Flight of the Intruder
Their assignment, 45 years ago: Drop mines over Vietnam, something no jet had ever done.
- By Rebecca Maksel
- AirSpaceMag.com, February 24, 2012
The A-6 crews on the Enterprise (pictured) were told about the assignment the day before. Stuart Johnson remembers, "The air intelligence people showed us where they wanted the mines, and turned it over—somewhat begrudgingly, I think—to the squadron as to how we would get [the mines] there. So the first part of the planning process was taking the plot of the minefields from the intelligence community, and converting that into a flight plan. The second part was when the crews got together and decided 'This is where we're all going to be' so we don't run into each other at night going over the target."
Rear Admiral Bruce Bremner was a young lieutenant at the time of the mission. “It was relatively uneventful compared to the many strike missions I had flown previously and flew subsequently,” he recalls. “We didn’t fly a complicated, devious approach to the target, but flew straight to the planned release point, flying a little over 400 knots and about 500 feet above the water. I don’t remember the weight or designation of the mines, but I do remember they were like speed brakes and had the aerodynamics of a safe.”