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Waiter, There's a Bomber in My Lake
By Roderick Eime
22 April 2011

Wreckage of B-52 56-0608 in Huu Tiep Lake serves as a reminder
to the futility and waste of war. (Roderick Eime)
It’s not everyday you see the tail of a US B-52 poking up from a pond in the middle of a city, but casual street strollers in Hanoi will.

As a travel journalist, I have this annoying fixation about wanting to find out the whole story behind something interesting I stumble over. Of course, I drive tour guides and travel companions crazy with my barrage of questions and “just one more photo.”

Now, to be honest, I didn’t stumble upon this B-52 but had heard many stories and jumped in a taxi to seek it out. Any driver will know where it is.

For the record, it’s off Hoang Hoa Tham Road, Ba Dinh District in a lake called Huu Tiep, down a little alleyway marked with a tiny sign, “B-52”. For the GPS and smartphone-enabled, there’s a link below.

For the history fixated, the aircraft was shot down on the 19th December 1972 during Operation Linebacker, a massive “last ditch” air offensive against North Vietnamese military, transport and industrial targets, primarily in Hanoi.

This particular aircraft, named “Rose 1” (56-0608) was hit by a SAM (Surface to Air Missile) after releasing its bombs. Four crew members managed to bail out somehow, while two others died.

A plaque marks the spot and continues to draw inquisitive tourists, like me, to ponder the futility of the 20-year “American War” - and war in general.

Google map link: http://bit.ly/B-52_Lake_Hanoi

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Keywords: casual, See, seek, Hanoi

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