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 conflict after which synthetic for over 30 years beginning in 1960, the A-6 fast grew to become the main able assault airplane 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 army and 4 Marine Intruder squadrons might behavior wrestle operations all through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. After preliminary difficulties and a excessive loss fee, the sort proved itself past all doubt because the Naval companies' top evening and foul-weather platform, quite 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 rate was once excessive as sixty nine Intruders have been misplaced in wrestle to all reasons in the course of the struggle. This paintings tells the whole tale of those plane in strive against through the Vietnam struggle.

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The two took lateral separation and lead dropped 13 Mk 83 1000-lb bombs using full-system delivery, while ‘Dash-2’, with system problems, expended the same load manually. The Vietnamese were caught flat-footed, and responded with AAA only after the Intruders had turned for home. 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’.

AUTHOR’S NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS After writing an almost 300-page and five-pound operational history of the Intruder more than a decade ago, I found trying to keep this work within its required word count to be quite an effort, although certainly a challenge. Brevity has required me to relate only one mission in detail per chapter, each of which, I hope, captures the unique abilities of the Intruder and its crewmen. Although combat in Southeast Asia actually spanned several decades, I’ve chosen to focus this work from the Gulf of Tonkin incident through Operation End Sweep (2 August 1964 to 27 July 1973).

Over the next five years the US Navy would retire its Skyraider attack force, with ten of these squadrons re-equipping with the new Intruder. By the end of the war the service would have 12 A-6 units. All but two of these, both Virginia-based, would participate in combat in Southeast Asia. During the same period the Marine Corps transitioned six attack (VMA) squadrons from Skyhawks to Intruders, being re-designated as Marine All Weather Attack (VMA(AW)) in the process. Four of these would serve in Vietnam, allowing the service to perform both ‘all weather’ close air support (CAS) for the ‘grunts in the field’ and deep strike missions throughout Indochina.

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