Aircraft by type

A-10 Thunderbolt II
DRAFT LISTING

Date

Air Force

A'cft Unit / Serial

based

crashed crew photo seat
13th June 1973 USAF A-10
Thunderbolt II
75-0295/MB 356th TFS
or
354th
?????
Crashed 12 miles northwest of Georgetown SC Major Richard H. Rogers (34)
killed
  Escapac
3rd June 1977
USAF
A-10A 75-0294
DM
355th TFW Crashed on the opening day of the Paris Air Show Fairchild
Test Pilot
Howard W. Nelson
killed
Escapac
8th June 1978
USAF
A-10A 73-1669 Joint Test Force, Air Force Flight Test Center
AFFTC
Engines stalled due to secondary gun gas ignition depleting the engine oxygen supply. Aircraft crashed 17 miles from base Major Francis Gideon
ejected
Escapac II
8th August 1978
USAF
A-10A 77-0180/MB 354th TFW
Myrtle Beach AFB, SC
Crashed on approach     Escapac
13th August 1978
USAF
A-10A 76-0517/DM 355th TFW       Escapac
15th August 1978
USAF
A-10A 76-0525/MB 354th TFW
Davis Monthan AFB
Crashed 96 miles from air base     Escapac
12th December 1978

USAF
A-10A 77-0215/MB 354th TFW
Myrtle Beach AFB, SC
Bird Strike     Escapac
Tuesday 22nd May 1979
USAF
A-10A 77-0206/MB 354th TFW
Myrtle Beach Air Force Base
Crashed in wooded area in Pamlico, NC 1st Lt. Gregory Lewis
26
ejected
Landed in Neuse River, near Pamlico, NC
  ACES II
7th July 1979
USAF
A-10A 77-0253/WR 81st TFW       ACES II
27th July 1979
USAF
A-10A 75-0271/DM 355th TFW       ACES II
27th August 1979
USAF
A-10A 78-0601/WR 81st TFW       ACES II
6th September 1979
USAF
A-10A 75-0259/WA 57th FWW       ACES II
17th September 1979
USAF
A-10A 75-0266/WA 57th TTW       ACES II
30th September 1979
USAF
A-10A 76-0542/MB 354th TFW       ACES II
20th November 1979
USAF
A-10A 76-0513/DM 355th TFW       ACES II
11th March 1980
USAF
YA-10A 73-1668 ADTC       ACES II
22nd March 1980
USAF
A-10A 80-0148/WR 81st TFW       ACES II
7th May 1980
USAF
A-10A 78-0610/CT 118th TFS       ACES II
23rd June 1980
USAF
A-10A 77-0179/MB 354th TFW       ACES II
21st September 1980
USAF
A-10A 80-0182/WR 81st TFW       ACES II
23rd October 1980
USAF
A-10A 78-0661/MB 354th TFW       ACES II
10th November 1980
USAF
A-10A 76-0528/MB 354th TFW       ACES II
18th November 1980
USAF
A‑10A  78‑0588
WR

or

 78‑0590
WR

81st TFW Two A-10's of the 81st TFW collided over Itteringham, Norfolk Maj. Stephen P. Kaatz
ejected over land - OK

Lt. Col. William H. Olson
ejected over water - drowned

Can anyone match aircraft to pilots ACES II
18th November 1980
USAF
A‑10A  78‑0588
WR

or

 78‑0590
WR

81st TFW Two A-10's of the 81st TFW collided over Itteringham, Norfolk ACES II
 

"I was assigned to the 81st TFW FOL in Sembach, Germany when the two A-10's collided while flying to a target range at Wainfleet, Lincolnshire.

 Pilots were Lt. Col. William H. Olson from DeBary, Fla. and Maj. Stephen P. Kaatz (36).

 Olson died as well as the crew man from a British helicopter when the cable on the winch snapped. His name is David Bullock.

 Sorry I can't assign a name to a tale number.

