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Shot up A-4E Skyhawk

Shot up A-4E Skyhawk

In 1969 Major Robert H. Melville Sr. was flying a duty test hop in a Tomcat A-4E Scooter. Experiencing cockpit pressurization difficulties Bob descended to a low altitude on his way back to Chu Lai. Major Melville felt he was flying over an area that was free of Slope heavy weapons. Alas, he managed to find a Soviet 23mm anti-aircraft site while trolling through the weeds. Bob was unscathed even though the hits were in close proximity to the cockpit.
Looking aft from the cockpit toward the tail. The inspection cover is blown away displaying some of the twisted rubble. Notice the shell holes stitching the top of the port air intake area. Notice the fuel tank filler cap and the close proximity of the fuel tank to the shell holes under the missing cockpit fairing. The next day aerial recon found a well concealed 23 mm AA unit in a nearby area. Immediately thereafter, Bob and three other Marine Tomcat Skyhawks launched with napalm and attacked the AAA site. A later check of the AAA site displayed no signs of activity and the mission was judged "well done".
United States Marine Corps photograph from Robert H. Melville, Jr.




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