By Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier
Designed within the years following the Korean conflict after which synthetic for over 30 years beginning in 1960, the A-6 fast turned the main able assault airplane within the US Navy's good. the 1st squadron, VA-75, made its preliminary deployment at once into wrestle in south-east Asia in 1965, and, over the subsequent 8 years, ten US army 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 kind proved itself past all doubt because the Naval companies' most sensible evening and foul-weather platform, really 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 used to be excessive as sixty nine Intruders have been misplaced in wrestle to all motives throughout the battle. This paintings tells the entire tale of those airplane in strive against throughout the Vietnam warfare.
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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.
NH 805 on Kitty Hawk’s Cat No 1 just prior to launch on a combat mission. The engines are at full power, as indicated by the small tornado of steam swirling into the intakes. The green shirt will push the launch button once signalled to do so by the catapult officer. The jet’s load appears to be 18 M64 500-lb bombs fitted with conical fins (US Navy courtesy of the Grumman Historical Center) One of the keys for the trip was the focus the ship (and specifically carrier CO Capt Bill Houser) and the air wing put on making the Intruder a success.
This loss fits the description of what was being described as an ‘Intruder-unique incident’, with the aircraft ‘vanishing’ while on a solo mission at night. In this event the wreckage was later found near the target, but in other cases a jet would be lost without any real sign of what had actually happened either to the A-6 or its crew. Cdr Charlie Hunter (right) and Lt Lyle Bull (left) receive the Navy Cross at Whidbey Island from Commander, Fleet Air Whidbey, Rear Admiral Herman Trum, for their 30 October 1967 mission with VA-196 over North Vietnam.
A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War by Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier