MiG Killers – In March 1965, U.S. air strikes into North Vietnam began. In April, the first dogfights took place. As the fighting grew into a major conflict, the air activity increased accordingly. At first the results were not encouraging for the U. S. Air Force. The most common problem found could be summed up in the words insufficient training and experience in air-to-air combat. But in 1972, when the “Top Gun” program improved the skills in aerial combat of USN Phantom pilots, and the F-4E appeared with a 20 mm built-in Vulcan cannon, could the US neutralize edge of the NVAF MiG-17, MiG-19 and MiG-21.
During the course of the Southeast Asian war, the United States developed many new types of air tactics that had never previously been needed. New missions were devised, often under bizarre code-names. Some of these missions have gone on to become legends, while others have simply faded. What does remain are the men who flew the missions, the planes that were involved, and incredible stories of determination, triumph and tragedy. Wings Over Vietnam compares rare combat footage with first-hand accounts, to create a captivating portrait of these unique missions. Over ten years in the making, Wings over Vietnam is the most detailed and comprehensive account of the Vietnam air war ever produced. Featuring rare combat film, Wings Over Vietnam offers a thorough review of the evolving aerial strategies and tactics used by America during the war. It also brings individual combat missions and dogfights vividly to life with first hand accounts of veterans – including John McCain – and graphic air-to-air and through the gun sight footage. Wings Over Vietnam takes you out hunting enemy SAM missiles on ‘Wild Weasel’ missions, and dogfighting in F-4 Phantoms against MiG-17s and 21 s over North Vietnam. It puts you in the pilot’s seat for raids by F-105 Thunderchiefs and A4 Skyhawks as part of Operation Rolling Thunder flying through the most formidable anti-aircraft defences on earth, – and takes you out on night missions with the F-111’s and giant B-52s of Operation Linebacker 2. This critically acclaimed Discovery series also demonstrates the awesome firepower of the AC-47 “Spookies” and AC-130 “Spectres” and pays tribute to the men flying the most dangerous air missions of the war – the crews of the Sikorsky “Green Giant” helicopters and the Bell Huey Meac chopper crews.