Flaherty, Ed, Sgt

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Current Service Status
USAF Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Current/Last Primary AFSC/MOS
20650-Photo Interpretation Specialist
Current/Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1966-1968, 20650, 2nd Reconnaissance Technical Squadron
Previously Held AFSC/MOS
20630-Imagery Interpreter Specialist
20650-Imagery Interpreter Specialist
Service Years
1966 - 1969
Official/Unofficial US Air Force Certificates
Cold War Certificate
Enlisted Collar Insignia

 Official Badges 

Strategic Command (Pre 2002) Tactical Air Command Pacific Air Forces

 Unofficial Badges 

US Air Force Honorable Discharge Cold War Medal Vietnam Veteran 50th Commemoration Vietnam 50th Anniversary

 Military Association Memberships
Air Force Memorial (AFM)
  2015, Air Force Memorial (AFM) [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
What are you doing now:
Feb 2017 - Retired
Fidelity Investments, Sr Software Engineer/Developer for 12 years.
Bath Iron Works as a Computer Programmer (2015).
Fidelity (Veritude) contracting assignments 2015-2017.

Other Comments:
Not Specified
 Photo Album   (More...

Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase II Campaign (1967-68)/Operation Rolling Thunder V
From Month/Year
May / 1967
To Month/Year
March / 1968

In an effort to convince the North Vietnamese government to abandon its support of the insurgency in South Vietnam, President Johnson began a new bombing campaign in March 1965, known as Operation Rolling Thunder.
Lasting from 2 March 1965 until 1 November 1968, Rolling Thunder was the longest bombing campaign in United States history. It involved tactical aviation assets from the 7th Air Force in Thailand and South Vietnam, as well as aircraft from 7th Fleet and Marine Corps assets.
The campaign was marred by disputes between senior military leaders and the civilian administration from the outset. Military leaders argued for decisive strikes in order to isolate North Vietnam and to destroy their production capabilities and transportation systems.
President Johnson and Secretary McNamara sought the graduated use of force, choosing a cycle of bombing halts followed by escalation in an effort to persuade the North Vietnamese to negotiate for peace with the United States and South Vietnam.
During the three years of Rolling Thunder, Johnson and McNamara instituted seven bombing halts.
The three basic objectives of Operation Rolling Thunder under the Johnson administration were:
Strategically deter North Vietnam from supporting the insurgency in South Vietnam;
Raise the morale of military and political elites in South Vietnam;
Interdict North Vietnam’s support of the communist insurgency in the South.
Johnson and his staff continually sought a middle ground that would demonstrate American resolve without raising the ire of the international community. Ironically, by seeking this middle ground, the administration guaranteed that Rolling Thunder would fail to meet any of its objectives.
Rolling Thunder went through five phases.  
During Phase I, from March to June 1965, a variety of targets were struck in an attempt to persuade North Vietnam to negotiate for peace. The air strikes served little purpose, other than to harden the resolve of North Vietnam and to solidify the sanctity of their cause. Most importantly, it led to the creation of the world’s most complex and lethal air defense networks.
Phase II from July 1965 to January 1966 was primarily an interdiction campaign aimed at roads, bridges, boats, and railroads. These attacks destroyed an estimated 4,600 trucks, 4,700 boats, and 800 railroad cars. At the urging of Admiral U. S. Grant Sharp, CINCPAC, the focus of Rolling Thunder shifted from interdiction to petroleum products.
Admiral Sharp realized that the interdiction campaign was not achieving the desired results and believed that by focusing the campaign on energy resources, North Vietnam might be forced to negotiate for peace.
Phase III from January to October 1966, focused on North Vietnam’s petroleum, oil, and lubricant (POL) resources. Before this phase began, North Vietnam required only 32,000 tons of oil a year to supply their needs. By the time Rolling Thunder began to target POL resources, North Vietnam had 60,000 tons of POL stocks in reserve.
While the attacks destroyed an estimated 70 percent of the North Vietnamese supply, the North dispersed the remaining stock in fifty-five gallon barrels throughout the country. This proved more than adequate to supply the infantry and guerrilla forces fighting in South Vietnam and did little to affect the war in South Vietnam.
Phase IV from October 1966 to May 1967, concentrated the campaign’s efforts on the industry and power-generating capabilities of North Vietnam. For the first time, targets in Hanoi were struck, but as with Phase III the new tactics failed to have much impact on a non-industrialized country. Because North Vietnam’s ports still remained off limits, the strikes did not impede North Vietnamese ability to receive and distribute supplies destined for South Vietnam.

 Phase V, the final phase, from May 1967 to October 1968, concentrated on isolating Hanoi from Haiphong, and both cities from the remainder of the country, as well as the destruction of remaining industrial infrastructure. United States aircraft averaged over 13,000 sorties a month and destroyed over 5,600 trucks, 2,500 rail cars, and 11,500 boats during this final phase of Rolling Thunder.
As during earlier phases, the North Vietnamese air defense network grew. By 1967, pilots confronted the most comprehensive air defense network in the world. North Vietnam fired over 25,000 tons of AAA ammunition from 10,000 anti-aircraft guns and hundreds of missiles from over twenty-five SAM battalions during any given month of 1967.
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Month/Year
May / 1968
To Month/Year
October / 1968
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
Personal Memories
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  9 Also There at This Battle:
  • Bopp, Timothy, Sgt, (1966-1970)
  • Hundstad, Jim, SSgt, (1961-1969)
  • Kennedy, Ed, MSgt, (1965-1988)
  • Sandoval, Joe, Sgt, (1966-1969)
  • Schafer, Bill, SSgt, (1966-1970)
  • Tatro, Gordon, MSgt, (1968-1991)
  • Worley, Stephen, SMSgt, (1968-1994)
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