List of aircraft losses of the Vietnam War
During the Vietnam War, thousands of U.S. aircraft were lost to antiaircraft artillery (AAA), surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), and fighter interceptors (MiG)s. The great majority of U.S. combat losses in all areas of Southeast Asia were to AAA. The Royal Australian Air Force also flew combat and airlift missions in South Vietnam, as did the Republic of Vietnam. Among fixed-wing aircraft, more F-4 Phantoms were lost than any other type in service with any nation. In total, the United States military lost in Vietnam almost 10,000 aircraft, helicopters and 578 UAVs (554 over Vietnam and 24 over China).
South Vietnam's army lost 2,500 aircraft and helicopters, excluding UAVs (including 1,018 aircraft and helicopters lost from January 1964 to September 1973).
North Vietnam lost 150 – 200 aircraft and helicopters.
- 1 United States aircraft
- 2 Republic of Vietnam aircraft
- 3 Royal Australian Air Force
- 4 Democratic Republic of Vietnam Aircraft
- 5 People's Republic of China aircraft
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Sources
- 9 External links
United States aircraft
United States Air Force
All told, the U.S. Air Force flew 5.25 million sorties over South Vietnam, North Vietnam, northern and southern Laos, and Cambodia, losing 2,251 aircraft: 1,737 to hostile action, and 514 in accidents. 2,197 of the losses were fixed-wing, and the remainder rotary-wing. The USAF sustained approximately 0.4 losses per 1,000 sorties during the conflict, which compared favorably with a 2.0 rate in Korea and a 9.7 figure during World War II.:268
- A-1 Skyraider—191 total, 150 in combat
- First loss: A-1E 52-132465 (1st Air Commando Squadron [ACS], 34th Tactical Group [TG]) shot down during night training mission on 29 August 1964 near Bien Hoa, SVN (Capt Richard Dean Goss KIA, 1 VNAF observer [name unknown] KIA):10
- Final loss: A-1H 52-139738 (1st Special Operations Squadron, 56th Special Operations Wing) which was shot down 28 September 1972 (pilot was rescued by an Air America helicopter)
- A-7D Corsair II—6 total, 4 in combat
- First loss: 71–0310 (355th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 354th TFW) on 2 December 1972 shot down on a CSAR mission in Laos (Capt Anthony Shine KIA)
- 71-0312 (353d TFS) mid-air collision with an FAC O-1 Bird Dog in Laos on 24 December 1972, (Capt Charles Riess POW)
- 71-0316 (355th TFS) operational loss (non-combat) crash in Thailand on 11 January 1973 (pilot rescued)
- 70-0949 (354th TFW) shot down Laos on 17 February 1973 (Maj J.J. Gallagher rescued)
- 71-0305 (3rd TFS, 388th TFW) shot down in Cambodia on 4 May 1973 (1Lt T.L. Dickens rescued)
- Final loss: 70–0945 (354th TFW) shot down in Cambodia on 25 May 1973 (Capt Jeremiah Costello KIA)
- A-26 Invader—22 total
- First loss: B-26B 44-35530 (Detachment 2A, 1st ACG) shot down in IV CTZ on the night of 4–5 November 1962, killing the 3 crew
- Final loss: A-26A 64-17646 (609th SOS, 56th SOW) lost over Laos on the night of 7–8 July 1969, killing both crewmen
- A-37 Dragonfly—22 total
- First loss: 1967, final loss: 1972
- AC-47 Spooky—19 total, 12 in combat
- First loss: 1965, final loss: 1969
- AC-119 Shadow/Stinger—6 total, 2 in combat
- First loss: AC-119G 52-5907 (Det.1, 17th SOS, 14th SOW) which crashed on take-off from Tan Son Nhut, SVN on 11 October 1969, killing 6 of the 10 crewmen
- Final loss: 1971
- AC-130 Spectre—6 total, all in combat
- B-52 Stratofortress—31 total (17 in combat, and two more being scrapped after sustaining battle damage)
- First losses were operational (non-combat) mid-air collision 2 B-52F 57-0047 and 57-0179 (441st Bomb Squadron, 320th Bomb Wing), 18 June 1965, South China Sea during air refueling orbit, 8 of 12 crewmen killed
- Final loss: B-52D 55-0056 (307th Bomb Wing Provisional) to SAM 4 January 1973, crew rescued from Gulf of Tonkin
- B-57 Canberra—56 total, 38 in combat
- First loss: 1964, final loss: 1970
- C-5A Galaxy—1 total, 0 in combat
- C-7 Caribou—19 total, 9 in combat
- First loss: C-7B 62-4161 (459th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 483d Tactical Airlift Wing) which was hit by a US 155mm shell on 3 August 1967 in SVN killing the 3 crewmen. Note: there were two fatal crashes during Operation Red Leaf transition training of USAF crews in Army CV-2's, on 4 and 28 October 1966.
- Final loss: C-7B 62-12584 (483d TAW) which crashed in SVN on 13 January 1971, all 4 crewmen survived.
- C-47 Skytrain—21 total
- A C-47 was the very first USAF aircraft lost in the SEA conflict, C-47B 44-76330 (315th Air Division) on TDY at Vientiane, Laos which was shot down by the Pathet Lao on 23 March 1961 killing 7 of the 8 crewmen. The sole survivor, US Army Maj. Lawrence Bailey was captured and held until August 1962.
- Final loss: EC-47Q 43-48636 (361st Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron, 56th SOW) shot down in Laos on the night of 04/5 4–5 February 1973, killing all 8 crewmen.
- C-123 Provider—53 total, 21 in combat
- First loss: C-123B 56-4370 attached to the 464th TAW which came down on an Operation Ranch Hand (defoliation) training flight between Bien Hoa and Vung Tau, SVN on 2 February 1962
- Final loss: 1971
- C-130 Hercules—55 total, 34 in combat
- First loss: C-130A 57-0475 (817th Troop Carrier Squadron, 6315th Operations Group) on 24 April 1965, a Blind Bat flareship that crashed into high ground near Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, attempting to land in bad weather with a heavy load, two engine failures, and low fuel, killing all six crewmen. This was the 14th recorded loss of a C-130 to all causes.
- Final loss: C-130E 72-1297 (314th TAW) destroyed by rocket fire at Tan Son Nhut AB on 28 April 1975.
- C-141 Starlifter—2 total, 0 in combat
- First loss: C-141A 65-9407 (62d Military Airlift Wing) destroyed in a night runway collision with a USMC A-6 at Danang, SVN on 23 March 1967 killing 5 of the 6 crewmen.
- Final loss: C-141A 66-0127 (4th Military Airlift Squadron, 62d MAW) crashed soon after take-off from Cam Ranh Bay, SVN on 13 April 1967 killing 6 of the 8 man crew.
- E/RB-66 Destroyer—14 total
- First loss: RB-66B 53-0452 (Det 1, 41st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 6250th Combat Support Group) which crashed 22–23 October 1965 west of Pleiku, SVN killing the crew.
- Final loss: EB-66B 42nd TEWS, 388th TFS lost to engine failure on 23 December 1972 during Operation Linebacker II. 3 crewmen were KIA.
- EC-121 BatCat—2 total, 0 combat
- First loss: EC-121R 67-24193 (554th Reconnaissance Squadron, 553d RW) crashed 25 April 1969 on take-off in a thunderstorm from Korat RTAFB, killing all 18 crewmen.
- Final loss: EC-121R 67-21495 (554th RS) crashed on approach to Korat RTAFB on 6 September 1969, 4 of the 16 men were killed.
- F-4 Phantom II—445 total, 382 in combat
- First loss: operational (non-combat), F-4C 64-0674 (45TH TFS, 15th TFW) which ran out of fuel after strike in SVN on 9 June 1965; first combat loss F-4C 64-0685 (45th TFS, 15th TFW) shot down Ta Chan, NW NVN on 20 June 1965. 9 of the losses were parked aircraft struck by rockets.
- Final loss: F-4D 66-8747 (432d TRW) on 29 June 1973.
