By Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier
Designed within the years following the Korean warfare after which synthetic for over 30 years beginning in 1960, the A-6 speedy turned the main able assault plane within the US Navy's solid. the 1st squadron, VA-75, made its preliminary deployment at once into wrestle in south-east Asia in 1965, and, over the following 8 years, ten US army and 4 Marine Intruder squadrons may behavior wrestle operations all through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. After preliminary difficulties and a excessive loss fee, the sort proved itself past all doubt because the Naval prone' top evening and foul-weather platform, quite throughout the region's infamous monsoon season.
The A-6 Intruder turned a real vintage of naval aviation over the skies of North Vietnam however the rate was once excessive as sixty nine Intruders have been misplaced in wrestle to all reasons through the warfare. This paintings tells the whole tale of those plane in wrestle throughout the Vietnam battle.
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Indeed, Forward Air Controllers (FACs) in the south raved about the new US Navy jet that carried a lot of bombs and had enough gas to make multiple passes before having to return to base or look for a tanker. A VA-85 A-6A taxis towards Kitty Hawk’s bow cats during the 1965-66 war cruise. The aircraft carries what became the archetypical load for the type – MERs full of Mk 82 500-lb bombs, these examples being fitted with Snakeye retarding fins (US Navy) The A-6’s complex targeting system, when it functioned correctly, allowed weapons delivery either manually (visual or radar) or via a fully automated system.
Their wingman, who was unable to proceed with his bombing run due to aircraft problems, saw a flash of light that was probably his CO’s aircraft hitting the ground near the target. Both crew were killed, making Keller the second VA-85 CO lost on this deployment. Cdr Hays immediately assumed command. The following day yet another VA-85 Intruder was lost when Lt Cdr Bob Weimorts and Lt(jg) Bill Nickerson apparently flew their aircraft (BuNo 151785) into the water off Vinh while conducting an Iron Hand anti-SAM mission.
This photograph shows four very early VA-42 Intruders in flight, circa 1964, all still equipped with the initial wingtip-mounted pitot tube that would soon be moved to the tail. These BuNo 1499xx-series aircraft are very early Intruders, being among the first 35 built. At least two of these, AD 503 and AD 504, would be lost in mishaps. AD 501 (BuNo 149977) would later become a prototype EA-6A, while AD 502 (BuNo 149479) would eventually be modified into the first EA-6B prototype (US Navy ) Their record, achievements and sacrifices were notable.
A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War by Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier