These stories reminded me of one that my dad told me. He was leading a flight of F-4s that were tasked with laying chaff behind a flight of Wild Weasels. One was off his nose low right and he saw a SAM explode right in front of the Thud. He described a massive explosion of fire and smoke that the Thud flew through, then emerged on the other side trailing fluids and making a slow turn to the right out of the strike package. He watched it just for a few seconds, but was sure that dude wasn’t going to make it home. He was happy to find out later that the Thud had limped to Da Nang, where the crew was being debriefed at the O club.
Loved Hunter Killers! It was fascinating reading about the roots and evolution of the Weasels, their equipment, and their tactics. Mad respect for the first groups of Weasels that literally had to make it up as they went, and only had unguided weapons and their wits to take on the enemy.
If your still in a Wild Weasel mood after you finish Hunter Killers I would highly recommend Magnum! It’s about F-4Gs in Desert Storm, and if you can get past the early parts of the book where there’s lots of whining about sharing a base with the USMC, it’s quite good and you get to see how things have evolved post Vietnam.
Also this presentation sent me down a Vietnam rabbit hole where I read about the dude who may have actually been Rambo. I don’t think he inspired the movie, but was certainly a badass.
“Bull came out of nowhere, he was shirtless with a cigar in his mouth, he had a machine gun in one hand and a knife in the other. He singlehandedly dispatched all the enemy combatants in the camp. When he ran out of ammunition Bull began using his knife, I have never seen someone so quick and deadly with a knife.”
He may be a legend in the Army SF community (sounds like he should be), but I had never heard of him. That’s an AAR from Operation Ivory Coast.