By Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier
Designed within the years following the Korean struggle after which synthetic for over 30 years beginning in 1960, the A-6 speedy turned the main able assault plane within the US Navy's good. the 1st squadron, VA-75, made its preliminary deployment at once into wrestle in south-east Asia in 1965, and, over the following 8 years, ten US military and 4 Marine Intruder squadrons could behavior wrestle operations all through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. After preliminary difficulties and a excessive loss cost, the sort proved itself past all doubt because the Naval prone' top evening and foul-weather platform, rather 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 price was once excessive as sixty nine Intruders have been misplaced in strive against to all factors throughout the struggle. This paintings tells the total tale of those plane in wrestle through the Vietnam battle.
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Extra info for A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War
The XO, Cdr Ed Bauer, immediately fleeted up to CO and the next senior man, Cdr Bob Blackwood, announced to the ready room that he was now the second in command, and would assume the position of Executive Officer. The problem was that Blackwood was an NFO, and at that time NFOs were not eligible for command, and therefore the top two spots in a squadron. That did not stop him, however, and with his strength of personality Blackwood carried it off, even if his position was described as ‘not quite legal’ at the time.
The ‘Main Battery’, as they called themselves (and also answering to their tactical call-sign, ‘Milestone’), were the first Pacific Fleet squadron to fly the A-6. They had already made two combat deployments in A-1s before beginning their transition to the A-6 at Oceana with VA-42 in May 1966 and finally moving to their new homeport at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, on 15 October. NAS Whidbey Island was originally established during World War 2 as an auxiliary field to NAS Seattle, and from the mid-1950s it had housed a number of patrol squadrons flying P2V Neptunes and P5M Marlins.
Working under flares, the CO’s aircraft hit the water at some point and both crew were killed. It would prove to be the final Intruder loss on the type’s first deployment. Following what one squadron member described as an ‘uneventful’ final line period, ‘Indy’ departed the waters off Vietnam for its long trip home on 21 November 1965, the vessel’s spot on the line being taken by the San Diego-based USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). The ‘Hawk’s’ CVW-11 brought with it the second Intruder unit to deploy, the ‘Black Falcons’ of VA-85.
A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War by Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier