December 21, 1972 : Defense Department reports eight B-52s lost during Linebacker II

Introduction

The Defense Department announces that eight B-52 bombers and several fighter-bombers were lost since the commencement of Operation Linebacker II on December 18. These losses included at least 43 flyers captured or killed. President Richard Nixon ordered the operation after the North Vietnamese negotiators walked out of the peace talks in Paris. In response, President Nixon immediately issued an ultimatum that North Vietnam send its representatives back to the conference table within 72 hours “or else.” When they rejected Nixon’s demand, he ordered a full-scale air campaign against Hanoi and Haiphong to force them back to the negotiating table. On December 28, after 11 days of intensive bombing, the North Vietnamese agreed to return to the talks.

Article Details:

December 21, 1972 : Defense Department reports eight B-52s lost during Linebacker II

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    December 21, 1972 : Defense Department reports eight B-52s lost during Linebacker II

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/defense-department-reports-eight-b-52s-lost-during-linebacker-ii

  • Access Date

    October 16, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks