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A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War by Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier

By Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier

Designed within the years following the Korean battle after which synthetic for over 30 years beginning in 1960, the A-6 quick turned the main able assault plane within the US Navy's reliable. 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 military and 4 Marine Intruder squadrons might behavior strive against operations all through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. After preliminary difficulties and a excessive loss expense, the sort proved itself past all doubt because the Naval providers' top 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 fee was once excessive as sixty nine Intruders have been misplaced in wrestle to all factors through the battle. This paintings tells the total tale of those plane in strive against in the course of the Vietnam struggle.

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The concept of the NAO went back to observers in World War 1-era aircraft, and it had developed over time to include navigators and gunners, many of which were enlisted men or warrant officers, particularly in the Marine Corps. The advent of jet aircraft and complex ‘weapons systems’ led to training commissioned officers as B/Ns, initially in the heavy attack community. Within the carrier US Navy in the early 1960s the introduction of the F-4, A-5, A-6 and E-2 all led to a rapid increase in the population of NAOs.

At least two of these, AD 503 and AD 504, would be lost in mishaps. AD 501 (BuNo 149977) would later become a prototype EA-6A, while AD 502 (BuNo 149479) would eventually be modified into the first EA-6B prototype (US Navy ) Their record, achievements and sacrifices were notable. In terms of impact, the A-6 offered a unique combination of capabilities that were not available in any other US Navy or USAF platform in 1965. Aircraft like the A-1, early versions of the A-4, F-100 and B-57 were visual bombers only, being highly susceptible to the vagaries of weather.

As wryly stated by one observer, it was obviously not built to clear the theoretical 50-ft obstacle at the end of the runway, but to fly through it. Grumman’s new A2F ‘flying drumstick’ rolled out of its Calverton, New York, factory on 29 April 1960 and was christened Intruder. On paper it had all of the features the US Navy wanted, being touted as able to carry lots of ordnance over long distances. It was equipped with a state-of-the-art array of two radars and Litton’s highly touted ASQ-61 DIANE (Digital Integrated Attack Navigation Equipment) system, which would allow the crew of two to fly at very low altitudes in rough terrain at night and in most weather.

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