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#2119615 - 01/22/07 09:19 AM YANKEE AIR PIRATE 19 - Sitting Ducks at Kep  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 231
Simon Read Offline
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Simon Read  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 231
Australia
YANKEE AIR PIRATE 19 - 670424 Sitting Ducks at Kep

YANKEE AIR PIRATE - AAR

"The Mig bases were off-limits at the beginning of 'Rolling Thunder'. Amazing to think about that now, isn't it? Finally, the Navy was allowed to hit them where they lived while the Air Force hit Hao Lac and Bac Mai. Gia Lam in downtown Hanoi was still off-limits for a while longer...."
Excerpt from Yankee Air Pirate briefing material.


670424 Sitting Ducks at Kep (VA-144)
Weather: - Broken Clouds 12000 Ft VIS 30 Nm
TOT: - 0700
Aircraft: - (2) A-4E Skyhawks
Flight Time: - 35 Minutes

We launch from the Kitty Hawk just after dawn. Our strike package comprising three two-ship flights; Tuna (A-4E) for the strike, Tomahawk (A-4E) flying flak suppression, and Oyster (A-6A) assigned to crater the runway.

Forming up with Lead for ingress we fly north in close formation. Even when fully loaded for bear the benign handling of the 'Scooter' makes close formation flight an easy task. Going feet-dry we widen the separation, lighting up the radar and 'greening up' the Mk-82s, checking 'ripple', 'interval' and climbing to attack altitude. Below us the Intruders descend even lower as they cross the coast, their blunt noses seemingly brushing aside the greenery as they rush in for their date with destiny. Up ahead the Tomahawks are already stirring up trouble, SAM calls are coming in.

Close to the coast, Kien An Airfield is not our target. Surprised by our appearance, they put up little flak as we race overhead. The built-up area of Hai Duong is the next obstacle on our flight-path and I keep a wary eye on that viper's nest as we approach.

A couple more SAMs pop up as we roar over Hai Duong and my head is on a swivel as I watch them track away from our flight, then the heavy flak starts up. As the orange clouds of death explode around us I make a mental note not to come back this way. Lead is up ahead though and I stick with him as we arrive over Kep some minutes later.

Almost immediately an A-6 goes down, the Intruders have run into a wall of flak. I drop the tank and wait for Lead to choose his target; I don't want to waste ordnance running in on the same target or follow him around in this hot zone. So when Lead takes the revetments at one end of the runway, I take the other end, it's logical.

It is at this point that experience and practice allow that marvelous computer between your ears to work the solutions in the couple of seconds it takes to traverse the short distance and roll in. Tracking the parked aircraft revetments and noting the artillery protecting them, I roll in off to one side and late, turning back so tightly the scooter is briefly inverted before rolling upright and pickling a set of 82s over the parked Migs. My A-4E spirals skywards again with the flak chasing like angry fireflies.

I had planned on making two or three passes, if flak allowed, but in this mess that is looking unlikely. I roll in again from the opposite direction, clearly the focus of intense interest from the flak batteries close to each of the revetments. I have the smoke of the previous strike to guide me in now.

What happens next is so fast that time seems compressed. What I at first took to be Lead is in fact a Mig-17, low and slow. I literally fall upon it with a split-second for the snap shot, emptying the 20mm's and cutting its tail right off, looping around as it falls to earth and explodes, (my first YAP Air-kill).

Taking some glancing hits now I convert the kinetic energy of the dive back into a yoyo, twisting away from the gunners and rolling back in at Runway 36. I pickle the last Mk-82s, which strike the end of the runway, and climb out as my ground-based nemesis blasts away. I have taken hits, Lead is gone, Tomahawk has bugged out, and the single surviving Intruder has also left the scene. My twisting, swooping flight-path has become the sole focus of the enemy gunners, time to get out.

"In the endless variety of the WoV sim this flight, based as always on a true account, will play out in different ways. The real Navy pilots got ten Migs that day. I shall have an opportunity to do it again, many times. This is another Yankee Air Pirate mission worth re-visiting!"

On egress the scooter becomes a grass-cutter and we skim out towards the coastline, avoiding the built-up areas (and their big guns), the paddy fields and trees flash by. Going feet-wet we level out, cool things down and contact the other flights on the way back to the boat. Despite the damage, the recovery is fine. Am I actually getting used to this?

"The new objects these guys at YAP give us always have a big 'wow-factor'. This time, a tour of the mission with the F7 key led to some jaw-dropping discoveries! The airfield at Kep is a masterpiece."

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#2120094 - 01/22/07 10:57 PM Re: YANKEE AIR PIRATE 19 - Sitting Ducks at Kep [Re: Simon Read]  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 942
8 L.E.I.N. Offline
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8 L.E.I.N.  Offline
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Posts: 942
Detroit, Michigan USA
Nice job Simon. That ZPU is a cheeky bugger isn't he?

#2120326 - 01/23/07 06:15 AM Re: YANKEE AIR PIRATE 19 - Sitting Ducks at Kep [Re: 8 L.E.I.N.]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 231
Simon Read Offline
Member
Simon Read  Offline
Member

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 231
Australia
Thanks mate! Beautiful modelling.

Before I started flying YAP missions I would not have consideed that environment survivable. Steep learning curve!


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