Shadow and Stinger: Developing the AC-119G/K Gunships in the Vietnam War

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Texas A&M University Press, 2007 - History - 340 pages
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Nicknamed “the truck killer,” the AC-119K gunship and its counterpart, the AC-119G, were developed in the late 1960s in response to the needs of the U.S. military in Vietnam. This important book examines the evolution of these aircraft and their role within Vietnam, military policy, and geopolitical realities.

Drawing on unpublished studies and a host of primary materials, William Head discusses the events that led to the birth of the AC-119, the planning and modification processes that followed, and its operational history. The G model, or “Shadow,” focused on air support and anti-personnel missions. “Stinger,” the K model, which could carry more cargo for longer distances, was suited for destruction of enemy vehicles.

Though the AC-119 was only an interim asset, its descendants—the AC-130E, H, and U—have played an active role in the recent conflict in Iraq.

A narrative of the crews and pilots who executed the missions and the engineers, designers, and the politicians responsible for the aircraft, Shadow and Stinger will be of interest to Vietnam veterans, historians, and scholars, as well as aviation enthusiasts.

  

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Contents

Developing the FixedWing Gunship
9
Project Combat Hornet
32
Inching Forward through Hoops of Fire
51
Finding the Funds and Modifying the Contracts
76
Logistics Support for the ACH9GK Gunships
97
The SmokeEvacuation System and FURS
114
Modification Program Revisions
128
Technical Modifications
143
US Air Power in Vietnam A Summary of Operations Commando Hunt and Linebacker
185
AC119 Units and Combat Operations in Vietnam
213
Country Roads Take Me Home
240
Glossary
255
Notes
263
Bibliography
297
INDEX
321
Copyright

Fulfilling the Contract and Deploying the Fleet
166

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About the author (2007)

WILLIAM HEAD is chief of the Air Logistics Center Office of History at Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. He is the author of several books on air power. His Ph.D. is from Florida State University.

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