The 37-month bombing effort against North Vietnam could shake off neither the shackles of political control of tactical details from Washington nor those of the vile weather over Vietnam which often frustrated attacks and greatly reduced reconnaissance. In a break in the bad weather characteristic of North Vietnam, an A-4 Skyhawk, operating off the USS Oriskany in October 1967, drops 500-pound bombs during an air strike against the Kien An airfield near Haiphong.
The floating airfields of the U. S. Navy in the Western Pacific, the carriers of Task Force 77, first saw action in Vietnam on 2 August 1964 in response to an emergency call from the destroyer Maddox (DD-731)1 following an unprovoked attack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats. Task Force 77’s aircraft also initiated the 37-month bombing effort of North Vietnam on 7 February 1965. As on many other occasions, carrier aircraft were first at the scene of trouble.