Operation Flaming Dart II

Dong Hoi, Vietnam: This mission presents you with two targets that you must do enough damage to within the allotted two hours to achieve a decisive result. Like the previous mission "Pierce Arrow", this cannot be done in the first pass (best case scenario is a draw) and will require you to return your flights to a base, reload and attack again.

There are three aircraft carriers on the map, the Ranger, Hancock and Coral Sea; however as in the previous mission there are closer options available, such as Nakhon Phanom and Ubon, which is what I used during this mission to support the strike on the two targets - Chanh Hoa Barracks and Dong Hoi Port.

Each of the two strike groups contained the following package: 1 F-8C Crusader, 2 A-4E Skyhawk’s, 2 A-4C Skyhawk’s and 1 RF-8A Crusader. The only difference between the two groups is one is led by an F-8C carrying 8 AIM-9D's and the other is led by an F-8D carrying 16 AIM-9D Sidewinder heat-seeking air-to-air missiles. The remaining aircraft of each group have the following ordinance package:

A-4E: 24 Mk-82 unguided low-drag general-purpose bombs, 8 LAU-10 Zuni (V) unguided rockets and a 370 gallon fuel tank.
A-4C: 24 Mk-82's and a 370 gallon fuel tank.
RF-8A: Unarmed

The first pass by the attacking force left Chanh Hoa Barracks at 28% and Dong Hoi Port at 30%. With the reconnaissance points this only gave me 2630 points which would yield a Major Defeat outcome. I routed the planes to Nakhon Phanom and Ubon to reload and sent them back out to strike the assigned targets again. What I failed to notice was that my A-4E's in both groups still had ammo to use.

This did not really dawn on me until I noticed leftover ammo after the second sortie went out. I then ordered individual planes to double back and make a second or third run at the targets until all ordnance was expended, albeit by the time of the second pass having been completed I already achieved a Major Victory outcome, having reduced Chanh to 16% and Dong to 14%.

Other thoughts: There was no "SAM Day" or "MIG Day" here. In fact, there was no enemy retaliation or counter whatsoever that I could detect. There were no planes in the sky and there were no SAM sites even discovered anywhere near the target area.

Mission Text Description:

The Viet Cong (VC) destroy a hotel used by US servicemen in Qui Nhon and twenty three die. President Johnson immediately approves "a second series of reprisals". On February 10 1965, carrier forces were ordered to respond to yet another Communist attack, this time the sabotage of the American quarters in Qui Nhon, which resulted in 54 casualties.

The following day, as the U.S. and South Vietnamese Air Forces hit Vu Con, 95 aircraft from Ranger, Hancock, and Coral Sea, in Flaming Dart II, bombed and strafed enemy barracks at Chanh Hoa. But even as the Flaming Dart operations were underway, U.S. leaders decided that continued Communist resistance demanded that they resort to the last stage in the program of military persuasion, a sustained and increasingly intensive bombing effort in North Vietnam.

Mission Designer: Gary Morgan

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