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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hurlburt Field in Okaloosa County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

AC-130H Spectre

“Wicked Wanda”

 
 
AC-130H Spectre Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
1. AC-130H Spectre Marker
Inscription. Project Pave Spectre began in 1971 to support combat operations in Southeast Asia. Eleven C-130Es were converted to AC-130Es and modified with 7.62mm, 20mm and 40mm guns, Infared and Low Light Level Television sensors, "Black Crow" detection set, digital fire control systems and electronic warfare suites. In 1972, the Air Force opted to remove the 7.62mm guns and replaced the 40mm gun with a 105mm cannon to increase range and firepower. AC-130E gunships were eventually re-designated as AC-130Hs after receiving more powerful engines. Spectre gunships continued to serve in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia from bases in Thailand until the 16th SOS relocated to Hurlburt Field in December 1976.

The AC-130Hs were modified with aerial refueling capability in the late 1970s, and four shared a world record for a non-stop flight from Hurlburt Field, Florida to Guam in November, 1979. In April 1980, four AC-130H gunships, including Wicked Wanda, participated in Operation EAGLE CLAW, the attempted rescue of American hostages in Iran. In 1983, Wicked Wanda was the lead AC-130H during Operation URGENT FURY, the liberation of Grenada and in 1989 participated in Operation JUST CAUSE. It also participated in covert surveillance and intelligence collection missions over El Salvador and Panama and flew interdiction missions in Iraq during Operation DESERT STORM.
 
Erected 2015 by the Hurlburt Field Memorial Air Park Council.
 
Location. 30° 24.922′ 
AC-130H Spectre aircraft (Wicked Wanda) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
2. AC-130H Spectre aircraft (Wicked Wanda)
N, 86° 41.968′ W. Marker is in Hurlburt Field, Florida, in Okaloosa County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Terry Avenue and Independence Road. Touch for map. Located at the Hurlburt Field Memorial Air Park and access to the base is restricted. Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 Independence Road, Hurlburt Field FL 32544, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A-37 "Dragonfly" (within shouting distance of this marker); First Lieutenant James Phillip Fleming (within shouting distance of this marker); MC-130E Combat Talon I (within shouting distance of this marker); AT-28D Trojan (within shouting distance of this marker); Combat Talon / Here Am I; Send Me. Isaiah 6:8 (within shouting distance of this marker); AC-130 Spectre (within shouting distance of this marker); Captain Steven L. Bennett (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); In Honor of The American Gold Star Mothers (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hurlburt Field.
 
Regarding AC-130H Spectre.
AC-130H tail #69-6575 history:
Delivered in January 1969, USAF aircraft #69-6575 participated in many missions. Some of these include operations in Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, for combat support, Operation Just Cause, the Iran Hostage Crisis, Operation Eagle Pull, Operation Frequent Wind, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Urgent Fury and Operation Continue Hope. Wicked Wanda served for 43 years delivering violence to SOF customers
Rear of AC-130H Spectre showing a 40mm Bofors Light Anti-Aircraft Gun & a M102 105mm cannon. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
3. Rear of AC-130H Spectre showing a 40mm Bofors Light Anti-Aircraft Gun & a M102 105mm cannon.
whenever orders were placed.

Piloted by Capt James Lawrence, 69-6575 participated in Operation Eagle Claw (Iran Hostage Crisis). The crew flew non-stop with air refueling from Hurlburt to Wadi Qena, Egypt. Here General Vaught called all the gunship aircrews into to the command post for a formal briefing. Standing on a recently built picnic table, he briefed everyone on the mission objective. On 24 April, as AC-130 crews and maintainers were preparing for the long mission to Iran, serious trouble occurred at Desert One when a RH-53 helicopter crashed into an EC-130.. All the required helicopters did not make it to the Desert One site and the mission was aborted.
 
Also see . . .
1. Federation of American Scientists story on the AC-130H Spectre. (Submitted on November 23, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. “Wicked Wanda” flies final mission. (Submitted on November 23, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Air & SpaceDisastersWar, 1st Iraq & Desert StormWar, Vietnam
 
AC-130H Spectre image. Click for full size.
USAF-PD photo by SrA Julianne Showalter.
4. AC-130H Spectre
An AC-130H gunship from the 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida, jettisons flares as an infrared countermeasure during multi-gunship formation egress training on August 24, 2007.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 26, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 23, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 266 times since then and 90 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 23, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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