Air-Ground in Vietnam

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Snake-1

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Unread post12 Oct 2006, 00:35

As I remember Misty's were primarily flying Huns out of Phu Cat and Tuy Hoa between 67 and 70 and working the trails. While Stormy (and Gunsmoke) were out of DaNang. Gums might have worked with Misty on the trails but my work in mud moving was primarily in the IV Corp area. I might have worked with Stormy (did with Gunsmoke on the trails) but memory fails me.

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Obi_Offiah

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Unread post20 Nov 2006, 06:22

Hi

I was just wondering if anyone had experience of dropping the M-118 or Fuel-Air-Explosives?.

Thanks
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RoAF

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Unread post09 Dec 2006, 22:10

Some questions about the CBUs used in Nam:

What type(s) were they exactly? - I only have this picture of an F-4 with what looks like CBU-52/58 and saw in a magazine a poor quality pic of a VNAF A-37 with a Mk20 Rockeye (post 1975).

Which was the most used type and why?
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Snake-1

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Unread post09 Dec 2006, 23:41

RoAF
You bring tears to my eyes when you show old 269 with the 34th. tail flashes and tiger teeth in a Korat revetment. She was a great old bird that later became a Wild Weasel - F-4G and I got to fly her again at George.

In answer to your questions most all of the heavy iron used the cannisters (52s/58s) as they were one of the best area suppression weapons we had at the time. Add to that time delays on about half of the actual munitions and you could have control of a little piece of real estate for a couple of hours. Within these cannisters were either the baseball type (with aerodynamic fins) or bomblet type (looked like a small can with a prop on the rear). Besides use as a area weapon they were also very effective for the killer portion of Hunter Killer teams in suppressing SAMs in the North.

On the A-37 we also had (Gums correct me if I'm wrong here) a five tube and a seven tube type CBU dispenser where the CBUs came out of the rear of the tube. This permitted greater control of the CBU and we could use these when we were tasked for a TIC mission (usually Stuka'd on the bad guys).

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Unread post13 Dec 2006, 07:15

Salute!

Listen to the Snake.
*******

In the Dragonfly we carried the linear CBU like he described. 7 tubes or so, each with a dozen submunitions. We abandoned the "butterfly" type early on, as they had a high dud rate and the bad guys could use them for improvised mines. They were also a hazard for friendlies. So most of the stuff we carried in the tubes were the baseball doofers that spinned, armed and exploded when they slowed down. Those were the ones I got 5 trucks with on one pass.

We also carried CBU-24 and CBU-49. Both had same submunition forms, but the -49 doofers had a delay action as Snake described.

In the SLUF, we carried updated versions of the -24, -49. They had radar fuses and we could dial in the burst altitude. Best damned flak and SAM suppression things ever invented. Never personally used them on anything but AAA and SAM sites.

Personal comment: Most of the media hype about "cluster bombs" is way out of the reality zone. The new stuff goes dumb if it doesn't function upon impact or after a few minutes. The most widely used CBU submunitions don't lay around as "mines", and theyare very hard to use as improvised explosives. Now, we DO HAVE MINES. But they are not the weapons that the media is concerned with. They wouldn't know one if they saw one (or got their leg blown off, heh heh).

Another personal comment:

Napalm was the "bogey man" of the media. Not nearly as effective as CBU. The bad guys could hold their breath and duck. Then they would actually shoot at us out of the flames and smoke. Very good weapon for psychological purposes or for incinerating a hootch, but otherwise useless.

Gotta admit, though ...... it sure looked spectacular when it went off!!!
Gums
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"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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RoAF

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Unread post13 Dec 2006, 19:02

Thank you both for the answers!
Snake - I didn't knew it was one of the birds you flew

A few more questions - what was the designation of the CBU tube dispenser on the A-37? What was the method of deployment - I guess small charges pushing the bomblet out of the tube one after the other (trough the back?)

Now, a couple of questions about SEAD.
AFAIK only the F-105 G carried the Shrike in SEA as far as USAF is concerned - right?
How effective was it? (the Shrike)
Did the vietnamese knew when they were targeted and shut down the radars or they had no clue before being hit?
What radars were targeted in most occasions - the SA-2 sites radar, AA artilery guidance radars or large search and coordination radars at regional HQs?
Did the F-105s need any targeting pod such as the HTS on the Viper? What about ECM pods? I guess the thing strapped to the port fuselage in this pic has to be one of the two.

Sorry for the multiple questions...
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Unread post13 Dec 2006, 20:44

Salute!

I think the 7-tube doofer was a SUU-14.

The CBU designations were like CBU-14, 22 and 25. One was white phoshoros for laying a smoke screen. One was the baseball doofers that had to spin up to arm and exploded when they slowed down.

The F-4C Weasels carried the Shrike, best I recall from seeing them at Korat in Linebacker. The Thuds carried both that guy and the Standard ARM, which was like a telephone pole, heh heh. Huge sucker.

Shrikes were used for "close in " work. They didn't have a good inertial like the Std ARM or the HARM, so the radar had to be operating when the thing got close. They were very accurate and mostly flew thru the radar antenna when they guided. The Weasels also carried cannister CBU for SAM sites. Snake might have flown a few "hunter-killer" missions where the Weasels kept the enema radar off the air until the Double Uglies could drop CBU on the site.

The Weasels had super, cosmic gear to detect, classify and sort the threat radars. Stuff we got today is more sensitive, faster and more accurate. We also have other "assets" to help. I'll leave it at that.

The main tgts were the SAM sites, then the 85 mm acks, then acquisition stuff. Mainly the things that could shoot, but I am sure many Weasels lofted an ARM at search radars if they didn't shoot at a "shooter".

