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A-6 Intruder: The Iron Tadpole

A friend of mine was an Intruder pilot back-in-the day. Lot of interesting stories from him.


Also, when I was stationed in the PNW the Intruders from NAS Whidbey Island would do their training flights along the PACRNORWEST OPAREA routes in the OR & WA state Cascades, day & night, and during the notorious PNW rain storms.


The area where I worked was right on one of the routes. They regularly flew the route over the area and I lost count how many times I saw them come over, and sometimes "under" me when I was up in the hills around a reservoir that the A-6's would skim over when coming through. Looking down on an A-6 screaming & banking by was really cool.




During a night rain storm it was common to hear the Intruders coming over in heavy rain & pitch-black conditions. Besides what my friend told me when I asked him how they did that & how it was to be inside, this article also those flights.

 
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Of all the A-6 nicknames, I prefer the “The Mighty Alpha Six".

The USN lost a lot of long-range capability when they retired the A-6 (like the F-14) due to the post-Cold War mentality pushed by Sec. of Defense/VP Dick Cheney & POTUS 44. We're still paying the price for all that.
 
Of all the A-6 nicknames, I prefer the “The Mighty Alpha Six".

The USN lost a lot of long-range capability when they retired the A-6 (like the F-14) due to the post-Cold War mentality pushed by Sec. of Defense/VP Dick Cheney & POTUS 44. We're still paying the price for all that.
That's the second time I've heard Cheney and POTUS 44(?) get the blame when in fact the aircraft were inactivated in 1993 and 1997. I think POTUS '42 was in charge then. I was in a Navy/USMC command in the early 90s and the aviators were extremely upset at losing the A-6, but I don;t remember anyone griping about Cheney. Another thing is I do not recall Cheney being the point man for a "post-Cold War" mentality especially coming off of Desert Storm which used several divisions of heavy combined arms. Service members naturally look to civilian leadership for this stuff, when they should instead look to the service chiefs and their role.
 
That's the second time I've heard Cheney and POTUS 44(?) get the blame when in fact the aircraft were inactivated in 1993 and 1997. I think POTUS '42 was in charge then. I was in a Navy/USMC command in the early 90s and the aviators were extremely upset at losing the A-6, but I don;t remember anyone griping about Cheney. Another thing is I do not recall Cheney being the point man for a "post-Cold War" mentality especially coming off of Desert Storm which used several divisions of heavy combined arms. Service members naturally look to civilian leadership for this stuff, when they should instead look to the service chiefs and their role.
Secretary of Defense (1989–1993) President George H. W. Bush nominated Cheney for the office of Secretary of Defense immediately after the U.S. Senate failed to confirm John Tower for that position. The senate confirmed Cheney by a vote of 92 to 0 and he served in that office from March 1989 to January 1993.

POTUS 44 = Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United States.

The Sec. of Defense cancelled the F-22. They don't do that without the green light from the POTUS.


After the Cold War ended the US military significantly downsized, with the USN shifting focus to littoral operations and equipment like another problematic waste of money. Don't get me going on the LCS and DG1000.


 
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That's the second time I've heard Cheney and POTUS 44(?) get the blame when in fact the aircraft were inactivated in 1993 and 1997. I think POTUS '42 was in charge then. I was in a Navy/USMC command in the early 90s and the aviators were extremely upset at losing the A-6, but I don;t remember anyone griping about Cheney. Another thing is I do not recall Cheney being the point man for a "post-Cold War" mentality especially coming off of Desert Storm which used several divisions of heavy combined arms. Service members naturally look to civilian leadership for this stuff, when they should instead look to the service chiefs and their role.
Once John Lehman stepped down the A-6F was canceled, and Cheney cancelled the A-12 because of development problems and a focus shift to littoral ops, and then the F/A-18 E/F was developed to fill in after the F-14 & A-6s left the fleet air.


And Cheney got us into Iraq.
 
