Vietnam Air War Archives - NNAM

Vietnam Air War

A-1H Skyraider

Called the finest close air support aircraft ever built with the ability to carry more ordnance than a four-engine World War II B-17 Flying Fortress, the Skyraider flew in both Korea and Vietnam.  It was originally designated the AD, which prompted the nickname “Able Dog.”  The airplane on display was the last attack version of

F-4N Phantom II

One of the most widely used and capable warplanes in history–it established 12 world records when first introduced–the F-4 was originally intended to intercept Soviet bombers at high altitude with missiles.  The Vietnam War forced a shift in its operations as it attacked targets on the ground and engaged in dogfights with enemy fighters.  The

F-8A Crusader

The first operationally-equipped aircraft to exceed 1,000 M.P.H., the  F-8 was nicknamed the “Last of the Gunfighters” because it carried 20-millimeter cannon and its pilots placed an emphasis on dogfighting skills, which paid dividends during the Vietnam War. With its cockpit position far forward on the fuselage, the Crusader incorporated a variable-incidence wing that could

HH-1K Iroquois

Procurement of this version of the famed “Huey” helicopter that was a veritable symbol of the Vietnam War occurred in 1968.  In Marine Corps service, the Iroquois transported ground troops to landing zones as part of heliborne assaults and provided medical evacuation.  The museum displays the HH-1K in the markings of a gunship flown by

A-7E Corsair II

The Corsair II both entered and retired from service in combat, the A-7A flying in Vietnam beginning in 1968 and the A-7E logging the aircraft’s final operational missions during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.  The museum’s aircraft participated in the latter action, delivering ordnance over Iraq and Kuwait, including the first strikes against Baghdad on

A-6E Intruder

One of the most technologically advanced aircraft in the Navy’s inventory when introduced in the mid-1960s, the Intruder featured radar and navigation equipment that enabled all-weather operations.  During the Vietnam War, a number of A-6 crews received Navy Crosses for extraordinary heroism in single-plane raids on heavily defended targets, approaching at extremely low altitude and

O-1E Bird Dog

This example of the two-place observation aircraft used for aerial spotting appeared over USS Midway (CVA 41) on April 29, 1975, during the evacuation of South Vietnam.  On board were a South Vietnamese Air Force major, his wife and 5 children, a note dropped from the cockpit requesting permission to land on the aircraft carrier. 

Vietnam POW Exhibit

On August 5, 1964, Lieutenant (junior grade) Everett Alvarez, Jr., became the first American aviator shot down and made a prisoner of war (POW) in North Vietnam.  More followed him into captivity during the intensive air campaigns of the Vietnam War, the captivity in the foreboding prisons like Hoa Lo, which the POWs called the

The Forrestal Fire

Fire is one of the greatest calamities that can occur aboard ship.  On July 29, 1967, during flight operations on board USS Forrestal (CVA 59), a rocket accidentally launched from an aircraft on the flight deck and ignited a fuel tank on another airplane.  The resulting conflagration killed 134 Sailors and injured 161 others while