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March 2, 1966

Operation Rolling Thunder, authorized a month earlier by President Johnson, began. A limited but protracted bombing of North Vietnam, the operation was intended to dissuade North Vietnamese support for the Vietcong.

Rolling Thunder ended in November of 1968, having lost over 900 American aircraft and 818 pilots, either dead or missing. By U. S. estimates, some 182,000 North Vietnamese civilians died.

The Years