• Short Summary

    IN FREQUENT RAIDS AGAINST THE VIETCONG IN THE HIGHLAND OF SOUTH VIETNAM THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE USES BOTH LIGHT SPOTTER AIRCRAFT, AND THE PROPELLER-DRIVEN SKYRAIDER BOMBERS, WHICH MANY AMERICAN PILOTS FEEL ARE MORE SUITED TO VIETNAMESE CONDITIONS THAN THE MODERN, FAST JET BOMBERS.

  • Description

    IN FREQUENT RAIDS AGAINST THE VIETCONG IN THE HIGHLAND OF SOUTH VIETNAM THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE USES BOTH LIGHT SPOTTER AIRCRAFT, AND THE PROPELLER-DRIVEN SKYRAIDER BOMBERS, WHICH MANY AMERICAN PILOTS FEEL ARE MORE SUITED TO VIETNAMESE CONDITIONS THAN THE MODERN, FAST JET BOMBERS.

    THE SPOTTER PLANES BELONG TO THE FAC (FORWARD AIR CONTROL). IN VIETNAM THE UNITED STATES USE CESSNA L.19 AIRCRAFT - A SMALL SINGLE ENGINED AIRCRAFT WELL-KNOWN TO AERO-CLUB MEMBERS THE WORLD OVER. THEY CAN CRUISE AT ABOUT 90 MILES (145 KMS) AN HOUR. THEIR TASK IS TO SEEK OUT VIETCONG POSITIONS AND THEN TO MARK THEM FOR THE SKYRAIDER PILOTS. ONE OF THE FAC PILOTS, CAPTAIN GOLDEN OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, DESCRIBED HOW HE WENT ABOUT SEEKING OUT VIETCONG HIDEOUTS.

    AMERICAN AIRMEN ON DUTY IN VIETNAM LOOK WITH RESPECT ON THE MEN WHO FLY IN THE FAC. THE SMALL PLANES ARE PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TO ATTACK AS THEY SWOOP LOW OVER THE FOREST. OFFICIALS EXPLAIN THAT THE LIFE OF THE PILOT DEPENDS ON THE REACTION OF THE VIETCONG. IF THE VEITCONG ARE SURE THAT THE SPOTTER PLANE HAS SIGHTED THEM THEY CAN OPEN UP WITH 50-CALIBRE MACHINE GUNS - A FORMIDABLE WEAPON AGAINST ANY AIRCRAFT. THE PILOTS TRY TO LULL THE VIETCONG INTO A SENSE OF FALSE SECURITY BY NOT ACTING UNTIL THEY ARE QUITE CERTAIN THEY HAVE LOCATED THE TARGET. THEN THEY DIVE DIRECTLY AT IT AND FIRE SMOKE ROCKETS INTO THE JUNGLE TO MARK THE POSITION.

    THAT DONE, THE SPOTTER AIR CRAFT GET OUT OF RANGE AND LEAVE THE REST OF THE WORK TO THE HEAVILY-ARMED SKYRAIDERS. THEY USUALLY DIVE BOMB THE TARGET, RELEASING THE BOMBS AFTER A LONG CLEAN DIVE, AND THEN PULLING OUT IN THE LAST MOMENT EACH OF THE SKYRAIDERS CAN CARRY FIFTEEN BOMBS ON ONE-FLIGHT - AND THESE USUALLY RANGE FROM 100 TO 2,000 ROUND WEAPONS.

    SKYRAIDERS AND FAC PILOTS WORK CLOSELY TOGETHER ON THEIR MANY MISSIONS. EACH HAS DEEP RESPECT FOR THE OTHER - AND MUCH DEPENDS ON A HIGH DEGREE OF TEAMWORK. AMERICAN OFFICIALS IN SOUTH VIETNAM BELIEVE THAT FAC/SKYRAIDER MISSIONS ARE DOING MUCH TO LOOSEN THE GRIP OF THE VIETCONG ON THE COUNTRY AND MAKING EVEN THEIR TRADITIONAL SANCTUARIES RISKY, AND SOMETIMES UNTENABLE.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA2Z2AXJPMOE2UCMXVLHKVI3VSD
    Media URN:
    VLVA2Z2AXJPMOE2UCMXVLHKVI3VSD
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    08/04/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:58:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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