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 grew to become the main able assault airplane within the US Navy's reliable. the 1st squadron, VA-75, made its preliminary deployment without delay into strive against in south-east Asia in 1965, and, over the following 8 years, ten US army and 4 Marine Intruder squadrons could 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 providers' top evening and foul-weather platform, fairly in the course of 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 explanations in the course of the struggle. This paintings tells the full tale of those airplane in strive against in the course of the Vietnam conflict.
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Extra resources for A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War
Both survived and were soon back on ‘Indy’. Something obviously had to be done to correct the issue, and improved fuses and modified ejector racks were quickly obtained. These changes seemed to do the trick, and VA-75 continued about its business. Two months later, on 17 September, another VA-75 aircraft (BuNo 151588) was lost, this time as ‘Puncher’ Skipper Fred Vogt (who had only recently relieved Snead as squadron CO) and B/N Lt Robert Barber were targeting torpedo boats near Bach Long Island at night.
This in turn allowed sailors to ‘groom’ aircraft and systems. Planners were allowed to pick targets that lent themselves to night attack and A-6 delivery. Finally, the ship scheduled single and paired Intruders late into the night outside normal cyclic operations schedules. Drawing on the experience of the first two squadrons the ‘Tigers’’ aircraft had new radar warning equipment installed that alerted them against the SA-2 in particular. Supply channels, which were only now coming out of a peacetime footing, were re-organised to better support the aircraft and the critical components that proved to have a higher failure rate than originally expected.
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. On the night of 21 April he and his B/N, Lt Cdr Ellis Austin, were flying ‘Buckeye 805’ (BuNo 151798) on a night strike near Vinh.