North Atlantic: Death Of The Backfires D+24 (2 August, 1987) Part V

The Backfire groups acknowledged the raid commander’s orders, coming around fully to the west and starting descents to the predetermined altitudes. One group would level off at fifteen thousand feet, another at six thousand and the third a scant five hundred feet above the sea surface. The plan was little revised from the earlier attacks, …

North Atlantic: Death Of The Backfires D+24 (2 August, 1987) Part IV

The Bears were now the prey and the aircrews were fully aware of it. There were armed predators out there beyond the horizon actively searching. The hunt was on and the crews of the Tu-95s were well aware their life expectancy was now being measured in minutes. The raid commander knew this too and he …

North Atlantic: Death Of The Backfires D+24 (2 August, 1987) Part III

Takeoff of the Badger and Backfire regiments commenced at 1140 Zulu on D+24. The process ate up forty minutes. As the bombers cruised north towards their formation rally points over the Barents Sea, the Bears were going to work attempting to find the exact locations of the American carrier formations and relay accurate targeting data …

The North Atlantic D+22 (31 July 1987) Part II (Bravo)

Radar-guided and heat-seeking missiles joined the fray next as the four Forrestal Tomcats engaged. With each second that passed, the air battle became even more chaotic. The Soviet raid commander was now fully cognizant his aircraft—and crews—were suffering heavy losses. Once the US Navy fighters moved in to make use of their Sidewinders. In the …

Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf D+21 (30 July, 1987) Part I

Fighting between Iraqi and Iranian forces flared up once more as first light broke over the Shat-al-Arab. In the first engagements of the day, company-sized units clashed and began extended engagements that included artillery support and air attacks from both sides. The morning continued and by 1000, the Iraqis were receiving indications of two Iranian …

The North Atlantic D+14 (23 July, 1987) Part II

Following a lengthy but necessary UNREP after the carrier-air battle on the previous day, Strike Fleet Atlantic’s three remaining carriers and their escorts turned back north and steamed into range of Soviet military facilities and other targets on the Kola Peninsula. The air tasking for D+13 gave the carrier air wings two primary operational cycles …