Completing the Narrative on Vietnam(SM).   Thomas F. Pike

A closer look at the U.S. base at Cu Chi, this time from a helicopter.

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Imagery from a satellite of Cu Chi base in III Corps.

A B-52 strike south of the Hiep Duc Valley in I Corps.

There were several sources of imagery during the Vietnam War.  Among the most facinating is imagery from the first generation of U.S. photographic intelligence satellites known as the KH-4 series.  The program supported global reconnaissance and was used to produce maps for U.S. intelligence agencies.


Missions covered the whole world.   To the left, a US satellite happened to catch NVA trucks on the move in Laos. The data was not real-time and could not be actioned. The trucks are just visible in this photograph of the Ho Chi Minh Trail.  The date is 29 January 1968 and the drivers are delivering supplies to bases near Hue City and Da Nang in support of the Tet Offensive.  The attacks would begin in about a day.


To the right is a photo of Quang Tri, just before the city was attacked during Tet.


All images and information has been declassified.