The F-8 Crusader, flown by US Navy and Marine Corps squadrons in SE Asia, was a tough work horse and a plane that most pilots loved to fly. MiG fighter pilots would rather take on F-4's than F-8's. In this 112 page book, read about each of the squadrons of F-8's: the carriers they flew from, the dates, the missions. Many exciting photos. Many thrilling personal accounts of the F-8 in action. As one pilot put it, "(The F-8) was definitely one of the highs of my life to fly... It was my super sports car, my raging stallion, and I loved to fly it to the edge and make it dance for me." A great book for the history buff, for the person fascinated with high performance aircraft, and also for the modeler looking for all the details on the real thing.
Known to its pilots as the 'last of the gunfighters' due to its quartet of Colt-Browning Mk 12 20 mm cannon [its great naval rival, the F-4 Phantom II, was armed exclusively with missiles], the F-8 Crusader was numerically the most populous fighter in the US Navy at the start of America's involvement in the Vietnam conflict in 1964 - some 482 F-8C/D/Es equipped 17 frontline units. It enjoyed great success against North Vietnamese Mig-17s and Mig-21s during the Rolling Thunder campaign of 1965-68, officially downing 18 jets, which represented 53 per cent of all Mig claims lodged by Navy squadrons during this period. The Crusader also became a 'bomb truck' in war, with both ship-based US Navy units and land-based USMC sqaudrons pounding communist forces in both North and South Vietnam. A number of notable F-8 pilots have been interviewed specially for this book, which includes colour profiles for 16 of the 18 'MiG killers'.
This volume is the first of two in the Combat Aircraft series devoted to the Crusader, the second title [again by Peter Mersky] covering the RF-8 reconnaissance variants, and their hazardous missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and the Vietnem War.
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