The SA-2 and SA-3 and many later SAM systems had to have at least one transmitter operating to guide the missiles. If they knew they were being hosed at, it was their call as to turning off whatever they still had running( if they turned off, the missiles went ballistic and our pulse rate went down). Our RHAW gear detected the search, track and guidance systems. The guidance transmitters had a distinctive sound if we had the "raw" audio enabled. And it was that signal that activated our "LAUNCH" light. The tracking radar - Fan Song, had a rattlesnake sound that was very easy to pick up. I have some neat tapes of one and will get a "wav" file up one of these days for all to listen to. The Fire Can (for 57 and 85 mm ack) sounded like car horns.

later,

Gums sends
Gums
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"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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Unread post13 Dec 2006, 21:52

Gums hit it pretty much on the head with his narration but I need to clarify (notice I didn't say correct) and add a few small points.

The standard Arm AGM-78 was a big heavy mother and once fired (a great distance out) would send out a signal that closed down quite a few sites thus letting the guys into the area without to much of a threat as the 78 could acquire and track after being shot. But it was a bitch landing with if you had asymetric loading.

In order to get some extra range out of the 45 after acquiring a target at the edge of the 45's effective envelope the guys would loft it at the target.

Didn't get to do any Hunter -Killer activity in SEA but did quite a bit in the "G" afterwards where the whole team was made up of F-4G's armed for both roles.

Now for a clarification the weasels main and primary targets were anything that was a threat to them or the force they were providing SAM Suppression to. But the SAMS with their longer reach and greater hitting power were primary targets and if you got the emitter trailor or the gennerators you effectively shut down 6 or more SAMS.

The RHAW gear was very effective in giving you a heads up at what was looking at you in azimuth but at times (like the 12 days of Christmas) it was such a nunciance because of the volume of activity that we turned it way down or off so we could hear our wing mates instead of the many different tones going off at the same time.

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Unread post13 Dec 2006, 22:17

The E Modal tail looks like the same jet that came to Clark AB back in 1970 when I was there in the First Test Squadron, we hung a selection of weapons on it for testing...looks like that same jet, I remember that tail and the Tiger Teeth.....man, what a fast flash back that was - thanks
More than likely have "been there and done that at some point", it sure keeps you young if done correctly
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Unread post14 Dec 2006, 01:58

Salute!

You can sure tell that the Snake flew in a "crew" jet!

I can see the scenario playing out...........

Snake,"Hey GIB, I'm turning down the volume on the RHAW audio"

GIB, "OK, Snake, I got a handle on stuff". And the GIB is swiveling neck left/right up et al and still listening to all the beeps and such from the RHAW. Gib is also using radar to keep track of we mudbeaters and any Migs approaching the arena. What a blast, as I look back on it.

So we "one-hearts" (single engine and one pilot). turn down the RHAW audio a bit and turn up our VHF/FM radio and basic UHF. We are trained by a honest-to-God SAC EWO assigned to the 354th FW. He would have us listen to all the sounds and test us. We could tell a Fan Song from a Fire Can or a height-finder or a Mig AI radar or an F-4 radar or ..... just by listening. So we had a huge advantage over many folks. Could have the raw audio in the background and the really serious stuff would get our attention.

"Oh well, those days are gone. I should just let them go."

Gums sends...
Gums
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"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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Snake-1

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Unread post14 Dec 2006, 04:22

El Gummo

I think we had the same SAC EWO as we had the same test. But you got to admit it was quite noisy and overpowering during those Christmas days of 72.

Also please note that I said "WE" in my offering as we both had our sweet cheeks on the line and you know my GIB and what a great credit and rep that he brought to the Viper after going to pilot school. Without a doubt one of the very best in the business with eyes like an eagle.

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Unread post31 Jan 2007, 17:26

Some questions regarding rockets:
-what was the most common pod? (I've seen a lot of pictures with 19 tubes for 2.75, some with 4-tubes for the larger ones, but hardly any 7 tube for 2.75)
-how many were usually shot in a pass (from each pod). Did you just empty the pod or select 5, 10, whatever
-rockets colliding against each other (see pics attached) - was this just a rare accident or a common issue - if so how could it be avoided?
-front plastic covers on the pods for improved aerodinamics - were they in use back than?
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Snake-1

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Unread post31 Jan 2007, 18:22

RoAF

On the A-37 we primarily used the 7 tube and I don't remember ever carrying a rocket pod on the heavier iron that I flew.

I never had much use for them and really didn't consider them a practical weapon for most of the targets we went against. I thought it was more of a nuisance weapon then something to blow their stuff away.

Add to that that if one of the fins didn't open correctly, or they collided, you'd have a ballistic weapon that could cause some collateral damage you didn't want.

Gum's --- your feeling?????

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Unread post04 Apr 2007, 01:51

Generally my information says that rockets were mostly used by helicopter gunships, not fast movers. Now the exception to that was the WP rockets carried by both fast and slow FACs for target marking. From what I've heard about those, they were fairly reliable. And on a humorous note about the WP rockets, I just read a thing about the LRRPs (long range reconnaissance patrols if you didn't know) and one time a patrol was in danger of being overrun, and an FAC comes along and fires WP rockets at the NVA, and the NVA actually retreated despite the fact that the WP rockets were just target markers, not highly dangerous weapons. Ended up saving the patrol.
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Unread post08 Apr 2007, 04:40

Salute!

I personally saw Rhinos fire multiple pods of the LAU-3 variety over the Trail in 1968. Didn't see any Huns firing them, best I recall.

We carried the small pods and the big ones frequently in the A-37. Most of the LAU-3's were "salvo". The 7-tube Lau-57's could be set for single-fire and we would just hit the button quickly.

The A-7D carried both varieties when acting as helo escort in 1072. Could fire a bunch or use the others to mark targets when on SAR missions.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

out,
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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