Carrier Ops and Yankee Station Apr 24, 2020 16:01:13 GMT -5
Post by StuB on Apr 24, 2020 16:01:13 GMT -5
"Point Yankee" (16° 0'0.00"N 110° 0'0.00"E) was really just a reference point to show the general vicinity of the Task Force (TF77) operations during the Yankee Team monitoring effort in 1964/1965.
Later on, in 1966 during Rolling Thunder, was moved North to 17°30'0.00"N 108°30'0.00"E. When Carrier Task groups were operating in the area of Point Yankee, they were on "Yankee Station".
The CTG's on Yankee Station launched aircraft in a variety of locations within the Tonkin Gulf, depending on mission needs. It is a bit difficult to find out exactly where the carriers actually launched their aircraft, but there are accounts by pilots who have described enough things to make some educated guesses.
I have read accounts describing missions to Haiphong as having flight times from launch to "feet dry" of about 30 minutes. At 300 KIAS, that would be about a distance of 150 NM.
According to the account of a pilot who was part of a two F-8 crusader flight in 1967, they launched from the USS Oriskany approximately 120 NM due South of Hon Gay for a night interdiction mission against trucks operating in the mining area northwest of Hon Gai.
Extrapolating the launch position via Google Earth, that puts the carrier at approximately 18°47'45.96"N 106°44'17.60"E which is at least 110 NM north of Point Yankee and about 55 NM East of Vinh. The pilot's aircraft received damage during the mission, causing the loss of the a/c lights, radio and navigation instruments. He had to navigate back to the carrier alone, via dead reckoning. He also said that he had to consider that the carrier could be anywhere up to 30 NM from it's position when he launched.
Some Alpha Strikes were even launched within 30 NM of the NVN coast, so that strike a/c could carry extra bombs, rather than fuel tanks.
So, taking the info I have so far, my suggestion is for FSCAI missions to look at Yankee Station as a "box" with the following coordinates for each of the four corners:
18°50'01.13"N 106°46'02.77"E , 19° 8'54.53"N 107°25'53.68"E , 17°45'40.20"N 108°16'41.55"E and 17°28'09.47"N 107°39'29.08"E.