Air-Ground in Vietnam

Discuss air warfare, doctrine, air forces, historic campaigns, etc.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

RoAF

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 632
  • Joined: 15 Feb 2006, 22:45
  • Location: Romania

Unread post25 Feb 2006, 16:40

This is a bit off topic (nothing to do with CAS) but since you talked about LGBs...here it goes: What was the effectiveness of the Walleye dropped by A-4s compared to those early LGBs? I watched a few years back a documentary about the A-4 in Nam on Discovery Channel and how they took out a big power station with only 2 planes and 4 Walleyes. How often were those weapons used compared with other early PGMs? Were GBU-15s used in Nam-being the air force's equivalent to the Navy's Walleye?
"It's all for nothing if you don't have freedom" (William Wallace 1272-1305)
Offline

LWF

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2005, 00:20

Unread post25 Feb 2006, 22:11

From what I've heard the Walleye was quite effective. Provided the target wasn't obscured, which pretty much precluded battlefield use. After it was used on the power plant, next time around the NVA had smoke machines around the power plant and anything else they didn't want hit.
And by the way, even though I specified CAS when I started the thread, it became more or less anything A-G. It was a little annoying at first but has ended up being more interesting than it would have been.
It takes a fighter with a gun to kill a MiG-21!
Offline

LWF

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2005, 00:20

Unread post08 Apr 2006, 20:20

Snake, in one of your posts you mentioned a time when you nearly got shot down leading a F-4 four-ship wagon wheel.. care to elaborate? And I checked into the story about the wagon wheel that I posted, and it was a four-ship, with a steady flow of reinforcements.
It takes a fighter with a gun to kill a MiG-21!
Offline

Snake-1

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 286
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2005, 23:05

Unread post10 Apr 2006, 20:03

The four ship mission to IV Corps was out of Korat on a suspected assembly area and was a fragged mission. Being Fragged we really didn't expect much but went through the whole combat briefing just in case (remember I told you earlier that Charlie was sneaky). Each of the four birds were carrying 6 750's (Mk 82s) on two TERs on the outboard stations. Additionally, it was to be an out and back mission meaning we would land at Bien Hoa, refuel and arm and hit another target on the way home thus avoiding the need for a tanker.

Got to the target area, was briefed to hit a 150 to 200 yards long and 50 yards wide row of trees running north to south in a flat dry area. THe only other growth around was three or four patches of trees offset from the target area by about 50 yards. The FAC wanted max coverage so he restricted our run-ins down the tree line. So into the Wagon wheel we go at about 8 grand. Upon getting clearance in I go and drop one that lands right in the center of the tree line and get a secondary out of it. The rest of the flight completes their passes with all bombs in the tree line.

In I go on the second pass and upon releasing the ordnance hear a ping, ping, ping, ping followed by every master warning and caution light in the cockpit start flashing and in the pull out the Bird starts wanting to go roll on me and I'm pulling and tugging to say upright pulling out of a screaming dive. I also called out that I thought I had been hit which was acknowledged by number 2 in the flight who saw muzzle flashes from one of the small bunches of trees directly adjacent to our run in heading. Two and three got immediate clearance to hit the gun while I got the bird back under control and reached for altitude saying I would hold high and dry until the rest of the flight expended all their ordnance.

While the flight creamed the gun, the other small clumps of trees and the remainder of the tree line I did a controllability check and found that the slower I got the more she wanted to flip on me. When the rest of the guys joined on me and did a battle damage check they informed me that I had a clean Ter on the left and a full TER on the right along with holes in both main gear doors 2 in the intake, one in the missile bay one in the Stab and two more elsewhere on the bird. Wanting to keep the bird and not walk home I elected to try to punch off all stations in the river just to the north of Bien Hoa. My plan was to fly down the river with my thumb on the jettison button and hope that the RAT would work or there was still some electrical juice left in the system to fire the jettison squibs.

As luck would have it when all the lights flashed on again I felt the stores come off and the bird immediately became easier to handle. The next controllability check was with the gear down and full landing configuration. Here is where my wingman told me that both main tires had been shot away. So I called the tower and said I would need an approach end engagement because of battle damage. In I go lining up perfectly, setting the bird down a good 500 feet before the barrier with the hook down thinking "piece of cake". When the main gear rims hit the barrier it caused it to bounce up on the arm of the hook snapping the hook up and out of the way of the barrier. Rolling down that 12,000 foot runway on just rims I passed the spot where I crashed an A-37 a couple years before and thought -- oh no ---not again. Anyways going slower I finally caught the departure end barrier and rapidly de-planed the aircraft.

