March 18, 1969 : U.S. bombs Cambodia for the first time

Introduction

U.S. B-52 bombers are diverted from their targets in South Vietnam to attack suspected communist base camps and supply areas in Cambodia for the first time in the war. President Nixon approved the mission–formally designated Operation Breakfast–at a meeting of the National Security Council on March 15. This mission and subsequent B-52 strikes inside Cambodia became known as the “Menu” bombings. A total of 3,630 flights over Cambodia dropped 110,000 tons of bombs during a 14-month period through April 1970. This bombing of Cambodia and all follow up “Menu” operations were kept secret from the American public and the U.S. Congress because Cambodia was ostensibly neutral. To keep the secret, an intricate reporting system was established at the Pentagon to prevent disclosure of the bombing. Although the New York Times broke the story of the secret bombing campaign in May 1969, there was little adverse public reaction.

Article Details:

March 18, 1969 : U.S. bombs Cambodia for the first time

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    March 18, 1969 : U.S. bombs Cambodia for the first time

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-bombs-cambodia-for-the-first-time

  • Access Date

    November 22, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks