ARC LIGHT STRIKES
Since 1 January, 1972, there had been 820 ARC light strikes in Kontum Province alone. An ARC strike was the term used to define a B-52 bombing mission. The mission usually included a three aircraft cell flying in V formation. Each B-52 carried a mix of 30 to 40 500 and 750 pound bombs. Each strike usually covered an area about half a kilometer wide and a little more than a kilometer long. Since the B-52 bombers were flying at about 20,000 feet they could not be seen from the ground and they could not be heard. When the bombs hit it was usually a total shock to anyone in the target area and the pattern of bombs were very destructive to anything above ground. The NVA suffered very heavy casualties from these strikes especially when they were caught in the open and not in their deep tunnels and bunkers.
In the week of May 15 there had been 84 such strikes. Map F shows the location of these strikes around the city during the period 15-31 May, 1972.
For more details, read Chris Scudder's Memories Book entry Arclights in II Corps, 1972