Herbicidal Warfare: The Ranch Hand Project in Vietnam
In 1961, the United States Air Force began using chemical herbicides as a weapon in South-east Asia. The tactic lasted only ten years, but the controversy it provoked continues to this day. Criticisms range from the charge that the herbicides did irreparable damage to the Asian environment to the recent "Agent Orange" lawsuits claiming that the chemicals have caused U.S. servicemen and their children physical and mental impairments. While much attention has been given to these claims, little light has been cast on the actual history of the herbicidal operation, code-named RANCH HAND. This book is the history of this unique aviation mission, from its conception to its termination. It describes how the operation dispensed over 11 million gallons of chemicals over Southeast Asian jungles and croplands while flying unarmed, obsolescent aircraft at tree-top level. Based on the author's own experiences, hundreds of interviews with RANCH HAND veterans, and careful research of declassified primary sources, this book provides a comprehensive and in-depth view of the men who flew the missions and their role in the events in Southeast Asia. It also reviews the scientific reaction to herbicidal warfare and hoe the controversy that ensued eventually caused the cancellation of the operation. -- from Book Jacket.
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active addition Aerial Agent Orange Air Force aircraft American approval Army arrival attack August base Bien Hoa Captain caused chemical cited Command Cong continued Corps crews crop destruction damage December Defense defoliation Department direct effective effort enemy engine Evaluation February field fighter File final fire flight flown flying four gallons ground Group Headquarters heavy herbicide Herbicide Operations History hits increased indicated insecticide Interview January John July June later Lieutenant Colonel MACV Major March military mission months North November October officers Operations ordered percent personnel pilots planned problems Questionnaire quotation RANCH HAND remained Report Research returned Review Saigon Security September Sergeant sorties South Vietnam Special spray planes squadron supply Tactical target United USAF USAF(Ret veterans Viet Vietnamese warfare Washington weapons Wing York