Tag Archives: TA-4J Skyhawk

Throwback: Jester & Viper

Jester: “That was some of the best flying I’ve seen to date – right up to the part where you got killed.”

With the latest Top Gun sequel, I felt these striking images would be well-timed.

Official caption: “Showing off their camouflage versatility, a flight of TA-4J Skyhawks from the ‘Cylons’ of Attack Squadron One Twenty-Seven (VA 127) fly in formation with a Squadron A-4F Skyhawk. VA-127 has the mission of training aircrews in a realistic air combat maneuvering (ACM) adversary training environment.”

Although undated, they are from the early 1980s, before the unit was rebooted as VFA-127 flying F-5s and T-38s, and was a regular at NAS Miramar (“Fightertown USA”), about the time the original Top Gun was filmed.

Photographed by Bruce R. Trombecky. NHHC Photographic Section, Navy Subject Files, Aviation.

Photographed by Bruce R. Trombecky. NHHC Photographic Section, Navy Subject Files, Aviation.

You just have to love Heinemann’s Hot-Rod…

Thunderchiefs and Skyhawk

It just doesn’t get much prettier than this.

Official caption: “Three Republic F-105B Thunderchief aircraft from the 508th Tactical Fighter Group, U.S. Air Force Reserve, and two U.S. Navy McDonnell Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk aircraft from Fleet Composite Squadron VC-1 flying in formation off Oahu, Hawaii (USA), on 25 January 1978.”

Source U.S. DefenseImagery photo VIRIN: DN-SC-82-02245 Author PH3 (AC) T.J. PFRANG. Via the National Archives.

Of note, both types saw extensive service in Vietnam with their respective branches, taking heavy losses in both cases. The photo was close to their swan song, as they were both set for imminent retirement.