By Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier
Designed within the years following the Korean conflict after which synthetic for over 30 years beginning in 1960, the A-6 speedy grew to become the main able assault plane within the US Navy's strong. the 1st squadron, VA-75, made its preliminary deployment without delay into strive against in south-east Asia in 1965, and, over the following 8 years, ten US military and 4 Marine Intruder squadrons may behavior wrestle operations all through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. After preliminary difficulties and a excessive loss fee, the kind proved itself past all doubt because the Naval providers' top evening and foul-weather platform, relatively in the course of the region's infamous monsoon season.
The A-6 Intruder grew to become a real vintage of naval aviation over the skies of North Vietnam however the fee used to be excessive as sixty nine Intruders have been misplaced in strive against to all reasons in the course of the conflict. This paintings tells the total tale of those plane in strive against through the Vietnam warfare.
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Additional resources for A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War
At night, attempts to use ‘bomber streams’ where multiple A-6s followed each other over a single target proved to be hazardous to the later aircraft, so they developed the ‘coordinated attack’, where jets from the flight would come in from multiple headings within seconds of each other, using altitude offsets and precise timing for deconfliction. To some the tactic appeared to be emulating the Blue Angels, with multiple Intruders appearing suddenly very low over a target from different points of the compass, this time dropping bombs instead of trailing smoke and making lots of jet noise.
Post-strike bomb damage assessment (BDA) showed heavy damage, with at least 25 bomb craters visible within the target area. The enemy must have been impressed, as the following day they issued a shrill press release denouncing what appeared to be ‘a major escalation by the Yankees through the introduction of the B-52 Stratofortress into the North’. VA-85 was the second fleet Intruder squadron, commencing its transition from A-1s in March 1964. This familiar photograph, probably taken in 1965, is not often reproduced in colour as seen here.
Fire and hydraulic failure led to ejection, and in this case both aircrew were recovered by USAF search and rescue (SAR) forces. The following day the squadron conducted a night strike against the Uong Bi powerplant, located some 12 miles north of Haiphong. Only three aircraft were involved – two Intruders and a sole E-2A from VAW-11 Det C for communications. Kitty Hawk commenced launching aircraft in radio silence at 0100 hrs, undoubtedly in deference to the Soviet intelligence ships that normally shadowed the Seventh Fleet.