- F-5 Freedom Fighter—9 total
- First loss: 1965, final loss: 1967
- F-100 Super Sabre—243 total, 198 in combat
- First loss: 1964, final loss: 1971
- F-102 Delta Dagger—14 total, 7 in combat
- First loss: 1964, final loss: 1967. 4 of the combat losses were parked aircraft.
- F-104 Starfighter—14 total, 9 in combat
- First loss: 56–0937 (476th TFS, 497th TFW) shot down by enemy ground fire during CAS mission near Tri Dao, Vietnam, on 29 June 1965, pilot Capt. R. Cole rescued:24
- Final loss: 57-0922 (435th TFS, 8th TFW) operational loss due to engine failure on 14 May 1967 in Thailand, pilot name unknown, survived:100
- F-105D Thunderchief—335 total, 283 in combat
- First loss: 62–4371 (36th TFS, 6441st TFW) written off from battle damage over Laos 14 August 1964, at Korat, Thailand
- Final loss: 61–0153 (44th TFS, 355th TFW) shot down Laos 23 September 1970, pilot Capt. J. W. Newhouse rescued
- F-105F/G Thunderchief—47 total, 37 combat
- First loss: EF-105F 63-8286 (13th TFS, 388th TFW) shot down by AAA RP-6 July 1966, Maj. Roosevelt Hestle and Capt. Charles Morgan KIA
- Final loss: F-105G 63-8359 (Det.1 561st TFS, 388th TFW) shot down by SAM 16 November 1972, RP-3, crew rescued
- F-111A Aardvark—11 total, 6 in combat
- First loss: mission-related TFR failure, 66-0022 (428th TFS 474th TFW, Project Combat Lancer), 28 March 1968, Maj. H.E. Mccann and Capt. D.L. Graham MIA
- Final loss: 67–0111 (474th TFW) mid-air collision over Cambodia, 16 June 1973, both crewmen rescued
- HU-16 Albatross—4 total, 2 in combat
- First loss: 51-5287 to unknown cause 19 June 1965
- 51-0058 to unknown cause, 3 July 1965
- 51-0071 (33d ARRS) shot down by AAA 14 March 1966, two crewmen killed
- Final loss: 51-7145 (37th ARRS) disappeared 18 October 1966, 7 crewmen KIA-BNR
- KB-50 Superfortress tanker—1 total, 0 combat
- Only loss: KB-50J 48-0065 (421st Air Refueling Squadron Detachment) at Takhli RTAFB which crashed in Thailand on 14 October 1964, all 6 crewmen survived
- KC-135 Stratotanker—3 total, 0 combat
- Two crashes in 1968, one 1969, all operational (non-combat)
- O-1 Bird Dog—172 total, 122 in combat
- First loss: 1963
- Final loss: 1972
- O-2 Skymaster—104 total, 82 in combat
- First loss: 1967
- Final loss: 1972
- OV-10 Bronco—63 total, 47 in combat
- First loss: 1968
- Final loss: 1973
- QU-22 Pave Eagle—8 lost, 7 in combat
- First loss: YQU-22A 68-10531 (554th RS, 553d RW) crashed due to engine failure on 11 June 1969
- Final loss: QU-22B 70-1546 (554th RS) on 25 August 1972, pilot killed
- RF-4C Phantom II—83 total, 76 in combat
- First loss: 1966
- Final loss: 1972
- RF-101 Voodoo—39 total, 33 in combat
- First loss: 1964
- Final loss: 1968
- SR-71A Blackbird—2 total, 0 combat
- First loss: 64-17969 (Det OL-8, 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing) suffered engine failure over Thailand on 10 May 1970, both crewmen ejected safely
- Final loss: 64-17978 (Det OL-KA, 9th SRW) crashed on landing at Kadena, Okinawa on 20 July 1972, both crewmen survived
- T-28 Trojan—23 total
- First loss: 1962
- Final loss: 1968
- U-2C "Dragon Lady"—1 total, 0 combat
- Only loss: 56–6690 (349th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron 100th SRW) which crashed on 8 October 1966 near Bien Hoa, SVN, Maj. Leo J Stewart ejected and was rescued
- U-3B Blue Canoe—1 total, 1 in combat
- Only loss: 60–6058, destroyed on the ground during a VC attack on Tan Son Nhut, SVN on 14 June 1968.
