AC-119 Gunships of the Vietnam War

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UPDATED: 28 Dec 04

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AC-119 on the East ramp at Cam Ranh Bay


 

AC-119K "Stinger" Gunship

The "K" model of the AC-119 gunship was modified from the "G" with the addition of two J-85 jet engines and two 20mm gatling guns, complementing the four 7.62 minis.  It was named"Stinger"
 
In addition to the armament, and some radar equipment, the old four-bladed Aeroproduct propellers were replaced with the Hamilton Standard three-bladed props.  The reason was for safety and reliability.  No Stinger with the three-bladed propeller was ever lost due to propeller failure.
 
The "K" model was the final version of the AC-119 gunship.  They were turned over to the Vietnamese in l973. 
 
The last USAF AC-119 gunship unit was the 18th Special Operations Squadron.  During "Vietnamization", about 40 USAF crewmembers were selected to train the VNAF on the Stinger gunship.  The program was named "Project Enhance Plus".  Training was abruptly ended in March 1973 and the USAF training crews were, for the most part, returned to the States.
 
Lee Kyser 

This is a photo of a USAF instructor flight crew and VNAF students just prior to the first training flight during Project Enhance Plus. (part of Vietnamization)  18 Dec 72.  The aircraft is an AC-119K "Stinger" gunship, S/N 53-7831.
 
The USAF crew, from left to right, are Maj Bob Krueger (AC and Operations Officer), the instructor gunner (name unknown), SSgt Bill Isham (Illuminator Operator), and MSgt Lee Kyser (Flight Engineer and Detachment NCOIC)
 
The VNAF are Maj Nuoi Hoang (Pilot and VNAF Commander), Capt Son Nguyen (Copilot and VNAF Operations Officer), MSgt Dinh Nguyen (Illuminator Operator), and MSgt Tuan (Flight Engineer).
 
Submitted by: Lee Kyser  


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AC-47 GUNSHIP I/ Call Sign - Spooky/Puff
AC-119/G/K GUNSHIP III/ Call Sign - " Shadow" /K's were "Stinger"
17th SOS  
18th SOS  
20th SOS  
AC-130 GUNSHIP II/ Call Sign - Spectre 

Looking forward to hearing from members of Gunship Units.


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