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Osprey's study of the role played by F-8 Crusader Units in the Vietnam War (1955-1975). Known to its pilots as the 'last of the gunfighters' due to its quartet of Colt-Browning Mk 12 20 mm cannon, the F-8 Crusader was numerically the most populous fighter in the US Navy at the start of America's involvement in the Vietnam conflict in 1964 - some 482 F-8C/D/Es equipped 17 frontline units. It enjoyed great success against North Vietnamese Mig-17s and Mig-21s during the Rolling Thunder campaign of 1965-68, officially downing 18 jets, which represented 53 per cent of all Mig claims lodged by Navy squadrons during this period.
Although the Crusader was built first and foremost as a Navy interceptor, as has often been the tradition with US fighters, a photo-reconnaissance variant was also produced by Vought. The photo-bird's first operational test came in the autumn of 1962 when its overflights of Cuba alerted the world to the likely presence of medium-range ballistic missiles on the Caribbean island. The recce Crusader's next action came during the long years of the Vietnam War (1955-1975). This volume is the second of two in the Combat Aircraft series devoted to the Crusader, the first title (again by Peter Mersky) having covered the F-8 fighter variants, and their MiG-killing exploits, during the Vietnam War.
Osprey's examination of A-7 Corsair II Units of the Vietnam War (1955-1975). Arriving on station with the USS Ranger (CVA-61) in early December 1967, the first Corsair II squadron became operational immediatedly and sustained its first combat loss three weeks later. This book tells how the A-7 soon proved its worth supporting ground operations in South Vietnam. As it continued to serve in the ground support role, the navy swiftly introduced the A-7E which soon ran into difficulties with supply lines - perhaps on account of what many perceived to have been a rushed introduction to service. Once these teething problems were resolved, the A-7E became the primary air-to-ground aircraft of the fleet.
Seeing considerable combat in the nearly 50 years since its service introduction, the Skyhawk was involved in the Vietnam War (1955-1975) from the very beginning. Navy and Marine Corps A-4s quickly established a presence in Southeast Asia, flying from aircraft carriers and land bases in South Vietnam in thousands of sorties against the entrenched communist forces from Hanoi to the communist supply lines along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This book includes details of missions including the siege of Khe Sanh, Lam Son and the contentious invasion of Laos and Cambodia in 1971 and gives a fascinating account of the variety of missions pilots were asked to perform. These operations were not without risk, and large numbers of A-4s were shot down and their pilots killed or, like Edward Alvarez, imprisoned as POWs for up to eight years in appalling conditions.Officially endorsed by the Skyhawk Association and including first-hand accounts from veteran pilots who flew one of the greatest attack aircraft ever, Peter Mersky provides an insightful account of some of the most thrilling aerial combat missions that took place during Vietnam and the pilots who flew them. The first book to focus on the A-4's Vietnam service, this title is supported by previously unpublished colour and black and white photographs with 30 detailed colour profiles.
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