- U-6A Beaver—1 total, 0 in combat
- Only loss: 51-15565 (432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing) which crashed in Thailand 28 December 1966, both crewmen survived
- U-10D Courier—1 total, 1 in combat
- Only loss: 63-13102 (5th SOS, 14th SOW) shot down 14 August 1969 near Bien Hoa, killing 1/Lt Roger Brown
- CH/HH-3 Jolly Green Giant—34 total, 25 in combat
- HH-43B Pedro—13 lost, 8 in combat
- First loss: 63–9713 (38th ARRS) damaged by fire 2 June 1965, crew rescued and aircraft destroyed to prevent its capture
- Final loss: 60–0282 (38th ARRS) crashed Cam Ranh Bay 7 August 1969, crew rescued
- CH/HH-53 Super Jolly—27 total, 17 in combat
- First loss: HH-53C 66-14430 (40th ARRS) in Laos, damaged by gunfire 18 January 1969 crew rescued and aircraft destroyed by bombing to prevent capture
- Last losses: four CH-53s (68-10925, −10926, −10927, 70–1627, all from 21st SOS, 56th SOW) to AAA on 15 May 1975, Koh Tang, Kampuchea, (Mayaguez incident final aircraft losses of Vietnam War)
- UH-1 Iroquois—36 total
Twenty-one aircraft carriers conducted 86 war cruises and operated 9,178 total days on the line in the Gulf of Tonkin. 530 aircraft were lost in combat and 329 more to operational causes, resulting in the deaths of 377 naval aviators, with 64 airmen reported missing and 179 taken prisoner of war.
USN fixed-wing carrier-based
- A-1 Skyraider—65 total, 48 in combat
- A-3 Skywarrior—7 total, 2 in combat
- A-4 Skyhawk—282 total, 195 in combat
- A-6 Intruder—62 total, 51 in combat
- A-7 Corsair—100 total, 55 in combat
- First loss: A-7A 153239 (VA-147, USS Ranger), SAM North Vietnam 22 December 1967, LCdr J.M. Hickerson POW
- Final loss: A-7E 156837 (VA-147, USS Constellation), operational loss (non-combat) 29 January 1973, pilot missing
- Operation Frequent Wind loss—"The Enterprise flew 95 sorties in support of the operation, but on no occasion was any ordnance used in anger, although an A-7E was lost to undetermined causes". The pilot was rescued at sea.
- C-1 Trader—4 total, 0 in combat
- First loss: C-1A 146047 (VR-21, USS Independence), non-combat 30 August 1965, 7 passengers and crew rescued
- C-1A 136784 (VR-21, USS Independence), operational loss (non-combat) 12 September 1965, 9 passengers and crew rescued, 1 killed
- C-1A 146016 (Composite Squadron Five VC-5), operational loss (non-combat) 8 August 1967, 3 passengers and 2 crew rescued
- Final loss: C-1A 146054 (Carrier Air Wing 11, USS Kitty Hawk), operational loss (non-combat) 16 January 1968, 7 passengers and crew rescued, 3 killed
- C-2 Greyhound—2 total, 0 in combat
- First loss: C-2A 152796 (VRC-50, USS Constellation), Gulf of Tonkin crash 2 October 1969, 26 passengers and crew killed
- Final loss: C-2A 152793 (VRC-50, USS Ranger), Gulf of Tonkin crash 15 December 1970, 3 crew killed
- E-1 Tracer—3 total, 0 in combat
- E-2 Hawkeye—2 total, 0 in combat
- EKA-3 Skywarrior—2 lost, 0 in combat
- EA-1 Skyraider—4 total, 1 in combat
- F-4 Phantom—138 total, 75 in combat
- First loss: F-4B 151412 (VA-142, USS Constellation), operational loss (non-combat) 13 November 1964, crew rescued
- Final combat loss (also last USN combat loss of war): F-4J 155768 (VF-143, USS Enterprise), AAA South Vietnam 27 January 1973, Cdr H.H. Hall and Lcdr P.A. Keintzer POW
- Final loss: F-4J 158361 (VF-21, USS Ranger), operational loss (non-combat) 29 January 1973, crew killed
- F-8 Crusader—118 total, 57 in combat
- KA-3 Skywarrior—2 lost, 0 in combat
- First loss: KA-3B 142658 (VAH-4, USS Oriskany), operational loss (non-combat) 28 July 1967, 1 crewmen rescued, 2 killed
- Final loss: KA-3B 138943 (VAH-10, USS Coral Sea), operational loss (non-combat) 17 February 1969, 3 crewmen killed
- RA-5 Vigilante—27 total, 18 in combat
- RF-8 Crusader—29 total, 19 in combat
- First loss: RF-8A (Det. C VFP-63, USS Kitty Hawk), 6 June 1964, to AAA in Laos, Lt. C. F. Klusmann POW
- Final loss: RF-8G 144608 (VFP-63, USS Oriskany), operational loss (non-combat) 13 December 1972, pilot rescued
- S-2 Tracker—5 total, 3 in combat
- First loss: S-2D 149252 (VS-35, USS Hornet), unknown combat loss 21 January 1966, 4 crewmen MIA
- S-2E 152351 (VS-21, USS Kearsarge), combat loss 11 October 1966, 4 crewmen KIA
- US-2C 133365 (VC-5, NAS Atsugi, Japan), combat loss 13 May 1967, 2 crewmen KIA
- US-2C 133371 (VC-5, USS Hornet), operational loss (non-combat) 27 September 1967, crew rescued
- Final loss: S-2E (VS-23, USS Yorktown), unknown combat loss 17 March 1968, 4 crewmen KIA
- SH-2/UH-2 Sea Sprite—12 lost, 0 in combat
- SH-3 Sea King—20 lost, 8 in combat
United States Marine Corps
U.S. Marine Corps aircraft lost in combat included 193 fixed-wing and 270 rotary-wing aircraft.
- A-4 Skyhawk—81 lost
- A-6 Intruder—25 lost
- C-117 Skytrain—2 lost
- EA-6A Intruder—2 lost
- EF-10 Skynight—5 lost
- F-4 Phantom—95 lost, 72 combat
- F-8 Crusader—21 lost
- KC-130 Hercules—4 lost
- O-1 Bird Dog—7 lost
- OV-10 Bronco—10 lost
Source for F-4 losses is Phantom with U.S. Marine Corps (Joe Baugher), others are unsourced
- AH-1 Cobra—7 lost
- HUS-1—75 lost
- UH-1E Huey—69 lost
- CH-37 Mojave—1 lost
- CH-46D Sea Knight—109 lost
- CH-53 Sea Stallion—9 lost
United States Army
- OV-1A/B/C/D Mohawk—65 lost
- O-1 Bird Dog—297 lost
5,086 (which include not in addition to the above statistics)
- CH-47A—83 lost
- CH-47B—20 lost
- CH-47C—29 lost
- CH-54A—9 lost
- H-13D—3 lost
- H-37A—2 lost
- OH-13S—147 lost
- OH-23G—93 lost
- OH-58A—45 lost
- OH-6A—842 lost
- UH-1—60 lost
- UH-1A—1 lost
- UH-1B—357 lost
- UH-1C—365 lost
- UH-1D—886 lost
- UH-1E—90 lost
- UH-1F—18 lost
- UH-1H—1,313 lost
- UH-34D—176 lost
Republic of Vietnam aircraft
- A-1 Skyraider
- A-37A/B Dragonfly
- AC-119G/K Stinger—served March 1972
- B-57 Canberra
- C-7A Caribou—served late 1971 to mid-1974 (grounded due to budget cuts)
- C-47 Skytrain
- C-119 Flying Boxcar—served March 1968
- C-123K Provider—served May 1973 to 1973 only (replaced by C-130A), 10 lost, 4 to ground fire
- C-130A Hercules—2 combat losses
- F-5A/B/C Freedom Fighter
- F-5E Tiger II
- U/H-1D/H Iroquois (helicopter)
- C/UH-34C/D/G Choctaw (helicopter)
- CH-47A Chinook (helicopter)
- O-1 Bird Dog
- O-2A Skymaster—served 1970 to mid-1974 (grounded due to budget cuts)
- T-28 Trojan
- T-37 Tweety Bird (trainer)
- T-41D Mescalero (trainer)
- U-6A Beaver
- U-17A/B Skywagon
VNAF a/c details sourced from "Flying Dragon – The Republic of Vietnam Air Force" Robert C. Milikesh, Schiffer Military History, 2005
North Vietnam army captured 877 South Vietnam aircraft at war's end. The total number of downed and captured aircraft is unknown.
