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Canadian operations during the Gulf War were known as Operation Friction.  The combat aircraft component of Friction was provided by CF-118As of 416 "Lynx" Sqn and 439 "Tiger" Sqn from CFB Lahr in West Germany.  The deployed unit became known as "The Desert Cats" and was deployed to Doha AFB in Qatar.

 

For political reasons, the Canadian Hornets were used in a purely defensive role during the first few days of the war.  However, when the Iraqi air force declined to approach coalition naval assets in the Gulf, the Hornet crews found that they were under-utilised.  Eventually that changed with Canadian Hornets acting as escorts for coalition bombers.  Still, the Iraqi air force did not challenge them. 

 

The Canadians even took to acting as SAM bait. They would deliberately approach Iraqi SAM sites hoping to get locked up by them and allowing the F-4G Wild Weasels which were following them to engage the SAM site.  Although this sounds incredibly dangerous, the Canadian pilots found that if they stayed above 15,000ft they were out of the range of AAA and that SAMs could be easily dealt with using standard countermeasures. 

 

In all this time, Canadian CF-118s did not expend any ordnance.

 

That changed on the night of 30 January 1991.  Major Dave Kendall and Capt Steve Hill were contacted by their controller with the question "How would you like to strafe a boat?"   They were up for it! 

 

The Iraqi patrol boat in question had ventured out into the Gulf and had been engaged by an A-6 which expended its remaining ordnance without success.  The two Canadian pilots engaged the patrol boat with their 20mm cannons in multiple strafing runs. They caused major damage to the boat leaving it dead in the water but expending their own ammunition in the process.  They then attempted to lock on to the boat with their Sidewinder missiles only to find that the heat signature of the boat was not sufficient for a lock.  Captain Hill managed to get a radar lock on the boat and engaged it with an AIM-7 Sparrow which impacted the water short of the boat but caused further damage.  Both CF-118s returned to base.

 

The patrol boat was going nowhere.  Squadron mates of the original A-6 returned shortly afterwards and made short work of it.  The Canadian pilots were officially credited with a "kill assist" and had boat kill markings painted on to their aicraft.  This was the first Canadian offensive military action since the Korean war.

 

This model will represent Captain Hill's aircraft 118741.

 

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The kit is the very nice Academy 1/72 offering of the legacy Hornet.  This one is the Blue Angels boxing.

 

Thankfully, the plastic is grey, so we don't have another Bloo (Da Ba Dee) situation.  :D 

 

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Hornets are usually parked with flat and slats lowered.  This is not actually difficult to modify the the kit but I decided to use some Air Graphics replacement with.

 

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A good choice and an event that I have not heard of before. I have heard from ground crew that were there of a RAF Jag firing a sidewinder at a ground target after it had caught fire. The ground crew queried the missing missile thinking that the pilot may have got an air to air kill, but were slightly disappointed when the pilot told them what had occurred. There is also the Viking (S-3) crew that dropped their refuelling buddy pod when destroying a boat, having set the weapons for all rather than just the bombs.

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20 minutes ago, Jabba said:

A good choice and an event that I have not heard of before.

 

Some interesting reading casting light on the political restrictions which lead to frustration among the Canadian Hornet crews.

 

https://www.cfc.forces.gc.ca/259/290/297/286/molstad.pdf

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1 minute ago, Vultures1 said:

Another great choice!  Mirage F1 AND a CF-188 - excellent 🙂

Not finished yet...  :fool:  

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""How would you like to strafe a boat?"

 

I bet they didn't need asking twice. 

 

Interesting subject!

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12 minutes ago, TonyOD said:

""How would you like to strafe a boat?"

 

I bet they didn't need asking twice. 

 

Interesting subject!

According to a former CAF pilot of my acquaintance, the actual wording of the response might likely have been an enthusiatic "Tango Foxtrot Romeo"...."Too effing right!"

GREAT project, BTW!

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Hi Enzo,


It is a CF-188 or CF-18.  I thought it was Kendall took the Sparrow shot and Hill only strafed the boat.  (The aircraft Kendall used, 798, certainly carried a kill marking post war.)  I am considering doing Kendall's bird this year, but probably won't do it as part of the GB.  (Too much pressure.)

 

Jim

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Enzo,  

 

I have to retract my last message.  I was wrong.  I got a message from Mr. Kendall and it was Hill that took the Sparrow shot in 741.  Sorry.

 

Jim

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Thanks for the confirmation.  I know that both aircraft carried the kill marking. 

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