700320 The Rescue of Wolf 06 Part Three

YANKEE AIR PIRATE - AAR

555th TFS
Wolfpack - (2) F-4D Phantom II
TOT: - 0900
Flight Time: - 50 Minutes

We leave Ubon RTAFB in formation, the 'Illuminator' aircraft leading the flight up-country. We ingress quickly, flying close together on full military power, arriving at the Mu Gia Pass in twenty-five minutes and cleared to go in for our priority targets ahead of anyone else. The dug-in guns are giving everyone a headache, some areas of the pass are very difficult to reach with conventional munitions.

I see a flight of Sandys is over the zone, giving all the support they can, but we are specialists with one job in mind. Checking again that we are set up for single release, I let the drop-tanks go and pop the speed-brakes as we deliberately lag further from Wolfpack Lead.

"I recommend some range time with the Paveways; they must be deployed within the correct parameters. Crucially, it is important to slow down and avoid over-shooting the target or losing the lock."

We are now slow over the first gun, flying a smooth deliberate approach curve. The lead (illuminator) aircraft is 'painting' the target as I release a single bomb, maintaining a tight lock as the weapon silently glides towards its target. The cockpit monitor looses the picture as the weapon strikes. Quickly we set up for the second drop, locate and lock on to the next target, pickle!

That's it, one pass and two clean drops, time to clear out and let the other aircraft stacked in the pattern have a crack at the enemy. So far our guys down there are still in radio contact and there is plenty of air support on hand.

We head back to Ubon, flying a trouble-free egress and recovery.

"This is another classic YAP mission where preparation and practice not only pay off handsomely, they are essential. Failure is not an option!"