Supersonic Navy!

The Vought F-8 Crusader, whose quartet of Colt Mk12 20mm cannons gave the supersonic air superiority fighter the nickname of “The Last of the Gunfighters,” certainly looked the part of Atomic-era modernity on the posters.

Painting, Acrylic on Illustration Board, by Joseph Binder, C. 1960, Unframed Dimensions 26H X 20W. Naval History and Heritage Command Accession #: 68-084-A-07

Withdrawn from service starting in the late 1960s as the F-4 Phantom replaced it– a plane that initially did not have any gun armament– the Navy Air fighter jocks of the time, many who cut their teeth on 20mm cannon-armed jets like the F2H Banshee, F9F Panther/Cougar, F3D Skyknight, F4D Skyray, and F7U Cutlass, saw the Crusader’s departure as the end of an era.

When you’re out of F-8’s, you’re out of fighters…

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