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John Schlight

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Colonel John Schlight, USAF (ret.) “flew aircraft in Indochina in support of the French during the early 1950s, was deputy director of the Air Force Project CHECO (Contemporary Historical Evaluation of Combat Operations) in South Vietnam in 1969 and 1970, and head the Vietnam War Section in the Office of Air Force History from 1977 to 1981. With a PhD in history from Princeton University, he has taught military history at the United States Air Force Academy, the National War College, and at universities in the United States and overseas. He is the author of Monarchs and Mercenaries and Henry II Plantagenet and editor of The Second Indochina War. Colonel Schlight’s last assignment with the Air Force was Deputy Chief, Office of Air Force History” 


Colonel John Schlight is the author of A War Too Long: The USAF In Southeast Asia 1961-1975; Help from Above: Air Force Close Air Support of the Army 1946-1973; and, The War in South Vietnam: The Years of the Offensive 1965 – 1968.  He is also listed as the co-author of Air Operations in Northern Laos: November 1, 1969-April 1, 1970 and  The Air War in Vietnam, 1968-1969.


According to the book description of A War Too Long: The USAF In Southeast Asia 1961-1975, “The Air Force instinctively disliked the slow, gradual way the United States prosecuted its war against the Vietnamese communists. While Americans undoubtedly delayed a communist victory in South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia long enough to spare Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries a similar fate, the American public grew very tired of this war years before its dismal conclusion.


Due to questionable political policies and decision-making, only sporadic and relatively ineffective use had been made of air power's ability to bring great force to bear quickly and decisively. The United States and its Air Force experienced a decade of frustration made more painful by the losses of its personnel killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. Fighting resolutely and courageously, the Air Force played the decisive role in forcing North Vietnam to the peace table in 1973. The demands of the Vietnam War forced new developments such as laser-guided-bombs that would eventually radically transform the shape of air warfare.”

The War in South Vietnam: The Years of the Offensive 1965 - 1968
John Schlight  More Info
Help from Above: Air Force Close Air Support of the Army 1946-1973
John Schlight  More Info
A War Too Long: The Usaf In Southeast Asia 1961-1975
John Schlight  More Info
The War in South Vietnam The Years of the Offensive 1965-1968
John Schlight  More Info

According to the book description of The War in South Vietnam: The Years of the Offensive 1965 – 1968, “Set in the time of greatest intensity during the Southeast Asia war, The War in South Vietnam: The Years of the Offensive, 1965-1968 describes men and machines living and working in an alien environment. In 1965, when the United States first began to take a full-scale combat role in the war in Southeast Asia, the Air Force was called on to provide direct fire support and airlift to the ground forces. Men and planes adapted admirably, ultimately flying more missions, dropping more bombs, and delivering more men and supplies, with a lower loss rate, than in any previous conflict. The aircraft involved in this war ranged from ancient lumbering propeller planes to sleek supersonic jets. While most aircraft flew traditional missions, others found new roles - huge intercontinental nuclear bombers performed close air support and transport aircraft were used as gunships. Because of this war and the way airmen accomplished their tasks, Air Force thinking was modified, and the realization of the need for a response to all levels of conflict set the tone for future Air Force doctrine.”


The MOAA said of Help from Above: Air Force Close Air Support of the Army 1946-1973, “The story of opposing views of close air support: the US Army’s determination that it be a handmaiden to its ground force, and the US Air Force’s equally strong view that it is but one part of an indivisible triad of tactical airpower which should remain controlled by air commanders.”

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