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Weird MiG killer

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posted on Jan, 14 2015 @ 10:42 PM
On June 20, 1965 Canasta 573 flown by Lt. Charles Hartman and Canasta 577 flown by Lt. Clinton Johnson, were flying RESCAP over a down USAF pilot in North Vietnam. They had launched from the USS Midway, and belonged to VA-25. During the mission, they were attacked by a pair of MiG-17s, that fired missiles and cannons at them. Both pilots evaded the shots, and were able to maneuver into position to shoot down one of the MiGs that attacked them. The MiG rolled over and slammed into a hillside, after being hit by fire from both aircraft.

On October 9th 1966, Papoose Flight, consisting of Lt. Cdr Leo Cook, and Lt Wiley in the first element, and Lt. Peter Russell, and Lt. William Patton as the second element, were flying RESCAP when they were attacked by four MiG-17s. The aircraft were able to maneuver into position to get one confirmed kill, one probable kill, and a third MiG heavily damaged.

What makes these kills so special?

All six aircraft involved were A-1H Skyraider piston engined aircraft, armed with four M3 20mm cannons for air to air combat.

The last propeller U.S. Navy attack aircraft to disappear from the decks of the flattops was the Douglas AD Skyraider.

This airplane had a unique capability: even when it carried its full internal fuel of 2,280 pounds, a 2,200-lb torpedo, two 2,000-lb bombs, 12,5 inch rockets, two 20 mm guns and 240 pounds of ammunition, the Skyraider was still under its maximum gross weight of 25,000 pounds.

Entered in service just in time to take part in the Korean War, the Skyraiders in the improved A-1H version were quite slow; nevertheless in spite of performance not even comparable to those of the other assets in the air wing’s strike group, the propeller-driven attack aircraft managed to shoot down two MiG-17s during the early part of the Vietnam War.

In fact, some of the most unusual kills of the conflict did not come from the F-4s, F-105s, or F-8s, but from the Korean War-era piston-engine Skyraiders, thanks to the four M3 20 mm fixed forward-firing cannons capable of firing 800 rounds per minute, that fitted the A-1Hs.

posted on Jan, 14 2015 @ 11:01 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

What a little bulldog that skyraider was. Apparently didn't take no crap from sleeker faster jets acting all precocious around it. Wow, 4 20mm cannons, that'll put some bite behind the bark.

How'd the skyraider out maneuver the migs and take the win? One was a jet and the other prop driven. I would figure the mig would be more agile and capable in a dogfight but I guess sometimes warthogs are better than gazelles when it comes to combat. Cool thread Zaph. Just learned about something cool.

posted on Jan, 14 2015 @ 11:03 PM
Nice article Mr. 58. Thanks.
Yeah, I could imagine. Let em come in close, fly a little circle around em, line em up and WHAM! Four 20mm cannons is gonna leave a mark.
Solid airframe like that, plenty of piston power, probably would be hard to overstress. You could've probably flown three circles while that fast mover fought his thrust trying to turn around.
I guess missile technology mostly trumps the advantage of a slower, but more maneuverable craft these days though...

posted on Jan, 14 2015 @ 11:07 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58 another rescue mission in nam.

posted on Jan, 14 2015 @ 11:10 PM
a reply to: engineercutout

The Spad was the Warthog of its day. It was fairly slow, carried the payload from hell, and got pounded and flew home.

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 12:13 AM
Also as an after thought I feel its a must mention that these venerable aircraft (along with others)
covered many a GI derriere while pinned down in the jungle or attacking the NVA/VC.
They did a great job of the ground attack role so nessessary to the campaigns in the bush.....
A lot of GIs came home because these old Spads" could linger over targets with lots of ordinance and the will to take it down to the enemy facing our boys....
I salute these aircraft AND the pilots who flew them so courageously in the face of enemy fire.....

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 12:35 AM
a reply to: BASSPLYR

How'd the skyraider out maneuver the migs and take the win? One was a jet and the other prop driven. I would figure the mig would be more agile and capable in a dogfight…

It is. Its also a lot faster. Overshoot is a killer for combatants. The idea is to get behind your enemy and let 'em have it without winding up in front of the enemy in the process. For the MIG that was impossible with the sky raider. Once over shot, the sky raider pilot just had to tweak its nose and let fly with four 20 mm cannons. If those encounters were early on then my guess the MIG pilots learned an early valuable lesson and never did that again.

Bullets are faster than props.

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 01:36 AM
a reply to: intrptr

Ahh. I see. So it was not so much their maneuverability as the enemy's overshoot that gave them the advantage.

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 09:56 AM
a reply to: engineercutout

I would take the Mig one circle and let turn radius be his own enemy. Three merges later, he's gone.

Great airplane.

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 09:57 AM
a reply to: engineercutout

The problem is surviving long enough to generate the overshoot.

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 12:38 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

An even more recent example would be the pilot who used his GAU-8 against a pair of Iraqi helicopters.

wain said his AIM-9 heat-seeking missile would not lock onto the small target racing 50 feet above the desert floor. So he switched to the seven-barrel, 30-millimeter cannon mounted in the nose of his plane.
"I started firing about a mile away," Swain said. "Some of the bullets ran through him, but we weren't sure if it was stopped completely. So I came back with the final pass, hit it and it fell apart.
"On the final pass, I shot about 300 bullets at him. That's a pretty good burst. On the first pass, maybe 75 rounds. The second pass, I put enough bullets down, it looked like I hit with a bomb.
"We tried to ID the helicopter after we were done and it was just in a bunch of little pieces, so we can't tell what type it was."


posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 12:41 PM
a reply to: aholic

Correct me if I'm wrong but IIRC I believe that was the last air to air kill with a gun in history?

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 01:07 PM
a reply to: aholic

In 92 someone died in an aircraft due to aggressor machine gun fire but the plane wasn't lost- not sure that qualifies as a "Kill".

Rumors of additional south of the border kills by the US that goes unreported as part of the war "for" drugs obv.

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 03:07 PM
Cool story, Zaphod. Thanks.

Great "little" plane. Strap a B-29 engine to a single-seater, arm it to the gills, throw it off a boat, and point it at the bad guys. Old school.

Wasn't there a story about a Skyraider dropping a toilet bomb?

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