The Gunfighter's Site
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Ball Updated 16 Nov. 2013
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 Maneuvering.
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"