Dragon's Jaw: An Epic Story of Courage and Tenacity in Vietnam

Dragon's Jaw: An Epic Story of Courage and Tenacity in Vietnam

Dragon's Jaw: An Epic Story of Courage and Tenacity in Vietnam

Dragon's Jaw: An Epic Story of Courage and Tenacity in Vietnam


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A riveting Vietnam War story—and one of the most dramatic in aviation history—told by a New York Times bestselling author and a prominent aviation historian

Every war has its "bridge"—Old North Bridge at Concord, Burnside's Bridge at Antietam, the railway bridge over Burma's River Kwai, the bridge over Germany's Rhine River at Remagen, and the bridges over Korea's Toko Ri. In Vietnam it was the bridge at Thanh Hoa, called Dragon's Jaw.

For seven long years hundreds of young US airmen flew sortie after sortie against North Vietnam's formidable and strategically important bridge, dodging a heavy concentration of anti-aircraft fire and enemy MiG planes. Many American airmen were shot down, killed, or captured and taken to the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" POW camp. But after each air attack, when the smoke cleared and the debris settled, the bridge stubbornly remained standing. For the North Vietnamese it became a symbol of their invincibility; for US war planners an obsession; for US airmen a testament to American mettle and valor.

Using after-action reports, official records, and interviews with surviving pilots, as well as untapped Vietnamese sources, Dragon's Jaw chronicles American efforts to destroy the bridge, strike by bloody strike, putting readers into the cockpits, under fire. The story of the Dragon's Jaw is a story rich in bravery, courage, audacity, and sometimes luck, sometimes tragedy. The "bridge" story of Vietnam is an epic tale of war against a determined foe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306903472
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,067,771
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

About The Author
Barrett Tillman is a widely recognized authority on air warfare in World War II and the author of more than forty books, including Clash of the Carriers and Whirlwind. He has received numerous awards for history and literature, including the Admiral Arthur Radford Award. He lives in Arizona.

Stephen Coonts is the author of sixteen New York Times bestsellers, the first of which was the classic aviation fiction thriller Flight of the Intruder. He earned the Navy's Distinguished Flying Cross medal for his naval air service during the Vietnam War. A former lawyer, he lives and writes full time in Colorado Springs.

Date of Birth:

July 19, 1946

Place of Birth:

Morgantown, West Virginia


B.A., West Virginia University, 1968; J.D., University of Colorado, 1979

Table of Contents

Prologue: Full Throttle ix

Map of Vietnam and Thanh Hoa Bridge xvi

1 "We Will Pay Any Price …" 1

2 A Damned Tough Nut to Crack 10

3 The First Hammer Blow 24

4 "He Did Not Want Any More MiGs Shot Down" 34

5 A Grim Business 52

6 Enter the Navy 68

7 "Unlimited Losses in Pursuit of Limited Goals" 86

8 They Needed a Bigger Bang 102

9 Paying the Price 113

10 Fools, Drunks, and Lost Fighter Pilots 123

11 Carolina Moon 131

12 The Thanh Whore Bridge 148

13 The Bridge Claims Another Victim 159

14 "We Are Mired in a Stalemate" 171

15 "Courage Is Fear That Has Said Its Prayers" 186

16 Nixon and Kissinger 199

17 "You Ain't Hit the Target Yet" 208

18 Back to North Vietnam 218

19 Pounding the North 229

20 "We Dropped the Bridge" 247

21 The Violent Crescendo 257

Appendix 269

Notes 270

Bibliography 284

Contributors 287

Index 289

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