The F-8 Crusader was the last of the Gunfighters. It's been affectionately referred to by those who flew her as "The MiG Master." The F-8 Crusader was the last U.S. fighter designed with guns as its primary weapon. U. S. fighter aircraft have been fitted with guns since the 1970s, largely due to the Vietnam air war experience. Missile-only aircraft like the original F-4 Phantom were at a distinct disadvantage in the environment many thought passé --- the dogfight. The Crusader with its guns, and Crusader drivers well versed in dogfighting, led to a resurgence in gun-equipped aircraft, and a renewed emphasis in ACM -- Air Combat Maneuvering.
The F-8 enjoyed the highest kill ratio of any fighter engaged in the Vietnam airwar.
Other models had more kills, primarily due to numbers. Crusaders flew only from the few small 27-C class carriers; there just weren't many F-8s around, and since most Marine operations were in the South, Marines had virtually no opportunity to engage MiGs. Though most kills were by Sidewinder, guns were used in many engagements in conjunction with the missile attack. The F-8 drivers had a choice Phantom drivers envied - a choice of guns or missiles. Here's a clip from the show "Dogfights" and a list of F-8 MiG Masters.
|CDR Harold L. Marr||VF-211||MiG-17||12 June 1966|
|LT Eugene J. Chancy||VF-211||MiG-17||21 June 1966|
|LTJG Philip V. Vampatella||VF-211||MiG-17||21 June 1966|
|CDR Richard M. Bellinger||VF-162||MiG-21||9 October 1966|
|CDR Marshall O. Wright||VF-211||MiG-17||1 May 1967|
|CDR Paul H. Speer||VF-211||MiG-17||19 May 1967|
|LTJG Joseph M. Shea||VF-211||MiG-17||19 May 1967|
|LCDR Bobby C. Lee||VF-24||MiG-17||19 May 1967|
|LT Phillip R. Wood||VF-24||MiG-17||19 May 1967|
|LCDR Marion H. Isaacks||VF-24||MiG-17||21 July 1967|
|LCDR Robert L. Kirkwood||VF-24||MiG-17||21 July 1967|
|LCDR Ray G. Hubbard, Jr.||VF-211||MiG-17||21 July 1967|
|LT Richard E. Wyman||VF-162||MiG-17||14 December 1967|
|CDR Lowell R. Myers||VF-51||MiG-21||26 June 1968|
|LCDR John B. Nichols||VF-191||MiG-17||9 July 1968|
|CDR Guy Cane||VF-53||MiG-17||29 July 1968|
|LT Norman K. McCoy, Jr.||VF-51||MiG-21||1 August 1968|
|LT Anthony J. Nargi||VF-111||MiG-21||19 September 1968|
|LT Gerald D. Tucker||VF-211||MiG-17||22 April 1972|
Check out the New F-8 Silhouettes and our new FU Embroidered Wings on a Golf hat. Don't forget to customize your garb with your own callsign (click on edit text). We will be adding more aircraft in the coming weeks.
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Maj. John Glenn flew one across the U.S. for a record.
The F-8 shared the P&WA J-57 engine w/F-101/F-102/F-100/
I think you need to check your facts. I flew AEW off the USS Bon Homme Richard (’62-63) and the USS Oriskany (’63-’64) with the F-8 squadrons and they were NOT equipped with guns, only missiles.