Their destination is Hanoi, the capital of the North of the United Nations. Their mission is to bomb the city that was considered at that time the most strongly fortified in the world.
The mission will be repeated within 11 days.
This week in the same city, a meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the second meeting will take place.
Her rethinking after the end of the war and the beginning of Doy-Moi's economic reforms is considered the main reason she was chosen to negotiate Trump Kim.
For Washington, it is proof that hostility should not last forever. For Pyongyang it is a proof that a one-party system that does not allow dissent can control a vibrant economy.
Duong van May Elliot spent the first four years of his life in Hanoi before fleeing from a city with seven in 1
Elliot and her seven moved to Saigon, where, over the years, she worked at RAND Corp., where she interviewed North Americans in the Vietnamese prisoners of war. She continued to write a novel telling her seven-year experience: "The Holy Will: Four Generations in the Life of the Simon's Family", which was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist.
Although Eliot was young when she left Hanoi, she remembers the city as "a very quiet, romantic city, very old, full of history and traditions." "By this time, the French were in the United States for almost eighty years, and Hanoi acquired a French appearance, layered on top and near the ancient Hanoi," Elliott said.
Almost nobody had cars, she said.
"The old neighborhoods of small lanes and small shops where my grandmother's mother had her silk shop was even more or less untouched, although transformed into modern amenities such as paved sidewalks and streets, running water and electricity, – she said.
Hanoi suffered the most devastating blows in the war with the United States at the end of 1972 during Operation Linear Bomber II, a mission known more like the Christmas bombing. The goal was to turn north at 39; Italians on the negotiating table after that As the talks stopped and the administration of US President Richard Nixon thought that shock and reverence would do their job.
"They will be so surprised," Nixon said.
Elliott said her relatives in Hanoi told her that the Christmas explosions were the worst experience for them throughout the war.
"The houses were shaking," Elliott said. – They thought that they would die.
"Those who survived told me when they went out to watch, they found corpses lying around," she said. "To this day they still can feel the smell of rotting bodies."
Bach Mayi Hospital was killed during bombing, killing patients and hospital staff. One of the main structures of the hospital was badly damaged.
dr. Carl Bartecchi of the University of Colorado visits the hospital twice a year for two to three weeks to teach students. It has been gathering since 1997, when a significant part of the city was very different.
"You go to the city and it was all rice fields. You will see the buffaloes, the people who work there," Bartecchi said.
Trees lined the way. There are new bridges going to the city and along the way, you see some new high-rise buildings.
But the older parts of the city retained a certain charm.
"The old town, north of Lake Hoan Kiem, has not changed at all," he said. "This is a really neat place."
The transformation of Hanoi did not begin until 1986, more than ten years after Saigon fell to the north in the Vietnamese troops.
It was then that Hanoi carried out market reforms to stimulate the economy, known as Doi Moi.
Jonathan Stromzet, chair of Lee Kuan Yu at the Brookings South East Asian Institute, said that the choice to liberalize his economy was desperate.
"The socialist experiment in the United States is failing, the growth continued, and inflation was about 500% a year," he said.
"The regime had no choice but to reform if they wanted to survive."
The city continues to breathe a dynamic relationship between the old and the new.
Nguyen Ku Duke was a correspondent for the National Public Radio in Hanoi in 1989 and returned to the city in 2006. He could not get a visa for journalists, so he got a business license and eventually became a restaurateur.
"They do not have a revolution, they throw things away and invest something new, they simply accumulate things at each other. Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, communism, Catholicism, capitalism, all this."
A popular example of how the Vietnamese absorb external influences is Banh Mi, the Vietnamese sandwich with a French baguette. But even the red and yellow banners of sports communist slogans are an example of a dynamic city relationship. Many of them are sponsored by banks, says Nguyen.
But the change was not entirely for the better, says Nguyen. Increasing corruption, inequality and increasingly selfish changes in mood have made the city a more hostile place to live, he said. Large conglomerates dominate many industries, for example, in South Korea, which complicates the lives of small businesses. Rapid reconstruction has taken away most of the city's charm and appreciated some of its poorer residents.
"We must be careful because we are looking for signs of change among artists and thinkers, and this is happening in waves," said Nguyen.
"In the past 10, 12 years, 15 years, I have seen that they come and go without any result." Intellectuals do not really have any chance.
Despite negatives, Nguyen said that he admitted that in recent years was Well, livelihood has improved and people have a little more money, but whether he hopes for the future depends on when you ask him.
"If you ask me a question in the morning, yes, I am very positive and hope. By the evening I'm desperate about what's going on. "
" For all that I say, I can say the other way round. This is all right in the United States.
Elliott said that she had not seen that the reforms would take effect after 1993, her first visit to Hanoi for almost 40 years, and the city was frozen in time. She kept some of her attractiveness, but fell into disrepair, as if left to rot.
"Nothing has changed a lot. It was really infected, "said Elliott." I remember the streets were deserted. People were moving on old, shaky bikes. … There were very few restaurants and cafes, and even then the locals could not afford it. "
But Elliot said about every trip to Hanoi after her first, the city would get" better and better. "
President Trump and Kim Jong-un will lower the new highways leading into the city, "crossing the new hanging bridge over the Red River, the city of Trump and Kim will see, she said, is not one of the darkened scars of the war. New buildings, tall buildings, factories, shops, restaurants, cafes and hotels pass "
" They are see a city that is recovered from the ravages of war and thriving in the global economy – the metropolis that is confident in the future "