The Deadly Enemy Attack that Ended the F-4’s Superiority

F-4 Phantom II

On May 10, 1972, Lieutenant Randy Cunningham and Lieutenant William Driscoll aimed to become the first American fighter ace pilots of the Vietnam War. They had already taken down four enemy aircraft while piloting their exceptional McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. Their fifth target was a solitary North Vietnamese MiG-17, but little did they know they were going against the infamous Colonel Tomb, a legendary ace pilot well-known in the North and South. Cunningham recalled: (QUOTE) “I could see a Gomer leather helmet, Gomer goggles, Gomer scarf…and his intent Gomer expression… I began to feel numb. My stomach grabbed at me in knots. [As we zoomed some 8,000 feet straight up,] [there was no fear in this guy’s eyes].” There was much dread in the air, but both pilots knew their long-range fighter was fast and powerful enough to prevail, and it was the perfect opportunity to earn their coveted title…

Credit Dark Skies