|By Carmelo Turdo|
U.S. Air Force Sgt. Wade Dunn, Gunner on AC-119G Shadow
U.S. Air Force CMSgt Ron Gilbert, Gunner and career NCO
U.S. Air Force Captain Ralph LeFarth, Pilot, AC-119G Shadow
|Dr. Larry Fletcher poses with his books and sample gunship ammunition|
Dr. Fletcher spoke about the two models of AC-119s used during the Vietnam War period, all aircraft eventually given to the Republic of Vietnam Air Force to replace the AC-47 Spooky gunships already in use. The AC-119G Shadow carried 8 crew and 4 7.62mm miniguns for anti-personnel operations in defense of friendly bases and in support of friendly troops. The AC-119K Stinger added 2 more crew and two 20mm cannon to the four miniguns for greater anti-armor firepower. It also added a Forward-Looking Infra-Red sensor and 2 J85 jets for added performance. The weapons pointed out of the left side of the aircraft, and the pilot had to keep a left bank angle of about 30 degrees to lay down a cone of fire on the target. Most missions were flown at night, with the "gunners" keeping the weapons operating and the pilot sighting and firing the guns from the cockpit.
|AC-119G Shadow gunship with Lt. Larry Fletcher in photo|
|Dr. Larry Fletcher points out the weapons on the AC-119G|
|Sgt. Wade Dunn|
|CMSgt. Ron Gilbert|
|Captain Ralph LeFarth|
|Wade Dunn, Ron Gilbert, Larry Fletcher, Ralph LeFarth, |
Dan O'Hara, and Everett Sprous
|Gifts presented to the MO Aviation Historical Society|
The MO Aviation Historical Society would like to thank the members of the AC-119 Gunship Association for speaking at the November meeting in St. Louis. Their story is inspiring, and their service honorable. For more information about the AC-119 Gunship Association, please visit http://www.ac-119gunships.com/.