The Birth of Spooky

How they put the “A” in the AC-47.

With surgical precision, the AC-130H pinpointed targets, even enemy soldiers who had infiltrated friendly positions. (Air Force Magazine)
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By war’s end, the gunship had made its bones, and Air Force chief of staff General John Ryan said: “We intend to keep this capability to deliver a tremendous volume of sustained accurate firepower in the tactical force.”

In fact, that was not to be. The gunship had more bureaucratic battles to win before it was acknowledged as a genuine part of the U.S. military, but those post-Vietnam battles are another story.

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