United States developed the supersonic F-86 Sabre. B-29 bombers and A-26 Invaders attacked North Korea’s communications and transportation lines with radio-controlled bombs. The Mustang provided ground force support, dumping napalm on communist “human wave” operations.

Southeast Asian Conflicts (03:14)

The British bombed and strafed suspected communist camps in the Malayan jungle. France attempted to retain Indo-China territories by bombing the countryside when Viet Minh took control of Vietnam. They were forced to surrender after the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in summer 1954.

Egypt: Fifties and Sixties (07:22)

The Egyptians nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956; Britain and France attempted to regain it with Vickers Vimy bombers. The Israeli Air Force preemptively struck airfields in June 1967, destroying two-thirds of Egyptian aircraft. They ended the Six Day War with bomber cannon fire and superiorly trained pilots.

Vietnam: Divided Nation (08:41)

In August 1964, Vietnamese patrol boats fired on USS Maddox; Lyndon Johnson attacked northeast naval installations with carrier aircraft. Operation Rolling Thunder launched in 1965, continuing until 1968; Soviets and China condemned the offensive, providing aid and weapons. SAM missiles shot down 300 American F-4 Phantoms.

Vietnam: Failed Campaign (04:20)

In 1969, United States air power focused on disrupting Viet Cong supply lines along the Ho Chi Minh trail. In 1972, northern forces launched a ground offensive on the south, and their anti-aircraft defenses developed. President Nixon initiated Operation Line Backer, bombing with Paveways and Walleyes; the operation halted after negotiations.

Egypt: Seventies (02:02)

In October 1973, the Egyptian military attacked Israeli defenses across the Suez Canal; SAM missiles heavily impacted responding aircraft. During air combat, many MiGs were shot down by Israel’s superiorly trained pilots.

Training and Desert Shield (04:00)

In the 1970s, the United States Navy and Air Force established fighter pilot schools. Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990; British and American fighter squadrons deployed to Saudi Arabia. The Boeing E-3 Sentry, RC-135, SR-71 Blackbird and U-2 Spy planes patrolled the area nonstop for reconnaissance.

Desert Storm (06:13)

On January 17th, 1991, the United States struck Iraq with Tomahawk missiles fired by warships and Lockheed F-117 Stealth fighters. Iraq defended with anti-aircraft armament; Americans established air supremacy, allowing ground forces, supported by A-10 Warthog aircraft, to take over operations. Kuwait was liberated.

Credits: Korea To The Gulf War (00:42)

Credits: Korea To The Gulf War

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Century Of Flight: Korea To The Gulf War

Part of the Series : Century of Flight
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This episode of Century of Flight focuses on the role of military aviation from the 1950s to the 1990s. Examine successes and failures of air power during the Korean War, Vietnam conflict, and the Gulf War. Learn about the development of smart bombs and anti-aircraft weaponry. Visit the TOPGUN facility, where American fighter pilots are readied for combat.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL185488

ISBN: 978-1-64623-963-4

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

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