Of the eight hits we took that day 3 were extremely effective. One each in the tires and the third one in the intake hit a bundle of wires as thick as your wrist severing it in half which when the wind hit it caused it to rub against its other half causing the lights and electrical systems to go ape. The fourth round that went into the missile bay travelled along the longitudinal axis of the bird hit an accumlator turning it 90 degree upward going through my Gibs seat into his survival pac and finally stopped about a half inch from his butt. The bird was on the ground for six weekd before it went back into combat. We caught a lift on one of the shuttle birds back to Korat and were back up North the next day.

Gopd really does Love fighter pilots and idiots!!!

Snake
Offline

Guysmiley

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1496
  • Joined: 26 May 2005, 19:39

Unread post10 Apr 2006, 20:31

Wow! :crazypilot:

I can't fathom that ANYTHING still worked on your jet after that.

Snake-1 wrote:God really does Love fighter pilots and idiots!!!


Amen!
Offline

Snake-1

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 286
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2005, 23:05

Unread post10 Apr 2006, 21:16

I didn't think so either, but after crashing an A-37 on the runway on takeoff because the manufacturer had the wrong size bearings in the main gear, getting hit by a SAM over Bullseye and making it back to Cam Ron Bay on one engine and fuel streaming out the back I had faith in the old bird and she trusted me to put her down safely. Say what you will about old double ugly she could take it as well as give it and still come back for more. A great old bird. But my hands were full that day. And yes, God does love idoits.

Snake
Offline

TC

F-16.net Moderator

F-16.net Moderator

  • Posts: 3998
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 07:06

Unread post11 Apr 2006, 01:08

You know Snake, that is one resounding response I've heard from every Phantom Phlyer. It could take some big hits and still keep flying, even if it were to merely fly to a safer area, ala, Cunningham and Driscoll in "Showtime One-Zero-Zero". I recall Steve Ritchie saying that he never knew of a Rhino that simply "blew up". He stated that he had seen many on fire, and badly damaged, but never saw one explode as soon as it was hit. Glad you were able to walk away from one though.

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
Offline

LWF

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2005, 00:20

Unread post12 Apr 2006, 02:02

Would anyone object to me changing the name to Air-Ground in Vietnam?
That's pretty much what it's become.
It takes a fighter with a gun to kill a MiG-21!
Offline
User avatar

Gums

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2391
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2003, 17:26

Unread post12 Apr 2006, 05:18

Horrido!

Oh man, the war stories we could tell you guys at a Hootch Bar........, heh heh.

One of the favorite quotes from all fighter pilots, bomber pilots, recce pilots and others is what you think, say, feel after coming off target with heart beating at 180 per minute, dry mouth, eyes big as saucers, and maybe whole body a bit limp.

"Thanks, God, I'll take over from here!"
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
Offline

Snake-1

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 286
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2005, 23:05

Unread post14 Apr 2006, 20:41

Gums -- Occasionally is right -- we could regale you with stories till you were old and gray -- and all of them true -- but you would have to buy!!!!

This one is about the last serious hit we took over the North in the 4. you would think that after two brushes with the grim reaper I would finally get smart and develop some super third sense or technique to make me invisible or indestructible to those who would do us bodily harm. But it seems that I have this uncanny ability to attract various sizes of pointed metallic objects at great heights regardless of what I did.

Today was going to be another air to air strike escort mission for some ZOT bombers just North of Hanoi. The bombers again were two illuminators to spot the target and two bombers to blow it away with thousand pounders.

We came in from the South China Sea towards the target and a very warm reception. It seems the Navy was there just before us and stirred up a real hornets nest. To add to this I had and FNG on the wing who was still a little raw around the edges so it was quite busy watching him, the strike force, the enemy gunners and everybody else within a stones throw.

The mission went pretty much as planned until the illuminators went into their wagon wheel. As the bombers went down the chute two separate SA-2 sites came up and sent four missile our way and our six ship started jinking in 20 different directions at the same time. They use to say that after three or four SAMS are thrown your way you get pretty use to it and evasive action becomes pretty routine --- BULL SH$$!!!!!!!

Your watching for that magic moment when the missile nose is buried so deep you can reverse in the vertical and the missile gyro can't keep up with your turn making the missile go ballistic. We got away from the first salvo, regrouped quickly as the bombs went off on target before the second set of four 2's headed our way. This time I was one quarter of a second to late in reversing and the missile blew up behind us but still shock the aircraft like a rag doll. A quick check of instruments indicated a fire warning light on a rapidly decaying left engine.

Footnote--- The one thing you learn early on when flying up north is that you never yell HELP!!!!!!, especially in PAC 6. If you did every air defense system in their arsenal locks on to you and tries to bring you down. Instead you develop secret words or special procedures to let your wingman or lead know your in trouble.

Today my wingman and lead heard my call and the lead (also my roommate) -- who was twenty miles away -- was on top of me before my wingman came across the circle to join. We were about 20 grand and the drag on the wind-milling engine was slowing us down to speeds were further evasive action against any new threat would have been useless. Not a good situation to be in this close to Hanoi.

Electing to stay with the bird as long as possible -- or at least until we got feet wet we turned east towards the water. I lit the burner on the good engine and started a gradual descent to maintain between 450 and 500 knots or as close to corner velocity I could get. WE had three good aircraft covering us but still had to go through another series of SAM sites and a deadly 100MM on Hon Gay island that took its fair toll of friendly crews.
Faking moves towards violent jinking, while avoiding a couple more flying telephone poles we all made it "Feet Wet" and well clear of the bad guys at about 10,000 feet before lead released 2 and 4 to go home with lead remaining with me.

We are now close to the line of four carriers positioned north to south along the North Vietnamese coast when the call comes through from the Navy saying that they have been monitoring our flight , understand our problem , and we are cleared to land on any of the boats on station. It was one of the most unbelievable statements I ever heard. Lead looked at me -- I looked at him and even thought both of us had our visors down you knew we shared the same thought ------ YGBSM!!!!!

After we warmly thanked the navy and told them we didn't want to mess up their boats we headed for Da Nang, streaming fuel (after I learned that I didn't even try to use burner again) being closely tracked by the Navy and their choppers (Big Mothers) in case we had to ditch. Fuel was running low but I couldn't risk going to a tanker with a bird that might go BOOM!!!! at any minute.

To make a long story short, we finally got to DA Nang, on fumes, landed against traffic, shut down in the de-arm area, de-planed and saw hydraulic fluid and jet fuel streaming from the left engine.

Although I was lucky enough to cheat death three times in the short span of four or five years I was luckier still never to be hit again.

Snake
Offline

cutlassracer

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 394
  • Joined: 08 Mar 2006, 01:33
  • Location: Las Vegas, NV

Unread post15 Apr 2006, 02:44

I love this stuff. Besides stuff from Dale Brown, the only books I read are flying over Vietnam, never realy care about branch of service the book is about. Army, Navy, or AF. Not trying to exclude the Marines, but have never come across a book about them.
Torrejon, Homestead, Moody, Osan, Holloman
USAF Crew Chief 89-99
F-16D 90-0794/90-0779
F-117A 83-0807
Offline

Snake-1

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 286
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2005, 23:05

Unread post15 Apr 2006, 03:15

To all

I must clarify. In my haste to get this out to you I neglected to say that of the eight SAM's fired only two or three headed in our direction. I don't want our readers thinking that we evaded eight SAM's in the same conflict. That would be a real stretch in credibility.

Snake
Offline

cutlassracer

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 394
  • Joined: 08 Mar 2006, 01:33
  • Location: Las Vegas, NV

Unread post15 Apr 2006, 20:48

Some of the 614th guys did that over Bagdad when they lost 2 jets. Think it was around 6. Used to have a copy of the HUD tape. Might still have it somewhere. Almost get dizzy watching it.
Torrejon, Homestead, Moody, Osan, Holloman
USAF Crew Chief 89-99
F-16D 90-0794/90-0779
F-117A 83-0807
Offline

TC

F-16.net Moderator

F-16.net Moderator

  • Posts: 3998
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 07:06

Unread post17 Apr 2006, 01:49

Cutlass, if you want the definitive non-fiction book about Marine Rhino ops, read "Phantom Over Vietnam" by John Trotti. It's a great read, which I'd actually like to read again, if I could find my d@#! copy. :mad:

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
Offline

cutlassracer

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 394
  • Joined: 08 Mar 2006, 01:33
  • Location: Las Vegas, NV

Unread post17 Apr 2006, 20:38

Thanks, I'll check it out.
Torrejon, Homestead, Moody, Osan, Holloman
USAF Crew Chief 89-99
F-16D 90-0794/90-0779
F-117A 83-0807
PreviousNext

Return to Air Power

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests