What's On This Website
This site contains the updated information published in Chris Hobson's 2001 book Vietnam Air Losses: United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps Fixed-Wing Aircraft Losses in Southeast Asia 1961-1973. That book is compiled in chronological order of the losses, interspersed with explanations of the war, operations, and aircraft at that time. This website is an attempt to provide all that informative data, but it is necessarily arranged differently.
All the aircraft losses have been entered into a searchable database. The best approach to finding what you're looking for is to read our Tutorial on searching the database.
Chris interspersed amplifying information throughout the book in what he called "Sidelines," and those are provided on this site, as well. Those are broken up into the various phases of the war, as it progressed. Additionally, each Sideline has a date attached to it. That date is simply an indication of where in the original, chronological text that write-up appeared. Often, these Sidelines revealed the introduction of a new type of aircraft or tactic or Military Operation to the theater just prior to losses associated with that information. Accordingly, once a reader finds a specific event of interest, they might consider going to the Sidelines near that event in time to read about what was going on that may have led to that event.
It may also be useful to search for a month of events at a time by simply inputting that month and year into the search form. Reading through the narratives in chronological order gives insight into the pace of operations, the loss rate, and the causes of those losses, and gives a sense of the war as it evolved.
There are many other ways to use the database, including searching the Narratives of the loss events. Those Narratives often contain references to geographic locations or well-known battles and may contain the names of people involved in rescues or those who were participants in a mission but were not listed as crew or passengers of the lost aircraft, such as flight lead or wingman.
In addition to the database of losses and the Sidelines, Chris has compiled a great deal of additional information, including a variety of statistics, an alphabetical list (Index of Names) of all personnel involved in lost aircraft, abbreviations used, the Order of Battle for all the services, a compilation of accidental ground (and shipboard) losses and losses due to ground attacks, as well as losses broken down by service, aircraft type, and a host of other statistical information. We have also provided a list of notes, caveats, and explanations that readers may find useful in understanding the information included on the site.
The information contained on the site is a result of exhaustive research by Chris Hobson (see the lengthy Bibliography), which has been updated through 2019. We intend to update it further as new information arrives. Although we are guarded about what information is presented, so that the data can be considered reliable and fact-based as much as possible, we welcome inputs from first-hand eye witness accounts. We have provided a Contact form for those that were participants in an event included on this site to contact us. If we find the vantage point of the witness to be noteworthy, we may ask for a narrative to be added to the database. A real example of such an input is available by putting the name "Lovelady" in the Narrative Search Form.
We hope that family, friends, and colleagues of those that participated in the air war in Vietnam will find a new perspective on what really happened and perhaps pass along the information to add to the legacy of those left behind. Lest we forget.
© Chris Hobson and David Lovelady. All rights reserved.