That's the second time I've heard Cheney and POTUS 44(?) get the blame when in fact the aircraft were inactivated in 1993 and 1997. I think POTUS '42 was in charge then. I was in a Navy/USMC command in the early 90s and the aviators were extremely upset at losing the A-6, but I don;t remember anyone griping about Cheney. Another thing is I do not recall Cheney being the point man for a "post-Cold War" mentality especially coming off of Desert Storm which used several divisions of heavy combined arms. Service members naturally look to civilian leadership for this stuff, when they should instead look to the service chiefs and their role.
I don't think active military service members are paid to openly criticize the Executive Branch decisions without consequences.

BTW- Thank your for your service. (y)
 
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Once John Lehman stepped down the A-6F was canceled, and Cheney cancelled the A-12 because of development problems and a focus shift to littoral ops, and then the F/A-18 E/F was developed to fill in after the F-14 & A-6s left the fleet air.


And Cheney got us into Iraq.
I cannot connect to your link, but I do know there are so many moving parts to development and procurement activities in the Imperial City that it's mind boggling. The congressional/contractor/service merry-go-round works in strange ways. Case in point, my post on the B-2 article. One lone congressman from Maryland energized the congress to adopt an uber expensive bomber the USAF didn't even want. I would like to see who the the other players were in this drama.
 
I cannot connect to your link, but I do know there are so many moving parts to development and procurement activities in the Imperial City that it's mind boggling. The congressional/contractor/service merry-go-round works in strange ways. Case in point, my post on the B-2 article. One lone congressman from Maryland energized the congress to adopt an uber expensive bomber the USAF didn't even want. I would like to see who the the other players were in this drama.
The link works on this end. Too bad you can't access it since you'd likely enjoy it.
 
I worked on A-7 Corsairs in the early 80s. I was on the USS Ranger in 83-84 during Grenada. I admired the Intruder for its all weather flying capabilities. Our A-7s logged more Alert fighter hours than the F-14s did. I guess theres no need to have a Intruder as the alert fighter since a Corsair can carry 2 sidewinders & the skies are clear.
 
Hello all, here is today's article posted on TheArmoryLife.com. It is titled “A-6 Intruder: The Iron Tadpole” and can be found at https://www.thearmorylife.com/a-6-intruder/.

I was onboard the USS Coral Sea attached to VAW-127 during the Gulf of Sidra Line of Death cruise. I was in the back of our backup AEW package when some officers came in and connected to the data link sent by our airborne E2-C’s. We watched as the bombing played out even seeing the F-111’s from England as they hit Tripoli. The A-6’s were loaded for bear when they left the ship and came back empty. Nothing shakes your bones quite as hard as an A-6 on the catapult.
 
The proposed A-6F Intruder II would have added a lot of extra capability, including A2A capability. But it was cancelled.


Since the A-6F and the F/A-18s would have used the same GE 404 engine the govt tried to get Pratt (Pratt & Whitney) to build the engine as a second-source but Pratt couldn't make their version work inspite of getting all the same plans from GE.
 
Hello all, here is today's article posted on TheArmoryLife.com. It is titled “A-6 Intruder: The Iron Tadpole” and can be found at https://www.thearmorylife.com/a-6-intruder/.

A great article and pleasantly unexpected. I spent over 5 years flying Intruders until their untimely demise in ‘97 and then finished my Navy career flying Prowlers. There was no plane like the A6 and nothing more intense than flying low level at night in the midst of weather that kept everything else grounded…..all while never looking out of the cockpit. Thanks for bringing back some great memories….and a few I’d rather forget.
 
Great article...!

I honor LCDR James Kelly Patterson - B/N in VA-35 on USS Enterprise - shot down in an A6-A during an Alpha Strike to Hanoi on 19 May 1967. Alive on the ground for 4 days...disappeared and body never repatriated. Some evidence suggests he was transferred to Soviet Kazakhstan to exploit his knowledge of Soviet SAM defense systems.

Please read his story at www.prisoner-of-war.com
 

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Great A/C. Did no-com lase missions with them, very exciting is an understatement. Also did CSAR for a Navy Air Group and they called punching out blowing glass. So on our ready room door we posted a sign for them. "You blow glass we will come get your ass". They loved it! Naval Aviators we found to be like grunts but way more arrogant. LOL!
 
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