|F-102 Delta Daggers of the 509th FIS over SE Asia|
"What the Hell is this?"
Seriously though, Dave is a fellow Lexican (and friend) who is also an old member of the finest fighter wing to ever grace the skies over this planet. (Sit down you Navy pukes and quit clapping.) Yes, ladies and gentlemen, mesdames et monsieurs, 'tis the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing of which I speak. the "real" Wolf Pack. (I think they go by "8th Fighter Wing" these days.) He also has a blog which he hasn't updated in a while. Perhaps we can convince him to resume that activity. It's here.
Yeah, yeah. Your Mileage May Vary.
Dave, welcome aboard. Thy number is 41. Not 40, not 42. Forty-one.
Standard FNG rules apply.
Now what's up with the title of this post and those lovely cammoed up 102s in the lead in photo? Well, if you look at Dave's avatar, that's an F-102. While searching for an appropriate photo to welcome Dave aboard, I discovered that the F-102 (which I previously thought only served on air defense duties in the US) also saw combat in Vietnam.
Seems that the 509th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), well let's let Wikipedia tell the story...
The F-102 served in Vietnam, flying fighter patrols and serving as bomber escorts. A total of 14 aircraft were lost in Vietnam: one to air-to-air combat, several to ground fire and the remainder to accidents.Huh, imagine that...
Initially, F-102 detachments began to be sent to bases in Southeast Asia in 1962, when radar contacts that were detected by ground radars were thought to possibly be North Vietnamese Il-28 "Beagle" bombers, which were considered a very credible threat during that time period. F-102s were sent to Thailand and other nearby countries to intercept these aircraft if they threatened South Vietnam at any time.
Later on, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strikes, codenamed "Arc Light", were escorted by F-102s based in the theater. It was during one of these missions that an F-102 was shot down by a North Vietnamese Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 using an AA-2 Atoll heat-seeking missile. The MiGs approached undetected, and one of the F-102s was hit by an air-to-air missile, which did not explode immediately, but remained lodged in the aft end of the aircraft, causing stability problems. As the pilot reported the problem to his wingman, the wingman observed the damaged Delta Dagger explode in midair, killing the pilot. This was the only air-to-air loss for the F-102 during the Vietnam War. The other F-102 pilot fired AIM-4 missiles at the departing MiG-21s, but no hit was recorded.
The F-102 was tried with limited success for several years in the air-to-ground role, although neither the aircraft nor training were designed for the role. The 509th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron's Deuces arrived at Da Nang Air Base, 4 August 1964 from Clark Air Base, Philippines. The interceptor was equipped with 24 2.75 in (70 mm) FFARs in the fuselage bay doors. These could be used to good effect against various types of North Vietnamese targets in daylight. At night it was less dangerous to use heat-seeking Falcon missiles in conjunction with the F-102's nose-mounted IRST (Infrared Search & Track) on nighttime harassment raids along the Ho Chi Minh trail.
FWIW, Dubya flew the 102 during his National Guard service. (Hey, I like the guy!)
Let's hear it for Dave!