A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War (Combat Aircraft) by Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier

By Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier

Designed within the years following the Korean struggle after which synthetic for over 30 years beginning in 1960, the A-6 fast turned the main able assault plane within the US Navy's good. the 1st squadron, VA-75, made its preliminary deployment at once into strive against in south-east Asia in 1965, and, over the following 8 years, ten US military and 4 Marine Intruder squadrons might behavior strive against operations all through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. After preliminary difficulties and a excessive loss cost, the sort proved itself past all doubt because the Naval prone' top evening and foul-weather platform, fairly throughout the region's infamous monsoon season, that can flooring just about all different in-theatre airplane as a result of heavy rains and coffee visibility. The A-6 Intruder grew to become a real vintage of naval aviation over the skies of North Vietnam, with 14 of its crews being honoured with the second one maximum ornament in Naval provider, the army go. the fee was once excessive as sixty nine Intruders have been misplaced in strive against to all reasons throughout the warfare. This paintings tells the full tale of those plane in strive against through the Vietnam battle.

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This image, with a pilot in a pre-war orange flight suit flying over a peaceful Virginia countryside, would soon change for VA-85 as it entered combat with CVW-11. BuNo 151780 would be lost with VA-85, but not until 1972 after it had been converted into a KA-6D (US Navy via Angelo Romano ) The ‘Black Falcons’ were not able to rest on their laurels, however, as they would lose two more aircraft and their crews within days. Cdr Jack Keller had taken command of the squadron following the loss of Skipper Cartwright four months earlier.

The Intruders arrived in 1966, establishing a presence that would dominate the base for the next three decades. VA-85 was the first Intruder squadron to complete two deployments, making a return appearance to Southeast Asia with the Kitty Hawk /CVW-11 team only five months after ending its previous cruise. After losing seven aircraft in 1965-66, VA-85 would have three more shot down on its second deployment. Here, NH 502 taxis on CVA-63’s flightdeck with empty MERs. The presence of flak curtains in the cockpit indicates that this was a combat sortie.

The ‘Boomers’ quickly resumed striking the enemy, and they performed magnificently. On the evening of 24 March the crew of Lts Jim Pate and Roger Krueger were tasked with hitting the Kinh No railway marshalling yard. As they fought their way to the target their aircraft suffered several near-misses by SAMs, one of which reportedly knocked the A-6 momentarily out of controlled flight. The weapons system was also affected, which forced the crew to perform a degraded bomb drop on the target. They then egressed through a line of thunderstorms and still successfully recovered on Ranger.

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