The Gunfighter's Site
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Ball Updated 29 Jan. 2016
The F-8 Crusader was the last U.S. fighter designed with guns
as its primary weapon. U.
S. fighter aircraft are once again being fitted with guns, largely due
to the Vietnam
airwar experience. Missile-only aircraft were at a distinct
disadvantage in the
environment many thought passé --- the dogfight. The
Crusader with its guns, and Crusader drivers well versed in
dogfighting, led to a resurgence in
gun-equipped aircraft, and a renewed emphasis in ACM -- Air Combat
We had the choice of guns or missiles. Note open
gun vent doors as the guns fire.
Jerry Pearson, VF-24 (USS Hancock, Gulf of Tonkin, circa 1969) courtesy
to all F-8 pilots - "The Last of the Gunfighters"
Memory of those who took their Final Flight in
who earned the F-8's nickname, "the MiG Master"