Night Of The Phantoms by Robert Bailey

$225.00
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May 6th., 1966. Phantoms from the U.S.S. Ranger (CVA-61) attack Hai Phong Harbor, North Vietnam! In this extremely dramatic night action, U.S. Navy Phantoms exit the target area at 400 knots, having expended their 5-inch Zuni rocket packs. Their efforts have paid off by destroying an AA site, munitions storage facilities and sinking two surface vessels.

Ace Edition signed by:

Commander Randall H. Cunningham USN
'Duke' Cunningham is one of the most highly decorated pilots of the Vietnam War. He completed two combat cruises with the Fighter Squadron 96 aboard the USS America and the USS Constellation. He flew a total of 300 combat missions over North Vietnam and Laos. On January 19th, 1972, he engaged three Mig-17's north of Quang Lang Airfield and shot down the lead aircraft. On May 8th, 1972, he engaged three Mig-17's and destroyed the Mig that was chasing his wingman, while he himself was being fired at by two other aircraft. On May 10th, 1972, in one of the most famous air battles in history, Cunningham was on a flack-suppression mission south of Hanoi. While pulling off the target, his flight was attacked by 22 Mig-17's, Mig-19's and Mig-21's. During this flight, he shot down three of the 22 Migs, giving him a total of FIVE victories and qualifying him as the first 'Ace' of Vietnam, a feat that only one other pilot accomplished during the entire Vietnam War! In one of these victories, he shot down a Mig-17 from his executive officer's tail while being directly attacked by four Mig-17's, four Mig-21's and two Mig-19's. For this action, 'Duke' Cunningham was nominated for the prestigious Medal of Honor. After his third victory of the day, he turned to the sanctuary of the Gulf of Tonkin, but was hit by a surface-to-air missile, forty miles over enemy territory. He has been decorated with the Navy Cross, two Silver Stars, 15 Air Medals, three Navy Commendation Medals, the Purple Heart, a Presidential Unit Citation, a Navy Unit Commendation Medal, a South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry (Star Cluster) and Cross of Gallantry Oak Leaf. 'Duke' Cunningham has also written a book Fox Two about his experiences, and was an instructor at Top Gun, the Navy Fighter Weapons School at NAS Miramar in San Diego. Many of his experiences as a Navy pilot were depicted in the movie Top Gun.

20 Artist's Proofs with EIGHT signatures.

Lieutenant Commander Fred J. Ferrazzano was born in Paterson, New Jersey. He became a naval aviator in 1954. With the VF-111 Sundowners he was deployed to the far east aboard USS Lexington (CVA 16). His first Mig engagement was off Hainan. During 1964-65 he had two Vietnam combat deployments as Operations Officer of VF-142 aboard the carriers Constellation & Ranger. He sustained damage to six Phantoms during his combat experience in Vietnam, in addition to a near miss from a nervous wingman's sidewinder. During one mission, he was recovered aboard the carrier minus his Phantom's nose! During 1973 he ordered and implemented the mining of Haiphong Harbor, much to the surprise of President Nixon! Personal decorations include: Conspicuous Service Cross (3), Conspicuous Service Star (2), Bronze Star, Air Medals (9), Navy Commendation Medals (7) with Combat V (6), and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

Lieutenant David Jack Rollins was born in Oakland, California. In 1965 he was on Temporary Independent duty as advisor, training various Navy and Marine Corps F-4 squadrons deployed in Vietnam. He was later Radar Intercept Officer (1966-67) VF-114, USS Kitty Hawk. He also flew TARCAP, BARCAP, flack suppressor missions and conventional ordinance delivery and Special Night Operations. He was shot down over the Thanh Hoa bridge on May 14th, 1967, and was captured immediately. Released March 4th, 1973. He retired as a Commander. Squadrons served: VF-114, VF-121, VF-141. Decorations include: Silver Star (2), Legion of Merit, DFC (3) and Purple Heart (3).

Lieutenant Commander John C. Tibbs was born in Chelsea, Ohio. After posting to Vietnam, he flew a memorable mission on May 31st, 1965. Flying an F-4, he was vectored to the Nam Dien area. Three 'Colts' were attacking friendly boats. He and another F-4 shot down two of these enemy aircraft. However, he was not given clearance to fire over land, and the third enemy escaped. On the same day, he sank a steel hulled vessel in the Haiphong Bay area, using 500lb. Snake-eye bombs. He served in VX-4, VF-121, VF-64/21, VF-193 and VF-142. Decorations include: DFC, Gold Star and more than seven Air Medals. He retired as a Commander.

Lieutenant Commander Wayne Connell was born in Anson, Texas. He was involved in five carrier deployments in the Vietnam War. They range from the first retaliatory strikes in 1964, to the last Alpha strikes into the North, flying a total of 400 combat missions. He commanded VF-161 in 1972/73 on board USS Midway for the longest carrier deployment of the war. His decorations include 3 DFC's, Bronze Star, and 24 Air Medals.

Captain James R. Foster was born in Marceline, Missouri. He flew 187 combat missions during the Korean War, flying F4U Corsairs and F9F Panthers from the USS Essex and USS Valley Forge. He has 4 combat missions from the Vietnam War as Air Boss of USS Bon Homme Richard. Decorations include LOM (2), MSM, Air Medal, WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Korean Service Medal (4 stars), Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross), United Nations Medal, Navy Unit Commendations (2), Navy Commendation Medal w/combat V (2), and the coveted CHAIRBORNE AWARD for 5 years in OP-05 in the Pentagon.

