VAW-13 Zappers EA-1F Skyraider (1966) 775 Model
Fly again with the VAW-13 Zappers in this EA-1F Skyraider. Each model is a hand made wooden model that is carefully carved and painted to provide a unique product that truly shows custom craftsmanship! Wingspan – 18 inches.
The story behind the model –132543 (VAW-13) lost to instrument failure Sep 10, 1966. 4 crew survived.
1. Launch around midnight to support a strike into North Vietnam;
2. Complete electrical failure experienced with burning debris (probably generator) streaming over canopy;
3. Enough battery power to get out one radio transmission that we were heading back to the ship (FDR)
4. DR back to ship’s launch posit – needle ball, airspeed, VSI, mag compass only instruments;
5. Arrived in the vicinity of the estimated ships’s position;
6. Descended through IFR conditions to underneath about 1,000 ft overcast;
7. Saw lights of ships but stayed well clear because we were NORDO and didn’t want to get in the way of the jets;
8. At dawn, saw the lights belonged to two ammo ships – not a carrier.
9. Attempted to attract attention from the bridge of one of the ships – sending “FDR” by Morse Code – but no joy;
10. Flew west to coast of Vietnam and identified position – DR’d back to the launch posit and conducted expending square search looking for carrier (did this 3 times) to no avail.
11. Finally, decided to ditch before we ran out of fuel and became uncontrollable.
12. Established a 100 ft/min rate of descent with full flaps and hook down and flew until we hit the water (I actually felt the hook drag in the water before we touched down)
13. Because of the radome under the right wing, it skiied and caused the left wing tip to dig in the water and the aircraft yawed to the left and came to a stop. (I had jettisoned the jammers and centerline tank and the crewmen had blown their canopies)
14. I jumped out on the wing, reached back in for the life raft and my helmet bag with my kneeboard, etc inside), blew up the raft, sat down in it, and using my feet against the side of the aircraft, pushed away.
15. We were found by A-1H/J Spads and picked up by a USAF HU-16 Albatross and taken to Danang.
16. The ships COD picked us up in Danang and took us back to FDR.
Note: The ship’s launch position, published before we launched, was about 60 miles in error. The ship wasn’t aware thatt we had missed our scheduled recovery until squadron personnel started asking about our whereabouts. The E-1B that had heard our one radio call, when bugging the ship if they had us in radar contact was basically told to mind their own business that the ship had everything under control, and CATCC was tracking a NORDO A-4 that the presumed was me – never mind the speed difference between an A-4 and a Spad. For all these reasons, the ship’s Captain declared my aircraft a “combat loss” which meant no formal accident investigation (which would have embarrassed the ship) was conducted. CDR Lanny Cox, USN (ret)