"Spooky 71" Douglas AC-47 Gunship
"Spooky 71" was the call sign for the AC-47D in which John L. Levitow earned the Congressional Medal of Honor on February 24, 1969. This airplane is a recreation of that gunship.
The AC-47 was a ground attack aircraft from the Viet Nam war. It was ideal for defending villages, fire bases and forts during the night because of its slow speeds and ability to stay on target all night long.
Spooky 71 was armed with three General Electric MXU-470/A minigun modules. Each minigun is a six barrel, 7.62mm gatling gun capable of firing 6,000 rounds a minute. This gave the gunship the ability to fire up to 18,000 rounds a minute if all three guns were put on line at once. However the miniguns were normally used one at a time.
In addition to its blistering firepower, the AC-47 provided illumination to the troops below with parachute dropped flares. A typical combat load would include at least 15,000 rounds of ammunition and 45 to 60 flares.
There were 47 AC-47D's built, 41 of which went to war in Viet Nam. Of these, 12 were shot down and the rest were given to the Republic of South Viet Nam as part of the "Vietnamization" of the conflict. The AC-47's were phased out of the U.S. Air Force by 1969.
Commonly known as "Puff", AC-47s flew nearly 5,000 missions defending 3,926 friendly positions in Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia. Not one was ever overrun when a gunship was on scene. They are credited with inflicting between 50,000 and 75,000 hostile casualities. As one veteran of the 101st airborne put it, "They either killed Charlie or made him run away, either way, the shooting stopped and hte position was held."
THE SPOOKY SQUADRON TOPEKA, KS