 Rick Martin

9th January 1981
USAF
A-10A 77-0258/WR 81st TFW       ACES II
8th May 1981
USAF
A-10A 79-0083/WR 81st TFW       ACES II
10th July 1981
USAF
A-10A 75-0302/DM 355th TFW       ACES II
28th August 1981
USAF
A-10A 80-0154/EL 23rd TFW       ACES II
21st September 1981 USAF A-10A 80-0182/WR 81st TFW crashed at Gambassi Terme, Empoli, Italy Pilot
ejected safely
  ACES II
22nd March 1982
USAF
A‑10A 80‑0148
WR
81st TFW
RAF Bentwaters
engines stalled, nr Herford, West Germany 1Lt Jim Preston
eject
ed safely
  ACES II
9th July 1982
USAF
A-10A 78-0585/CT 118th TFT       ACES II
7th April 1983
USAF
A-10A 80-0174/EL 74th TFS       ACES II
10th June 1983
USAF
A-10A 76-0541/MB 354th TFW       ACES II
12th June 1983
USAF
A-10A 76-0545/MB 354th TFW       ACES II
28th July 1983
USAF
A-10A   81st TFW       ACES II
28th July 1983
USAF
A-10A 79-0222/WR 81st TFW       ACES II
8th August 1983
USAF
A-10A 78-0667/DM 355th TTW       ACES II
Friday 26th August 1983
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0602/MB 354th TFW
Myrtle AFB, SC
Crashed during Red Flag exercises at the Nellis Gunnery Range about 65 miles north of Las Vegas Captain Lonnie R. Ledet
killed
  ACES II
29th August 1983
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 81-0968/SU 19th TASS       ACES II
29th August 1983
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 81-0972/SU 19th TASS       ACES II
12th December 1983
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0193/WR 81st TFW
USAF RAF Bentwaters,  / Woodbridge, UK
Mid-air collision off the coast of East Anglia     ACES II
12th December 1983
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0202/WR 81st TFW
USAF RAF Bentwaters,  / Woodbridge, UK
Mid-air collision off the coast of East Anglia     ACES II
  One pilot missing.
Major Andrew Bush, 39, Arcadia, California rescued by RAF Wessex helicopter from Coltishall
Who was in which aircraft ??
9th February 1984
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0623/MB 354th TFW
Myrtle Beach AFB
Crashed into the Atlantic Ocean 32 miles from Cherry Point MCAS Captain Jesse L. Wright
killed
  ACES II
24th February 1984
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0161/MB 354th TFW
353rd TFS
Myrtle Beach AFB
Crashed 25 miles west of the base 1LT George C. Boudreaux
24
killed
  ACES II
Friday 19th October 1984
USAF
A-10 Thunderbolt II   Hartford Conn.
ANG
Crashed near Fort Drum on routine flying mission Captain Peter V. Voorhees
34
ejected at 4,500
  ACES II
1st January 1985
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0645/CT 118th TFS       ACES II
9th February 1985
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0723/MB 355th TFS       ACES II
29th June 1985
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0208/EL 76th TFS       ACES II
26th September 1985
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0156/BD 47th TFS       ACES II
30th October 1985
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0089/MD   104th TFS       ACES II
17th January 1986
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0648/MD 131st TFS       ACES II
20th July 1986
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0116 354th TFW       ACES II
17th September 1986
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0620/MA 131st TFS One pilot killed,
other pilot ejected safely

