Sometime during the Vietnam war there was a science-fiction short story with a title something like, The World's Only Defensive Strategic Bomber.

A militant anti-war group smuggles a pilot from the North Vietnamese air force into the United States, and furnishes him with a Cessna and some home-made bombs so that he carry out an attack on an American air force base.

The attack is carried out successfully, but although he is in uniform, he is lynched, as a member of the group who was needed to assist in the attack.


  • 3
    You're certain this was a science fiction story? It doesn't sound like a science fiction story.
    – DavidW
    Commented Jul 10 at 21:40

1 Answer 1


Apparently this is a science fiction story. "The Defensive Bomber" (1973) by Harry Harrison (as by Hank Dempsey).

The pilot, Lieutenant Tran Hung Dao believes they should be allowed to surrender:

"We will surrender, just as your pilots do. They bomb our hospitals and schools, three-quarters of my home town, Nam Dinh, has been destroyed. Thousands killed. Yet we only imprison your pilots."

But of course the "civilized" Americans, even the authority figures like police and Marines, simply tear them to pieces.

  • This is certainly it, and I have it in a science fiction anthology, but I never understood why it was science fiction. I note the author was also the editor of the anthology. Commented Jul 12 at 13:37
  • Very imaginative, never happened, could have happened ... I'm content with the science fiction label.
    – Barnaby
    Commented Jul 12 at 17:04

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