Lieutenant Commander Ron Stoddart was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho. From May to December 1966, he was in the Vietnam War aboard the USS Constellation with Airwing 15, VF161, flying F-4 Phantoms. He has a total 98 combat missions over North Vietnam. These were day and night missions, including Alpha Strikes, flak suppression, dive-bombing and target combat air patrol. He also flew close air support missions for naval forces, maritime interdiction, coastal reconnaissance and photo escort missions. His decorations include Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Vietnam Service Medals and 2 National Defense Medals. He retired as a Commander.

Lieutenant Jim McIlraith was born in Long Beach, California. As a member of VF-142, he made two cruises off the Gulf of Tonkin. During this time he flew 241 combat missions. Over 200 of these were over North Vietnam. On August 20th, 1967, during a raid on Hon Gay, his F-4 was struck by a 35mm shell. Due to the damage, he and his pilot were forced to eject over North Vietnam. Thanks to the heroic efforts of Lt. Fritz Meyer and the crew of a Navy helicopter, both were rescued. He served in VF-142 and VX-4. Decorations include: DFC (2), 19 Air Medals and 5 Navy Commendation Medals.

Commander Randall H. Cunningham USN

200 Group Editions #1 to #110 with NINE signatures.

Lieutenant Commander Fred J. Ferrazzano

Lieutenant Jim McIlraith

Lieutenant David Jack Rollins

Lieutenant Commander John C. Tibbs

Lieutenant Commander Wayne Connell

Captain John C. Ensch graduated from Illinois State University in 1964 and received his wings in January 1966. He made two combat deployments to SEA with VF-21 on USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) and USS Ranger (CVA-61). In January 1971 he joined VF-161 making two more deployments to SEA on USS Midway (CVA-41). He has two confirmed Mig-17 kills and 285 combat missions. Captain Ensch was shot down over North Vietnam by a SAM missile on August 25th, 1972. Held in Hanoi, he returned to the States with the last group to be repatriated in March 1973. Awards include Navy Cross, Legion of Merit (3), Bronze Star w/combat, Purple Heart (2), and Navy Commendation Medal w/combat.

Captain James R. Foster

Colonel Don Keast was born in Upland, California. His first squadron was VMC-3 at El Toro, flying AD Sky Raiders. While with VMCJ-3 he also checked out on his first jet, the F9F Panther. In 1957 he was assigned overseas to VMJ-1, flying Banshees at Atsugi, Japan. After an assignment with Flight Training Command, he was with the Silver Eagles in Vietnam, flying F4B Phantoms, January 1966. He later became Operations Officer, then the Executive Officer. He flew approximately 200 combat missions while in Vietnam, earning 10 Air Medals. In 1970 he assumed command of the Fighting Falcons, VMFA-334, flying F4J Phantoms. He went on to fly the F-14 Tomcat, and TA-4 Skyhawk. Colonel Keast had a long and distinguished career, retiring in 1978 after 25 years of continuous service.

Lieutenant Commander Ron Stoddart

Commander Randall H. Cunningham USN

200 Group Editions #111 to #200 with ELEVEN signatures.

Lieutenant Commander Fred J. Ferrazzano

Lieutenant Jim McIlraith

Lieutenant David Jack Rollins

Lieutenant Commander John C. Tibbs

Lieutenant Commander Wayne Connell

Captain John C. Ensch

Captain James R. Foster

Colonel Don Keast

Captain Dan Arthur Pedersen entered the USN in 1953. He won his Navy Wings in March 1957 and served with various fighter squadrons. He commanded the following units: VF-143, Air Wing 15, USS Wichita (AOR-1), USS Ranger (CVA-61), and was the Senior Officer in the group of nine men who formed the now famous Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) at NAS Miramar. Pedersen has 6,100 flight hours and 1,005 carrier landings in 39 aircraft types. He served in combat during the Vietnam War with a single flying cruise on USS Hancock and three on USS Enterprise.

Lieutenant Commander Ron Stoddart

Commander T. R. Swartz enlisted in the Navy in 1954. He was assigned to the Submarine Service and then qualified for the Naval Aviation Cadet Program. He was commissioned in 1957 and assigned to various fighter squadrons, attack squadrons and Air Wings Staffs. He commanded Fighter Squadron 161, flying the Phantom. Commander Swartz has over 1,000 carrier landings, over 300 combat missions, and became a Mig Killer over North Vietnam in 1967. His combat awards include the Silver Star, DFC (6), Air Medal (25), Navy Commendation Medal (8) and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

Commander Randall H. Cunningham USN

20 Remarques with NINE signatures.

Lieutenant Commander Fred J. Ferrazzano

Lieutenant Jim McIlraith

Lieutenant David Jack Rollins

Lieutenant Commander John C. Tibbs

Lieutenant Commander Wayne Connell

Captain John C. Ensch

Captain James R. Foster

Colonel Don Keast

Lieutenant Commander Ron Stoddart

Sheet size: 34" wide x 24" high.