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L/F NMF RB-66 Destroyer photos during the Vietnam War

Rabbit Leader

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I've just purchased Italeri's latest boxing of the RB-66B and am keen to make a start (subject to clearing the modelling bench of course!)

Since I was a young lad, I've always been fascinated by the image below of a single RB-66 leading four F-105D's to their designated target. 




Photo's of Vietnam Destroyers in MNF seem a little thin on the ground so I'm hoping that someone can guide me to more photo's of these great looking aircraft during this conflict. 

Interestingly, the RB-66 above has both forward and aft fuselage Blade Antennas - which are normally seen on Camouflaged aircraft, but rarely seen on NMF birds.

Any photo's, links or other suggestions to guide me through my build, would be gratefully appreciated.


Cheers.. Dave

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Hi Dave, co-incidentally I was wading through part of my stash this morning and found one of my 2 old Italeri B-66s. I've found references hard to come by on the internet; even the walk-arounds that I've discovered (PrimePortal, Cybermodeller) haven't been terrifically helpful and I'm looking out for a sensibly priced copy of the Aerofax Minigraph. One thing I have noted though, which you may already be aware of, is that the leading edge slats are always deployed when the aircraft is stationary on the ground. I assume therefore that these were automatic slats, as for the A-4 ( and many other types). The slats appear to have been in 2 or 3 portions on each wing, from just outboard of the engine pylons virtually to the tips and another thing I've seen in some pictures is that the outboard portion is often deployed, albeit partially it seems, when the aircraft is flying. None of this nerdy detail is probably of any use but there it is.


Happy days


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If you can find the Aerofax minigraph it is a brilliant reference and no, you can't have mine at any price!


457 makes a good point about the slats, they were unpowered like the A-4 so dropped under the influence of gravity and retracted due to airflow.


I read somewhere that the inboard slats were locked but I'm away from my references to check.


Perhaps it's time to dig my one out of the stash that I attempted to drop the slats on years ago...

Edited by Wez
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Good morning / evening gents (subject to your global location).


Many thanks for posting the above sections to this thread.

457 & Wez - I had suspected something was going on with those slats on the ground, however have not read enough about these devices as yet. Thanks for your contributions.

Finn -  Two excellent links. Downloading the flight manuals as we speak. The new Italeri box also includes decals for BB-415, which is shown in full colour below.  




Two B&W photos (one BB-415 as above) & the other BB-418 are depicted in the old Squadron "Air War over South East Asia" Part 1. 

Both are described as being based at Tan Son Nhat during 1965. I'm having trouble adding these photo's here, however there is a small van parked besides '418, with the wording "Air Viet Nam" on the side.

That would appear to be a certain give-away, however I'm not sure if the photo above is taken from the same base?


By the way - unless you guys were not aware, the Aerofax publication can be viewed for free here - http://www.boxartden.com/gallery/index.php/Profiles/Aerofax/Minigraph/19-Douglas-B-66

This is a great website with many free publications on offer. Click on the respective pages for a somewhat larger page image.

They're a little small to read at times, however are great to check out the contents inside the book before parting away with too much cash on the real deal.


Thanks for keeping this thread going and providing the additional information. 


Cheers .. Dave  


** EDIT - Here's BB-418 and that Air Viet Nam truck!! - both photo's credit http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Upcoming/Photos/igsearch/rb-66b/

Seems to lack the Airbrake Red triangle motif of BB-415 above - were these removed whilst in theatre?




Cheers... again. Dave.

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Me again!

A closer inspection of the B&W photo above confirms that the tail code on the RB-66 parked on the far left is indeed BB-415 (53-0415) - for which decals are included within the new Italeri box.  

This would confirm that 415 did serve during the Vietnam conflict. I'm also being convinced that the cris-crossed blast panels behind these jets are also similar in both photographs.

So with all this info, I'm assuming that both photographs were taken at Tan Son Nhat circa 1965. For completeness, the second aircraft in the background (with metallic blue fuselage band) is a Weather bird (or WB-66D // BB-452).  


Still hunting for NMF aircraft images with those Electronic Blade Antennas?


Cheers.. Dave.

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The silver B-66B with the antennas that you are looking for were Bomber versions fitted with a pallet with jammers for USAFE. The program was called Brown Cradle and with the RB-66Cs the primary EW escort for the early strikes.  The RB-66B and WB-66D were a short term deployment and soon withdrawn. The RB had a SLAR unit installed but must not have been too successful, but other aircraft had similar equipment and were deployed to SEA. Look up Hilo Hattie C-54D, Brave Bull EC-97G, RB-26L as well as the Patricia Lynn EB-57Es. Early SEA was the swan song for the TAC WB-66Ds being deployed with task forces. Other aircraft took over that role, I believe. RF-4Cs with a navigator trained to observe weather conditions took over the strike missions. The Brown Cradle aircraft belonged to the 25TRW in France before being suddenly taken away to be sent to SEA. You can see the color swirl on the fin tip like the ones based in England. The main difference between the Brown Cradle and the later EB-66E was that the large blade antenna on the rear fuselage was placed lower rather then mid fuselage.

This is typed on the go, some some errors might exist. 



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Once again - many thanks Finn and Gmat.

At 4:40 this video clearly shows 53-0496 / BB-496 in NMF with a host of Antennas both on the side and lower fuselage. 

It also appears to have a Red bordered Air Brake on three sides, however fairly plain beyond that.

This is all very interesting stuff and has peaked my desire to make a start even more - although I'm now undecided as to build a straight RB as per the kit decals or this plain example with all the various antennae?


And yes - the video's audio does need to be muted!!  


Cheers... Dave  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks Jati, 

Lovely photos - BB-496 might just be the one I model. I want a rather plane jane 'warlike' machine and this one fits the bill nicely. 


Cheers and thanks for posting.. Dave

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These any good Dave.  I shot this one on Malta 11 Sept 1965.  According to the paperwork, it came from 25thCAMS but the crew were 10thTRW.  I have no negative for either I am afraid as they were part of a batch of stuff stolen from my MQ at Wyton a few years later.









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Thanks Dennis, 

Any clear photos of B/RB/EB-66's are always welcomed. Looks like these may be EB-66C's which is a little different to the Italeri offering. 


Cheers.. Dave

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It's very tempting, but I think I can do away with another conversion. I've been told the best way to reduce ones stash is to keep it simple and build (essentially) OOB. I'm trying hard to stick to this theory this year, but after a few under the belt it might be time to explore something different. I'll probably wake up tomorrow and think differently!! 


Cheers.. Dave 

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3 hours ago, RidgeRunner said:


interesting to see a Thud with a Sidewinder.




Which is rather annoying hiding all the EB-66B underside detail!! 

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