The story begins this way. On April 24, 1968, the United States Navy aircraft carrier Constellation sailed out of Subic Bay, an American naval base located in the Republic of the Philippines. A few days later, the Constellation arrived off the coast of North Vietnam at a point in the Gulf of Tonkin identified by U. S. military planners as Yankee Station. Beginning on the first day of May, U. S. Navy strike teams began bombing raids against the North Vietnamese port of Haiphong, mostly flying Grumman A-6 Intruder bombers protected by F4 Phantom fighter-bombers The F4s were built by McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis, Missouri. They were regarded as the most capable and formidable aircraft of their kind throughout the Vietnam War. An F4 could carry an ordnance payload of 18,000 pounds, and was capable of flying 1,473 miles per hour, or about twice the speed of sound. The flight crew of a Phantom consisted of two officers: the pilot, who was the flight commander, and a flight officer, who was responsible for navigation, communications and target acquisition—in other words, weapons. On May 4, 1968, the Constellation launched a strike team which consisted of sixteen Intruders protected by eight F4s which served as flak suppressors, and another eight F4s whose task was MIG-CAPs, or combat air patrol to ward off counterattacks from Russian-built MIG fighters flown by North Vietnamese pilots.
My Newest Release is Conner's War
Updated: Jun 7, 2022