I very clearly remember (as FROZEN IN TIME) my first Alpha Strike against Nam Dinh POL storage (4xA-6, 8xA-4, 2xA-4 Bullpup shooters, 4xF-4 flak supressors, Jarboon CottonPicker anti-Firecan, etc, jamming, tankers, Tarcap, etc) this sequence:
Eased down from feet wet 20k or so to 12-14,000′, going like relative stink, beautiful day, loop in river where target is located visible forever.
1. Bullpup shooters detach for shots from either side of target.
2. CAG: All right, here comes the flak. Start moving it around.
3. Bullpup one, away! Bullput one, ballistic! Bullpup Two away! Bullpup Two, ballistic! Both missiles blew up in the countryside. Woke up all the gunners in multiple clear ant mounds around the target.
4. Strike airplanes start wagon-wheeling dives. Moving my airplane around, looking down, said “Sparklers! Flak guns rapid fire shooting look like Sparklers.” Puffballs all round, trying to avoid them, a mid air, and keep the target in sight.
5. Rolling in, too shallow, pulled up and around and over, inverted, got the Stuka angle I wanted, rolled out, pickle pickle pickle! 7 G pull to nose just above horizon, max rate turn; Alpha calling, “Snake 2, the’re tracking!” Firecan directed 57mm puffs in rapid succession behind me; Max G roll under, rudder reversal to other direction, nose up,
6. Magically free! Head for feet wet, pick up Lead and we head for water in combat spread.
7. Look back, and there is petro smoke climbing thru 10k!
There is nothing as exhilerating than being shot at without result. And giving gomer a good whack.
Heart still starts pumping running this interior tape. Every combat vet has his own series of such tapes, where time slows down and gets graven in interior stone.