Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

From `One Day in a Long War'

`SAM, SAM, SAM. Vicinity of Haiphong. Deep Sea, out.'' Deep Sea was the call sign of an EP-3B Orion Sigint plane of VQ-1, flying over the Gulf of Tonkin and monitoring the radio and radar frequencies used by the North Vietnamese. The plane's operators had picked up the distinctive signals of an impending SAM launch and broadcast a warning on the Guard channel....

Climbing through 16,000 feet on their way to the coast, Cunningham and Driscoll were elated at having shot down their fifth enemy plane to reach the coveted status of aces. Then suddenly, and with no alarm from the radar warning receiver, a SAM exploded in a bright flash about 500 feet from the Phantom. The blast hurled the fighter into a steep bank to port. Jagged chunks of metal from the warhead peppered the plane, making a sound like gravel thrown at a window. Cunningham hauled the fighter back on even keel and checked his instruments. Everything seemed normal, so he continued the climb.

About these ads

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.