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Fighter Squadron VF-191 emblem

F-8 Crusader, U.S. Navy Jet Fighter

"..the final aerial

victory to be won

with guns in

Naval history."

Vought F-8 Crusader launches from the USS Ticonderoga, 1969, Vietnam.
Vought A-7B Corsair II of attack squadron VA-25 First of the Fleet shortly before launching from the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) during a deployment to Vietnam in 1969. A Vought F-8 Crusader is launched in the background.

Navy F8 Crusader Art Print "Pirat's Bounty" by Mike Machat
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  Navy F8 Crusader "Pirate's Bounty" by Mike Machat  
Signed by Pilot John "Pirate" Nichols
18 x 24 in., Limited Edition, Artist Proof, Signed by Artist, Signed by Pilot...$81.25


Navy F-8 Crusader "PIRATE'S BOUNTY"

"When you're out of F8s, you're out of fighters." So goes the saying espoused proudly by all those associated with the F8 Crusader… one of the Navy's finest aircraft. Developed in the supersonic era of the mid l950s, the F8 went on to earn a reputation for reliability and performance unmatched in the skys over Vietnam, being credited with 20 MiG kills between June 1966 and September 1968.

One such event of particular significance was flown by Lt.Cdr. John "Pirate" Nichols of VF-191 on 9 July 1968. While escorting a photo-recon RF-8 from VFP-63 aboard the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, the Crusaders were jumped by two MiG-17s over Vinh, North Vietnam. Nichols called a "left break" to the recon aircraft, and engaged the lead MiG as the second enemy fighter retreated to safety. Although he fired two Sidewinder missiles including a direct hit, Nichols could not bring the MiG down. Streaming raw jet fuel from its tailpipe, the MiG suddenly made a tactical - and fatal - error by turning directly across the bow of Nichol's decelerating Crusader - too close for anything but 20 mm guns. Depicted here is the fateful moment just prior to "Pirate" opening fire to score what became the final aerial victory to be won with guns in Naval history. The hapless MiG had become "Pirate's Bounty".

Mike Machat has really captured that sense of anticipation in Pirate's Bounty, as pilot John Pirate Nichols sights in the MiG 17 over Vietnam.


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