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Last Gunfighter

Posted by Jolly on July 18, 2012

F8downtown.jpgThe 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.Crusader2.jpg
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.

F-8gunfighterhat.jpg  F-8migmasterhat.jpg

F-8_Golf_Polo.jpg  F-100_Misty_Polo.jpg

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Posted by Jolly on
From Bob:

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/

Ooo Rah
Posted by Jolly on
From George:

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.
Posted by poker on
Get your head out of your ass George. The F-8's ALWAYS had 4 20mm guns. Two on each side. Not "carried", but built into the fuselage. Always, always.
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