Shadow and Stinger: Developing the AC-119G/K Gunships in the Vietnam War
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Drawing on unpublished studies and a host of primary materials, William Head discusses the events that led to the birth of the AC-119, the planning and modification processes that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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Developing the FixedWing Gunship
Project Combat Hornet
Inching Forward through Hoops of Fire
Finding the Funds and Modifying the Contracts
Logistics Support for the ACH9GK Gunships
The SmokeEvacuation System and FURS
Modification Program Revisions
Fulfilling the Contract and Deploying the Fleet
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68 hereafter AC-119 Gunship AC-119 program Aerial Interdiction AFLC AFLC/CC AFLC/MCM Air Command air power Air Staff airframe attack Ballard bombing Combat Hornet Commando Hunt VII Communist components contractor cost CSAF to CINCPACAF Defense deployed deployment enemy engines equipment Fairchild Fairchild-Hiller fire-control system Fixed-wing Gunships flare flew flight FLIRS G models Gunship Force Gunship Program Ibid initial installation K models Laos letter contract Linebacker Logistics Command logistics support Maltais Memo Message miniguns mission modification Nixon North numbers PACAF Pacific Air Forces personnel Petrie Photo courtesy pounds procurement production prototype radar reconfiguration schedule Secretary sensors side-firing smoke-evacuation system sorties South Vietnam Southeast Asia Special Operations Squadron Stinger supply Tactical targets Tet Offensive Tilford Jr troops trucks U.S. Air Force USAF Vietnamese Warner Robins weapon system weight reduction wing WRAMA WRN