Shadow and Stinger
Developing the AC-119G/K Gunships in the Vietnam War
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Texas A&M University Press
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In the summer of 1999, as our office progressed with the reorganization of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC)/Robins Air Force Base (RAFB) Archives, I came across numerous documents and several unpublished studies focused on the U.S. involvement in the...
Introduction: Necessity Is the Mother of Invention
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In the early 1960s, the United States was drawn ever deeper into the Southeast Asian conflict, also known as the Second Indochina War but more popularly referred to as the Vietnam War. Air force leadership soon realized that the frontline Cold War force of high-flying...
1. Developing the Fixed-Wing Gunship
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The only way to understand the reason gunships played such an important role in the U.S. war in Indochina is to look into both the background of the air war and the history of the gunship. At the time it entered the Vietnam War, the U.S. Air Force...
2. Project Combat Hornet
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For m ore than sixty years the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center located at Robins AFB, nestled in the pine woods just west of the Ocmulgee River, south of Macon and north of Perry, Georgia, has been the primary cargo and transport aircraft...
3. Inching Forward through Hoops of Fire
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Even though on 8 June 1967, the secretary of the U.S. Air Force approved the Air Staff’s recommendation to replace the A C-47 aircraft with, at first, A C-119Gs and later both G models and K models, the WRAMA workforce experienced a number of...
4. Finding the Funds and Modifying the Contracts
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It is necessary to understand several specific facets of the gunship program at Warner Robins in order to have a complete picture of the process. Examining the details of the program’s financial procedures and contract modifications in this chapter, as well...
5. Logistics Support for the AC-119G/K Gunships
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To fully understand the nuances of the production program, we must examine the complete story of the various aspects of the project. Having recounted the financial and contractual aspects of the program in the preceding chapter, this chapter focuses on the events surrounding the logistics support provided for...
6. The Smoke-Evacuation System and FLIRS
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This chapter continues the examination of the A C-119 reconfiguration program by discussing two key high-technology subsystems of the modified aircraft that were added to enhance combat performance, navigation, and targeting. These...
7. Modification Program Revisions
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If we view the A C-119 reconfiguration project as a total package, the most significant revisions made during the production of the gunships were undoubtedly those related to aircraft performance and weight reduction. Although the modification requirements...
8. Technical Modifications
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While the previous topical chapters have dealt with the most significant subsystem issues that arose during Combat Hornet, many other less visible, yet equally important, situations also cropped up. One of those affecting the AC-119K proved to be the delivery of all of the aerospace ground equipment items. Even as the general modification...
9. Fulfilling the Contract and Deploying the Fleet
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On 23 April 1968, as the Tet Offensive was sputtering to a conclusion, Air Force Logistics Command officials formally assigned item management responsibility to WRAMA for the A C-119’s major component systems.1 Concurrently, Fairchild-Hiller’s management continued the development...
10. U.S. Air Power in Vietnam
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To understand the his tory of the A C-119s, one must grasp the overall tenor of the air war at the time they arrived. To this end, this chapter examines the major U.S. air operations from late 1968 to late 1972, the years during which the A C-119s were...
11. AC-119 Units and Combat Operations in Vietnam
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For two years before the A C-47 flew its final USAF mission in December 1969, USAF leaders were looking for a replacement. For all intents and purposes, by the spring of 1967, the choice had been narrowed to the C-119 and the C-130. Although the...
Conclusion: “Country Roads, Take Me Home”
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Most readers are likely familiar with the popular song by the late John Denver, referenced in the title. It was one of the fighter pilots’ favorite songs during the Vietnam War. It was equally appropriate for the A C-119 crews. When...
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Page Count: 352
Illustrations: 19 b&w photos.
Publication Year: 2007
Series Title: Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series