After his bombardier is killed, Jake "Cool Hand" Grafton (Brad Johnson)', a carrier-based Intruder pilot, questions the purpose of Navy bombing missions. He finds an ally for his cynicism in Virgil Cole, a bombardier on his third tour of duty, and together they ponder the notion of one unsanctioned mission "downtown", to "Sam City" in North Vietnam.Written by
Marg Baskin <email@example.com>
The song that Jake "Cool Hand" Grafton (Brad Johnson) and Virgil Cole (Willem Dafoe) gleefully sing in their A-6 Intruder, after their successful bomb run on Hanoi, is the 1964 hit Downtown made popular by British pop singer Petula Clark. During the Vietnam War, going "Downtown" was military slang for bombing Hanoi. See more »
USS Indepenence (Grafton's aircraft carrier) is shown in the end credits equipped with Phalanx CIWS on it's stern. It was first introduced into service in 1980, and is still used. It is a defensive close range weapon based on 20 mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun combined with a Ku-band radar for automatic targeting (primary role - shooting down incoming guided and cruise missiles). First prototype was fitted on USS King, but it was removed for improvements and successful evaluation of the weapon was completed in 1977 on USS Bigelow.
PS: I also think I've noticed RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile on the carrier's left side (it was introduced in the 90s). See more »
But if I catch either one of you shitting in some vital area on my ship, I will have you *keelhauled*! And that's *serious* on an aircraft carrier!
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I found the movie interesting. It is probably loosely based on the exploits of Lyle Bull and Charles Hunter who on 30 October 1967 flew a solo flight over Hanoi and received the Navy Cross. Here is part of the citation for Bull: Lieutenant Bull assisted in the planning and execution of an extremely dangerous, single-plane, night, radar bombing attack on the strategically located and heavily defended Hanoi railroad ferry slip in North Vietnam. Although the entire Hanoi defensive effort was concentrated upon his lone bomber, he flawlessly assisted his pilot in navigating the aircraft to the target area and commencing an attack. Seconds before bomb release, six enemy surface-to-air missiles were observed to be tracking on his plane. Undaunted by this threat to his personal safety, Lieutenant Bull assisted his pilot in taking swift and effective action to avoid the missiles and complete the attack, releasing all weapons in the target area with extreme accuracy. After release, four more missiles were fired at his aircraft in addition to the intense anti-aircraft-artillery fire.
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