By Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier
Designed within the years following the Korean warfare after which synthetic for over 30 years beginning in 1960, the A-6 quick turned the main able assault plane within the US Navy's reliable. 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 army and 4 Marine Intruder squadrons may behavior strive against operations all through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. After preliminary difficulties and a excessive loss price, the sort proved itself past all doubt because the Naval providers' most sensible evening and foul-weather platform, relatively through 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 used to be excessive as sixty nine Intruders have been misplaced in strive against to all motives in the course of the struggle. This paintings tells the total tale of those airplane in strive against through the Vietnam warfare.
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Extra info for A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War
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.
While the A3D-equipped ‘Heavies’ proudly carried the officially recognised VAH designation, the medium and light Atkrons (attack squadrons) shared the VA title, with the terms ‘VAM’ and ‘VAL’ becoming informal ways to differentiate their roles – the US Navy did eventually formalise the ‘Light Attack’ designation as VAL for a single OV-10 Bronco unit that would serve in Vietnam. For the next 30 years these two groups were very much separate and distinct communities located at different bases with vastly different personalities.
The ‘Light Attack’ guys flew in single-seat, single-engined aircraft, while being ‘Medium Attack’ meant two-seat, twin-engined ‘All-Weather’ strikers, with a ‘mission-specialist’ Naval Flight Officer (NFO) being equal to the pilot – something more than a few ‘Single Anchor’ VAL pilots had trouble accepting. The original Intruder design, the Grumman A2F-1, was still recognisable as the flying tadpole’ of later years. This is airframe No 4, BuNo 147867, in an early publicity shot. The aircraft carries a maximum bomb load of 30 Mk 82 500-lb bombs, which would soon be reduced to 28.
A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War by Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier