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 How Many Combat Missions - Really?
Author: John 
Date:   2006-01-03 20:50:45

How many combat missions did Cunningham really fly?

I have seen a few various numbers reported. But they all are always higher than the most common number reported, which is usually, "over 300 missions."

For those here who might know: Did Cunningham have only two combat cruises aboard the USS Constellation - with the second being cut short due to his "ace" status? Or did he have some additional, earlier combat cruise and added missions of which I am not aware, and would explain that many combat missions?

I ask because "over 300 missions" is an extraordinarily high number of combat missions for an F-4 pilot of that period - especially for one who has less than two complete cruise experience. While some few Navy A-7 pilots might have approached that unusually high number of combat missions for the same period because of their different missions - and they with complete cruises - I know of no F-4 pilot who ever came close to that many missions in less than two full cruises, as Cunningham is said to have done.

What makes me even more curious (suspicious) is that every pilot of that time, in that war, knows •exactly• the number of missions he flew. They will never tell you, "I flew 'over' (blank) missions." They will always tell you the •exact• number – because each one counted… never to be rounded off, up or down. No one I know ever rounds off the number of combat missions they flew - if they are willing to tell you at all. Anyone who says "about" or "over" is suspect in my book. (However, an "a lot" or "a number" answer is acceptable. There is a distinction.)

Perhaps someone more familiar on this web board could comment, or make an educated guess as to how many combat missions Cunningham really did fly in Vietnam. (My guess is less than 220 combat missions total for that specific period... except and unless he had an extra combat cruise I am not aware of.)

 Re: How Many Combat Missions - Really?
Author: Daniel Miller 
Date:   2006-03-04 20:35:37

Oh, well, what a pvssy! ONLY 2 tours over Vietnam.

Meanwhile the biggest threat the pro-Ho pinkos faced was singed fingers from a burning draft card and the clap from some hippie chick.

 Re: How Many Combat Missions - Really?
Author: Paul 
Date:   2006-01-04 04:46:21

He had one full cruise and the amended - shortened to about 1/3 of a full crusie - the one due to achieving ace status. He made centurian on the first cruise - 100 or more traps. I do not have first hand knowledge of the green ink in his log book, but I expect in the 1-1/3 cruises he likely had 130 missions.

I did 2 full war cruises - one 9 months and one 11 months in F-4s and I got 192. Never could he have gotten 300+ missions in 1-1/3 cruises. Not in any plane, in that time, could he have gotten so many missions. 300 missions was a 3 tour guy.

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