20 Cold War-Era Warplanes of the U.S. Air Force

A-7 Corsair II

During the Vietnam War, the Army convinced the Air Force to field an aircraft better suited for the close air support role than the propeller-driven A-1 Skyraider. The Air Force chose LTV’s A-7 Corsair II, a scaled-down version of the F-8 Crusader, which had already proven itself in the light attack role for the Navy. The Air Force added the beefed-up Allison TF41-A-1 turbofan engine, as well as an M61A1 20mm minigun and advanced avionics. Out of nearly 13,000 sorties, just six Air Force A-7s were downed during Vietnam. An impressive feat since “SLUF” (an acronym for “Short Little Ugly █████ “) drivers dropped more ordnance on Hanoi than every plane but the B-52 — a/k/a “BUFF” (Big Ugly Fat ██████ ). Incidentally, the killshot to the Thanh Hoa Bridge mentioned earlier was delivered by Navy A-7s.

Author: Chris Carter

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