Weird MiG killer

On June 20, 1965 Canasta 573 flown by Lt. Charles Hartman and Canasta 577 flown by Lt. Clinton Johnson, were flying RESCAP over a down USAF pilot in
North Vietnam. They had launched from the USS Midway, and belonged to VA-25. During the mission, they were attacked by a pair of MiG-17s, that fired
missiles and cannons at them. Both pilots evaded the shots, and were able to maneuver into position to shoot down one of the MiGs that attacked them.
The MiG rolled over and slammed into a hillside, after being hit by fire from both aircraft.

On October 9th 1966, Papoose Flight, consisting of Lt. Cdr Leo Cook, and Lt Wiley in the first element, and Lt. Peter Russell, and Lt. William Patton
as the second element, were flying RESCAP when they were attacked by four MiG-17s. The aircraft were able to maneuver into position to get one
confirmed kill, one probable kill, and a third MiG heavily damaged.

What makes these kills so special?

All six aircraft involved were A-1H Skyraider piston engined aircraft, armed with four M3 20mm cannons for air to air combat.

The last propeller U.S. Navy attack aircraft to disappear from the decks of the flattops was the Douglas AD Skyraider.

This airplane had a unique capability: even when it carried its full internal fuel of 2,280 pounds, a 2,200-lb torpedo, two 2,000-lb bombs, 12,5 inch
rockets, two 20 mm guns and 240 pounds of ammunition, the Skyraider was still under its maximum gross weight of 25,000 pounds.

Entered in service just in time to take part in the Korean War, the Skyraiders in the improved A-1H version were quite slow; nevertheless in spite of
performance not even comparable to those of the other assets in the air wing’s strike group, the propeller-driven attack aircraft managed to shoot
down two MiG-17s during the early part of the Vietnam War.

In fact, some of the most unusual kills of the conflict did not come from the F-4s, F-105s, or F-8s, but from the Korean War-era piston-engine
Skyraiders, thanks to the four M3 20 mm fixed forward-firing cannons capable of firing 800 rounds per minute, that fitted the A-1Hs.…

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