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Osprey Combat Aircraft 12 : RF-8 Crusader Units over Cuba and Vietnam

Although the Crusader was built first and foremost as a Navy interceptor, as has often been the tradition with US fighters, a photo-reconnaissance variant was also produced by Vought. Blessed with great speed and the traditional 'long legs' associated with all Navy aircraft, the Crusader was effectively converted into a recce platform by removing the four 20 mm cannon beneath the cockpit. In their place an equal number of camera positions were introduced in a broadened and flattened belly. The photo-bird's first operational test came in the autumn of 1962 when its overflights of Cuba alerted the world to the likely presence of medium-range ballistic missiles on the Caribbean island. The recce Crusader's next action came during the long years of the Vietnam War, when the Vought jet assumed the mantle of the US Navy's primary light-photographic platform throughout the nine years of conflict. Forty-nine carrier jets deployed between October 1963 and January 1974, with 20 RF-8s lost in action. This book is the second of two in the Combat Aircraft series devoted to the Crusader, the first book (again by Peter Mersky) having covered the F-8 fighter variants, and their MiG-killing exploits, during the Vietnam War. Text by Peter Mersky with illustrations by Tom Tullis.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Cuban Crisis
  • Early Operations in South-East Asia
  • 1965-68 - Missions and Losses Mount
  • Getting the Coverage
  • 1972-75 - The Last Campaigns
  • Appendices

 

Osprey Combat Aircraft


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