Royal Australian Air Force
- C-7 Caribou—3 total, 1 in combat; all from No. 35 Squadron RAAF
- Caribou A4-193 was destroyed by mortar fire while taxiing at That Son (near the Cambodian border) on 29 March 1970.
- English Electric Canberra—2 total, 2 in combat; both from No. 2 Squadron RAAF
- First loss: Canberra A84-231 disappeared on 3 November 1970 on a night bombing mission in the northern 1st Corps Tactical Zone region of South Vietnam after dropping its bombs near Da Nang. Pilot Officer Robert Charles Carver (24) and Flying Officer Michael Patrick John Herbert (24), were both MIA until 30 July 2009 when their remains were positively identified.
- Final loss: A84-228 shot down by two SA-2 SAM missiles on 14 March 1971; Wing Commander F. J. L. Downing and Flight Lieutenant A.J. Pinches were both rescued.
- CAC Sabre—2 total, 2 in combat; both from No. 79 Squadron RAAF
- First Loss: CA-27 Sabre Mk 32 A94-984; 24 September 1964, crashed 28 nautical miles west of RTAF Ubon, Thailand following engine failure; the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Ian McFarlane ejected
- Final loss: CA-27 Sabre Mk 32 A94-986; 3 January 1968; crashed due to engine failure three miles south west of RTAF Ubon; Pilot Officer Michael McGrath was killed, one Thai national injured on ground. The first and only fatal crash by an RAAF aircraft in Thailand.
Democratic Republic of Vietnam Aircraft
People's Republic of China aircraft
- Dark Eagles: A History of the Top Secret U.S. Aircraft (1999). Peebles Curtis. Presidio Press. P.39
- Schlight, John. "A War too Long: The USAF in Southeast Asia 1961–1975" (PDF). Air Force History and Museums Programs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 20 February 2007. Page 103
- Hobson 2001.
- Jon Lake (2004). B-52 Stratofortress Units in Combat 1955–73. Bloomsbury USA. p. 81. ISBN 978-1-84176-607-2.
- Photo of Caribou crash
- Hestle remains accounted for June 2017
- USMC HELO LOSSES(1962–1973) by aircraft type Archived 3 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- "The OV-1 Mohawk Remembered Firsthand: Piloting the Mohawk in Vietnam". Defense Media Network. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
- Roush, Gary. "Helicopter Losses in the Vietnam War" (PDF). Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Association. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
- Toperczer, Istvan. MiG-21 Units of the Vietnam War. Osprey 2001, No. 29. pp.80-81
- Migs over North Vietnam: The Vietnam People's Air Force in Combat, 1965-75, Stackpole Military History
- U.S. Air-to-Air Victories during the Cold War, Wars in Yugoslavia, and Anti-Terror War
Sources for USAF figures:
- USAF Operations Report, 30 November 1973
- Campbell, John M. and Hill, Michael. Roll Call: Thud. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1996. ISBN 0-7643-0062-8.
- Hobson, Chris. Vietnam Air Losses, USAF, USN, USMC, Fixed-Wing Aircraft Losses in Southeast Asia 1961–1973. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 2001. ISBN 1-85780-115-6.
Sources for USN carrier-based figures:
- Francillon, René. Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club: US Carrier Operations off Vietnam, Naval Institute Press (1988) ISBN 0-87021-696-1
-  US Air-to-Air Losses in the Vietnam War
-  US Air-to-Air Victories in the Vietnam War
- Widow travels to Vietnam after 40 years and finds her MIA husband's Marine Corps F-4 jet crash site in Que Son Mtns
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