JED - March 2018 - 37

By Dr. Gerald J. "Jerry" Stiles

Y

es, it's true that I was
an F-105F Wild Weasel
Electronic Warfare Officer
(EWO) back in the 1960s.
And, yes, it's true that
the Wild Weasel mission
was to destroy surface-to-air missiles
(SAMs).
And, yes, it's true that I flew 113
Wild Weasel combat missions in southeast Asia (SEA).
And, yes, it's true that I didn't kill a
SAM during any of these 113 missions.
And, yes, it's true that, on my second
SEA tour, and in an AC-130E "Spectre"
gunship, I flew 96 combat missions.
And, yes, it's true that on one of
these nighttime gunship missions I
killed a SAM!
What!? Are you crazy? Don't you have
your airplanes mixed-up? You killed a
SAM from a gunship-transport and not
the fighter?
Yep - I killed a SAM from an AC-130E
gunship. Let me tell you about it.
First off, let me tell you why I volunteered for a second combat tour. Quite
simply, I returned to combat to avoid
flying B-52 bombers, for which I was
newly destined.
Specifically, I was nearing the end
of a USAF-sponsored graduate school

assignment at the University of Arizona (MS-Aero), when I was informed
that I had insufficient flying hours to
go to the flight testing job for which
I had been identified. The assignment
detailer told me on the phone that he'd
do me a special favor: he'd send me to
SAC bombers, whereupon I'd get "tons of
flying hours" and after which I could assume the flight test job.

We normally flew at
night, as most gunships
venturing out during
daylight received
combat damage from
ground-based gunfire
and infrared-guided
missiles. So, it was
during the wee hours of
the morning on a dark
night over central Laos
that I encountered and
killed a SAM.

Sure. Fat chance. Once you flew
bombers you were usually stuck flying
bombers, which were an anathema to
me. I had to avoid this assignment, and
volunteering for a second tour was the
only way out.
"Nope," the detailer said, "you'll not
get enough flying hours in another Weasel tour, nor in an F-4 tour." You need to
fly non-fighters.
I had anticipated this response and,
thereupon, played my hole card. Out of
desperation, I volunteered for an AC-130
combat tour.
"What? You'll volunteer to fly gunships?" Newspapers and TV were full of
reports that an entire AC-130 crew had
just been shot down over Laos (14 guys
died!). Almost dropping the phone, the
detailer excitingly croaked, "The assignment is all yours."
So, away I went, first through gunship training at Hurlburt Field in the
Florida panhandle, and then on to Ubon
Royal Thai Air Force Base, the "home"
of the Asian gunships. In as much as we
were assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter
Wing (known as the "Wolfpack"), we adopted the title, "Fabulous Four-engined
Fighter of the Wolfpack". (Fighter pilots
would often sneer at us for defaming
their fighter world.)

The Journal of Electronic Defense | March 2018

A Wild Weasel EWO
Kills a SAM - from
an AC-130E Gunship

37



JED - March 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - March 2018

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor - DOD Rolls Out $686 Billion FY2019 Budget
World Report - Russia Developing More Sophisticated Approach to EW
The Domain of the Tube – Millimeter Wave and Beyond
A Wild Weasel EWO Kills a SAM – from an AC-130E Gunship
Resilient and Ready: NATO JEWCS in Transition
EW 101
2018 AOC Industry & Institute/ University Member Guide
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - March 2018 - intro
JED - March 2018 - cover1
JED - March 2018 - cover2
JED - March 2018 - 3
JED - March 2018 - 4
JED - March 2018 - 5
JED - March 2018 - The View From Here
JED - March 2018 - 7
JED - March 2018 - Conferences Calendar
JED - March 2018 - 9
JED - March 2018 - Courses Calendar
JED - March 2018 - 11
JED - March 2018 - From the President
JED - March 2018 - 13
JED - March 2018 - 14
JED - March 2018 - The Monitor - DOD Rolls Out $686 Billion FY2019 Budget
JED - March 2018 - 16
JED - March 2018 - 17
JED - March 2018 - 18
JED - March 2018 - 19
JED - March 2018 - 20
JED - March 2018 - 21
JED - March 2018 - World Report - Russia Developing More Sophisticated Approach to EW
JED - March 2018 - insert1
JED - March 2018 - insert2
JED - March 2018 - 23
JED - March 2018 - The Domain of the Tube – Millimeter Wave and Beyond
JED - March 2018 - 25
JED - March 2018 - 26
JED - March 2018 - A Wild Weasel EWO Kills a SAM – from an AC-130E Gunship
JED - March 2018 - 28
JED - March 2018 - 29
JED - March 2018 - 30
JED - March 2018 - 31
JED - March 2018 - Resilient and Ready: NATO JEWCS in Transition
JED - March 2018 - 33
JED - March 2018 - 34
JED - March 2018 - 35
JED - March 2018 - 36
JED - March 2018 - 37
JED - March 2018 - 38
JED - March 2018 - 39
JED - March 2018 - 40
JED - March 2018 - 41
JED - March 2018 - EW 101
JED - March 2018 - 43
JED - March 2018 - 44
JED - March 2018 - 45
JED - March 2018 - 2018 AOC Industry & Institute/ University Member Guide
JED - March 2018 - 47
JED - March 2018 - 48
JED - March 2018 - 49
JED - March 2018 - 50
JED - March 2018 - 51
JED - March 2018 - 52
JED - March 2018 - 53
JED - March 2018 - 54
JED - March 2018 - 55
JED - March 2018 - 56
JED - March 2018 - 57
JED - March 2018 - 58
JED - March 2018 - 59
JED - March 2018 - 60
JED - March 2018 - 61
JED - March 2018 - 62
JED - March 2018 - 63
JED - March 2018 - 64
JED - March 2018 - 65
JED - March 2018 - 66
JED - March 2018 - 67
JED - March 2018 - 68
JED - March 2018 - 69
JED - March 2018 - 70
JED - March 2018 - AOC News
JED - March 2018 - 72
JED - March 2018 - Index of Advertisers
JED - March 2018 - JED Quick Look
JED - March 2018 - cover3
JED - March 2018 - cover4
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