A mysterious cargo ship loaded United States bombs, jet fighters and Sherman tanks at Norfolk Virginia, and was preparing to sail on Tuesday (October 16).
A mysterious cargo ship loaded United States bombs, jet fighters and Sherman tanks at Norfolk Virginia, and was preparing to sail on Tuesday (October 16). The ship is believed to be the Aben Dat -- an Israeli boat -- but it docket without flying its national flag. The U.S. Navy barred reporters from the dock area of the naval base where the ship was, and Navy officials refused to admit to her presence. Three Skyhawk jets were however visible on the freighter's decks, and witnesses said they had seen four holds packed with 250 1b and 500 1b bombs. The aircraft had no markings.
The freighter arrived at Norfolk before the U.S. announced its plan to re-supply the Israelis with weapons lost in the Middle East war. U.S. government spokesmen have stressed that the new arms deliveries are to offset airlifts of Soviet weapons to Egypt and Syria.
The Israelis are using Phantoms and Skyhawk fighter bombers against the Arabs. Both have been hit hard by Russian-built surface-to-air missiles. About 100 Israeli jet fighters and attack aircraft are estimated to have been destroyed since the fighting began, including 50 Skyhawks and 20 Phantoms.
The Skyhawks are designed to operate from short landing fields with a quick turnaround. Along with the Phantoms, they replaced the French Mysteres and Mirages which comprised most of the Israeli Air force before the 1967 war.
In 1970, the Israelis permitted filming at a base in Israel where Skyhawks were stationed.