Designed in the years following the Korean war and then manufactured for over 30 years starting in 1960, the A-6 quickly became the most capable attack aircraft in the US Navy's stable. The first squadron, VA-75, made its initial deployment directly into combat in south-east Asia in 1965, and, over the next eight years, ten US Navy and four Marine Intruder squadrons would conduct combat operations throughout Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. After initial problems and a high loss rate, the type proved itself beyond all doubt as the Naval services' best night and foul-weather platform, particularly during the region's notorious monsoon season, which could ground almost all other in-theatre aircraft due to heavy rains and low visibility. The A-6 Intruder became a true classic of naval aviation over the skies of North Vietnam, with 14 of its crews being honoured with the second highest decoration in Naval service, the Navy Cross. The cost was high as 69 Intruders were lost in combat to all causes during the war. This work tells the complete story of these aircraft in combat during the Vietnam War.
The F-4 Phantom II is perhaps the most famous postwar fighter. Primarily used as a land-based fighter-bomber and reconnaissance platform, its legend is owed to its naval origins and the immense contribution its original carrier-based versions made to the U.S. war effort in Vietnam.
This title examines the unique aspects of the Phantom that made it so crucial to U.S. Navy pilots during the Vietnam War: its massive engine power, long range, speed, the most powerful airborne search and fire-control radar installed in a fighter at the time, and, of course, its versatility as a ground attack and air-to-air platform. Packed with firsthand accounts, unique profile artwork, and rare photographs, this is the history of one of the most important aircraft to be stationed on carriers off Southeast Asia during the war.
Although the opposing forces of the Six Day War were both flying comparable third-generation Mach 2 jet fighters, the pilots were trained to different standards, and were expected to utilize different tactics. Using the latest research, first-hand accounts, and specially commissioned artwork, Shlomo Aloni tells the dramatic story of the dogfights in the skies over the Middle East.
USAF Skyraider units were originally tasked to serve as quasi-training units for the fledgling VNAF. Equipped only with the two-seat models of the Skyraider, American pilots were required to have VNAF 'observers' in the aircraft for every mission. Eventually, this arrangement was changed as enough Vietnamese pilots were trained to man their own squadrons, while USAF squadrons were tasked with close support for US ground forces. Eventually, no fewer than four USAF and seven VNAF Skyraider units saw service in Vietnam. Additionally, one A-1 training squadron flew from Hurlburt Field, Florida, throughout the Vietnam War era. In the ten years that this squadron was active, nearly 1000 USAF and 300 VNAF pilots were trained in the Skyraider. While the core mission of all Skyraider squadrons was Close Air Support (CAS), other missions were accomplished at various times. Among these were Search and Rescue (SAR), night interdiction on the Ho Chi Minh trail, helicopter escort and special forces support to name but a few. Each of these missions took full advantage of the Skyraider's ability to deliver a variety of munitions in close proximity to friendly forces while inflicting heavy casualties on enemy forces.
Entering service during the Sino-Japanese War, the Nakajima B5N (code-named “Kate”) excelled and went on to achieve surprising and dramatic successes in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It also contributed to the sinking of the U.S. aircraft carriers USS Lexington at the Battle of the Coral Sea, USS Yorktown at the Battle of Midway, and USS Hornet at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. Its replacement, the Nakajima B6N “Jill,” while a marked improvement over its illustrious predecessor, was never able to achieve its full potential in combat due to advances in Allied aircraft, finding itself relegated to the dreaded Kamikaze strikes in the latter part of the war.
Using previously unpublished photographs as well as color illustrations, this book will cover the history of the “Kate” and “Jill” torpedo/attack bombers, including their design and development, as well as the combat highs and lows of the Imperial Japanese Navy's premier torpedo bombers.