Nimrod Means Hunter, and the Prey is Trucks
Friend and contributor Don Jay was with the 56th SOW during the Late Great Unpleasantness in Southeast Asia, and spent a fair amount of time with the A-26 (nee B-26) during that conflict. We've already looked at a couple of his photos but, in the spirit of Never Having Too Many Invaders, we're going to explore things a little further.
The "Invader" fought a tough war in SEA, and there were losses. Here's a partial listing of serial numbers and, unfortunately, and overview on losses, as presented by Don:
Here are the known (by me) serials of the A-26s assigned to NKP:Once it became obvious to the USAF that the venerable A-26 would require extensive modification to remain viable in its new combat role, a contract was let to modify some 40 aircraft to B-26K Counter Invader configuration. That contract was issued in 1964, and hardware was available by 1965. Here are a couple of photos of A-26Ks on display in '65 to show Congress what their money had bought.
Observed in 66-69 timeframe: 64-17461/42/43/44/45/46/48; 64-17650/51/52/53/54;
This represents 30 of 30 A-26s assigned to the various Sqs at NKP. The first A-26s arrived at NKP in June of 1966 as Det 1, 603 ACS, with an initial deployment of 6 A-26As., then in '67 to the 606ACS, and finally in Nov 67 the 609ACS/ 56th SOW.
Here are the combat losses:
64-17668 & 17669 in a mid air on 2/21/67-606ACS
An enviable record when you think about it. 10 combat losses out of 30 airframes-1/3 of the force. Flying combat every night for over three years-66-69, they averaged 1 truck kill per sortie, something not surpassed until the AC-130s arrived. The squadrons at NKP were not the normal of USAF units-each had a mystique of its own. The Nimrods were best described in the off take of the song "Ghost Riders in the Sky"; Nimrods, Nimrods.....Truck Killers in the Night...
The air war in SEA wasn't exactly the High Point of Fun for most of the participants, but sometimes a little humor reared its head. There was a modest rivalry between the A-26 guys and the 56th's spAD drivers, as this photo attests:
It couldn't all be fun, though. Here are a few business-as-usual photos depicting the "normal" daytime life of the A-26. Things were a little different after dark...
Those Other Guys Flew Skyraiders Too
Chooglin' On Down the Road With Nate
I've actually made some progress on my Ki-27 project, and here's the proof:
And that's what I know. Be good to your neighbor and we'll see you again real soon.