03 September 2008

Attack Pilots Make History

This is an A-4 Skyhawk.

The Skyhawk is a single-seat single-engined carrier based light attack aircraft. The US Navy flew the Skyhawk from the decks of it's aircraft carriers from 1956 to 1975.

Two of the many squadrons that flew the A-4 Skyhawk were the Sunliners (WHO said Sunliners!) of VA-81 and the Saints of VA-163.

The Sunliners flew the aircraft from the decks of USS Forrestal (CVA-59) from 1964 to 1967.

The Saints flew the aircraft from the decks of USS Oriskany (CV-34) from 1962 to 1968.

John McCain flew the aircraft with VA-81 until the Forrestal fire in 1967 sent that ship home. At that time he requested, and received, a transfer to VA-163 onboard Oriskany.

On October 26, 1967 A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 149959 AH 300 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) during a combat mission over North Vietnam. The pilot, Lieutenant Commander John S. McCain III, successfully ejected and was made Prisoner of War.*

John McCain was NOT ... repeat NOT!!!! a FIGHTER PILOT!

He was an ATTACK PILOT!!!!!!!!

No slack in Light Attack.

*Citation from the VA-163 command history found at skyhawk.org

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