A-1 Skyraiders Shootdown Mig-17: Prop plane kill in the jet age

“You've been had by a Spad, dad”

1965 in the skies over Vietnam, four A-1 Skyraiders were on a bombing mission when they ran into two Mig-17s. The Migs circled around to fire on the Spads (nickname for the Skyraiders) but in doing so did not take into account the slower moving Skyraiders turning ability. Caught in a crossfire between two A-1s, a Mig-17 fell to their guns and crashed into a mountain. The other Mig-17 bugged out and the A-1 pilots celebration was mistaken by the aircraft carrier USS Midway as one of the Spads being shot down, an error hastily rebuffed by the celebration that ensued when the planes returned to the Midway. Lt. Clint Johnson and Lt. Charles Hartman were given credit for half a Mig-17 kill each and awarded Silver Stars. The A-1 Skyraider call sign “Canasta 71” involved in the Mig shootdown is now on display at the National Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola, Florida. The Valorous fight with the tools they have, even if the odds aren't in their favor.

Valor is in you. Set it free.

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