U. S. Air Force AC-119 Stinger and Shadow gunships daily fly night interdiction missions over?
Crew to aircraft, boarding, and take-off
Night sequence of AC-119 in flight crew at work
Night observation device sequence showing operator tracking truck on road, guns firing and hitting truck, another truck being hit and exploding.
AC-119 in flight at night (air-to-air)
Runway lights as AC-119 approaches for night landing.
The preceding film sequences were made in early 1969 in Southeast Asia and are representative of a typical mission.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: U. S. Air Force AC-119 Stinger and Shadow gunships daily fly night interdiction missions over the North Vietnamese main supply artery, the Ho Chi Minh trail, with stretches from North Vietnam, through Laos, to Cambodia into South Vietnam.
The AC-119's, along with AC-130 gunships and U. S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps aircraft, as well as Army helicopters, daily locate, attack, and destroy heavily laden supply trucks as they move down the trail to supply North Vietnamese and Viet Cong units operating against the Republic of Vietnam and Cambodian government forces.
Using 20 millimetre rapid firing cannons and four 7.62 millimetre miniguns, the AC-119's can achieve a rate of fire up to 6,000 rounds per minute.
The dark of night does not hale their operations since they are equipped with flare launchers, illuminators, and a variety of sensors and electronic equipment.
Once the truck traffic enters the northern end of the trial and begins winding southward to supply the Communist aggressor forces, they are constantly vulnerable to attacks from these gunships and other tactical aircraft.
During a recent 15-day period, at the height of the dry season, the gunships, along with Air Force B-52 and tactical airpower accounted for over 1,600 of the enemy's trucks destroyed or damaged.