A Reign of Bombs

The Vietnam War spilled into Laos with terrible force. To break enemy supply lines and maintain control of the strategic Plain of Jars—endeavors that eventually failed—the U.S. and its allies flew hundreds of thousands of bombing sorties over Laos. Between 1964 and 1973 some two million tons of ordnance were dropped on Laos—up to 2,000 pounds for every Laotian man, woman, and child.

PLAIN OF JARS

The U.S. concentrated bombing on the highland plateau during its “secret war” against North Vietnamese and Laotian communists.

HO CHI MINH TRAIL

North Vietnam’s supply line to South Vietnam threaded through the rugged Laotian border.

*BOMBING DATA INCOMPLETE BEFORE JANUARY 1, 1966
JEROME N. COOKSON, NGM STAFF; TANYA BUCKINGHAM
SOURCES: AIR FORCE RESEARCH INSTITUTE; JENNS ROBERTSON