Interview with Thomas H. Moorer, 1981

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Thomas H. Moorer was an Admiral in the United States Navy. During the Vietnam War, he was the Chief of Naval Operations from 1967 – 1970, and served as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1970–1974. Admiral Moorer begins by talking about the events surrounding the Tonkin Gulf Incidents, and his belief that there was in fact two separate incidents. He then discusses the incursions into Cambodia to search for the COSVN headquarters, and the debate within the Defense Department over whether or not the US should push into Cambodia. He also briefly describes the failed attempt to destroy the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos, the 1972 Spring Offensive, and the decision to mine Hai Phong harbor, despite worries of drawing the Soviets into the war. Admiral Moorer then details the 1972 “Christmas Bombing” of Hanoi, why it was necessary, and why it was effective. He finally comments on the limitations of the Vietnamization plan.