Other Memories The Mission During the Vietnam War, the B-57 was chosen as the first jet aircraft to strike North Vietnam. Its long range and loiter capability with a large payload made it the logical choice as the "Night Intruder" for interdiction on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The use of fire bombs, hard bombs up to 1000 pounds, 20 millimeter and 50 caliber guns made the B-57 a formidable weapons delivery system against the transfer of supplies through Laos and Cambodia into South Vietnam. With the aid of C-130's, OV-10's and Ov-2 aircraft as Forward Air Controllers (FAC), the B-57 was the most effective system used against transporting war goods into South Vietnam through Laos and Cambodia. The Eighth and Thirteenth Tactical Bomb Squadrons (8TBS, 13TBS) stationed at Clark Air Base, Philippines initially launched sorties from Bien Hoa. Later, Danang Air Base near the DMZ became the base of operations. The final station was Phan Rang (Happy Valley) where the 8TBS, as the oldest continuously operating bomb squadron in the Air Force (World War I), continued the mission until 1969. The pilot was responsible for the 250 knot dive run and bomb release, but the back seat navigator was a second pair of eyes, spotter, observer, navigator and radio operator. On the pullout, the aircraft and crew were under a four "g" stress without the use of special equipment. Several crews were lost in midair collisions, target fixation and ground fire during the night missions. The most sophisticated piece of equipment in the aircraft was the rheostat which lighted the manually operated bomb sight. Aircrews who flew early missions into North Vietnam wore the DOOM PUSSY (Danang Officers' Open Mess) patch. The DOOM PUSSY was turned to the wall each night until the crews returned. The words in Vietnamese mean, "I have flown into the jaws of the Cat of Death". Later all crews who participated in the night missions wore the insignia.