By the beginning of 1972 US troop levels in Vietnam had fallen dramatically from their all-time high in 1968. The United States was now relying primarily on air power to help the South Vietnamese Army, including US Navy units based on carriers operating in the Gulf of Tonkin. One of these was VF-111.
Portrayed here is an F-4 Phantom from VF-111 as it launches from the carrier USS Coral Sea. The date was 6 March 1972 and the Phantom was NL202, call sign ‘Old Nick Two Zero One’, flown on this mission by experienced pilot Lt Garry L. Weigand and his back-seater, Radar Intercept Officer Ltjg. William C. Freckleton.
They were part of a two-ship team tasked to intercept MiGs that had just clashed with Phantoms of VF-51 on a strike force escorting a photo-reconnaissance RA-5C Vigilante over Quang Lang airfield. They found a MiG-17, and in a ‘nasty turning fight with the scrappy little plane’, Weigand manage to roll in on the MiG from the rear and in a dramatic victory, downed it with a Sidewinder.
Overall Print Size: 19¼" x 26½"
Image Size: 20 ¾” x 12 ¾”
Designed as a companion to "The Sundowners", this print is sold separately but is also available as part of a matched set (See pricing at the bottom).
Robin Olds and his flight of eight Phantom F-4s encounter a large group of North Vietnamese MiG-17s over the hills north of Hai Phong. During the clash that followed Olds and his WSO, 1st Lt. Stephen B. Croker, would destroy two MiG-17s. These were aerial victories three and four for Olds, making him the leading MiG killer in south-east Asia at that time.
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