CHECK YEAR DATE

    ACES II
17th September 1986
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0648/WI 176th TFS     ACES II
20th September 1986
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 76-0546/NO 706th TFS       ACES II
20th September 1986
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 76-0546/NO 706th TFW       ACES II
8th January 1987
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 77-0243/IN 45th TFS       ACES II
22nd January 1987
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0212/EL 23rd TFW       ACES II
23rd March 1987
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 76-0538/WI 176th TFS       ACES II
30th March 1987
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0261/AK 18th TFS       ACES II
  0604 crashed near Ash Grove, MO Apr 1987.  Pilot killed.
Friday 1st May 1987
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0604/KC 303rd TFS
Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base
Performing aerial low-level training flight manoeuvres, crashed  and exploded about 20 miles south of Springfield near Interstate 44 Maj. James B. Coutts
(39)
killed
  ACES II
11th December 1987
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 77-0203/DM 355th TFW       ACES II
25th March 1988
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0198/WA 57th FWW       ACES II
15th November 1988
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0663/MB 355th TFS       ACES II
8th December 1988
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 77-0223/NF 23rd TASS       ACES II
8th December 1988
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 81-0957/WR 92nd TFS
[RAF Bentwaters]
Nörvenich air base.
During low-altitude flight exercise crashed onto a residential area in the city of Remscheid, Germany. Civillian fatalities and injured     ACES II
22nd December 1988
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 81-0986/AR 511th TFS       ACES II
27th December 1988
USAFE
A-10A Thunderbolt II   10th TFW based at RAF Alconbury crashed near Willingham,
Cambridgeshire, following a technical fault
Pilot ejected   ACES II
4th April 1989
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0219/AR 509th TFS       ACES II
17th April 1989
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0183/WR   81st TFW       ACES II
6th February 1990
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0231/AR 509th TFS
10th TFW
US 8th AF Alconbury
Flew into a mountainside in misty conditions during low level flying.
Black Mountains near Hay on Wye
Captain Robert Burrowes
killed
  ACES II
5th April 1990
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0161/EL 75th TFS       ACES II
20th June 1990
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0125/MB 356th TFS       ACES II
2nd February 1991 1991 09:25Z

also seen as
31st January


USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0248
EL
23rd TFW  Shot down by ground fire or SAM  20 NM SW of Kuwait City, Kuwait Pilot Richard D. Storr
became a POW

Released 03/05/91

ACES II
15th February 1991
13:35Z

USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0130
MB
 353rd TFS/354 TFW  

Hit by ground fire (probably SA-13) 60 miles north west of Kuwait city while attacking Republican Guard targets
 

Lt. Robert James Sweet
became a POW
Released 03/05/91
 
ACES II
15th February 1991
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0722
MB
354th TFW, 353rd TFS Shot down by SAM
60 mi N of Kuwait City in Desert Storm in combat while
circling to protect Sweet make from enemy ground units
[see previous entry]
Capt Stephen R. Phillis
killed in impact.

also seen as Phyllis

 
19th February 1991
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 76-0543
NF
23rd TASS/602nd TACW Hit by SAM 62 nm nw of Kuwait City Lt. Col. Jeffrey Fox
became a POW
released
03/05/01
ACES II
22nd February 1991
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0181/EL 23rd TFW   Crashed on landing, wheels up Capt Rich Biley   ACES II
27th February 1991
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 76-0543
NF
also seen as
77-0197
CONFIRM
23rd TASS/602nd TACW Reconnaissance mission over Kuwait. bad weather and was hit by a surface-to-air missile landing with only one engine and no hydraulics the aircraft landing gear collapsed upon landing and flipped no ejection
1st Lieutenant Patrick Olson was killed
 
16th July 1991
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0260/BC 172nd FS       ACES II
23rd September 1991
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0203/EL 23rd TFW       ACES II
23rd September 1991
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0199/EL 23rd TFW       ACES II
23rd September 1991
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0209/EL 23rd TFW       ACES II
11th April 1992
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 76-0526/IN 45th FS       ACES II
28th August 1992
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0695/BD 47th FS       ACES II
12th November 1992
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0184/PA 103rd FS       ACES II
6th December 1992
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 81-0993/BC 172nd FS       ACES II
1st April 1993
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0208/SW 21st FS damaged     ACES II
1994  
Monday 24th January 1994
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0669/FT 75th FS
Pope Air Force Base
Crashed during night time landing at Seymour Johnson AFB Captain Landis B. Cook
ejected
  ACES II
Wednesday 18th May 1994
10:00

USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0227/PA 103rd FS
111th Fighter Group
Willow Grove Air Base Pennsylvania Air National Guard
Mid-air collision during training mission over bombing range at Fort Indiantown Gap about 20 miles northeast of Harrisburg, Lebanon County Pilot
ejected
  ACES II
Wednesday 18th May 1994
10:00

USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 81-0940/PA 103rd FS
111th Fighter Group
Willow Grove Air Base Pennsylvania Air National Guard
Mid-air collision during training mission over bombing range at Fort Indiantown Gap about 20 miles northeast of Harrisburg, Lebanon County Pilot
ejected
  ACES II
  Lieutenant Colonel Terrance D. Hobbs, 47 ejected
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas A. Essig, 42, Shaw AFB, ejected - he was evaluating ANG pilots when the collision occurred
WHO WAS IN WHICH AIRCRAFT ?
8th June 1994
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0249/OS 25th FS       ACES II
17th September 1994
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0214/DM 333rd FS       ACES II
27th September 1994
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0143/DM 357th FS       ACES II
1995  
19th May 1995
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0268/BC 172nd FS
110th Fighter Group
Battle Creek Air National Guard
Michigan
Crashed north of Fort Bliss, Texas. Flying over White Sands Missile Range. Major Clarence Talmadge Marsh III
41
killed
  ACES II
13th June 1995
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0143/DM 357th FS       ACES II
25th August 1995
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0200/WA 57th Wing damaged     ACES II
29th August 1995
14:15

USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0157/SW 55th FS ?
or
70th Fighter Squadron
Moody Air Force Base
Crashed in a field near Georgia Highway 135 near Naylor in Lowndes County First Lieutenant Greg Gilbreath
ejected
safely
pic ACES II
10th October 1995
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0200/AK 355th FS       ACES II
1996  
21st August 1996
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0636/PA 111th FG
103rd FS
Pennsylvania Air National Guard
 
crashed into coastal marsh near
Salisbury, MD
Major Michael J. Griffin
39
Sellersville Pa.
killed
  ACES II
4th September 1996
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0281/DM 358th FS damaged     ACES II
1997  
28th March 1997
15:35

USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0156/PA 103rd FS Crashed north of the base while landing at Willow Grove Air Reserve Station on instrument approach Lieutenant Colonel Joost VanBastelaar
47
killed
  ACES II
2nd April 1997
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0215/DM 357th FS
Davis-Monthan AFB Tucson, AZ
Aircraft went missing  on a training flight over the Arizona desert, it was last detected on radar near Eagle, Colorado, 800 miles off-course . Capt. Craig Button
died in crash
ACES II
Thursday 17th April 1997
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0170/MY 70th FS
347th Fighter Wing

Moody Air Force Base, Georgia
Crashed in an unpopulated area three miles south of Nahunta having struck a 1040-foot antenna Captain Brett Davis
ejected safely
  ACES II
27th May 1997
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0690/DM 354th FS Crashed on Barry M. Goldwater training range, near Gila Bend in Arizona during routine
training flight
Capt. Amy Lynn Svoboda
killed

pic contact

ACES II
1998  
11th February 1998
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II   354th FW damaged     ACES II
14th May 1998
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0271/DM 358th FS Davis-Monthan crashed Capt. Christopher Hamilton
ejected
minor injuries
  ACES II
1999  
Wednesday 20th January 1999
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0628/MA 131st FS 104th FW
Massachusetts Air National Guard
Night exercise. Crashed in a swampy area near Kasoag Lake, about 30 miles north of Syracuse.during a training exercise in upstate NY Pilot
ejected safely
minor cuts and bruises
  ACES II
16th April 1999
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 81-0952/SP 81st FS Reported by Radio Belgrade and radio "Voice of Russia" that it crashed in  Skopje
 
    ACES II
Known to have been damaged. Further details appreciated
2nd May 1999
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 81-0967/FT 74th FS 23rd Wing Hit by an SA-7 man-portable SAM in the starboard engine. Landed near Skopje near Petrovec airport with engine damage     ACES II
22nd May 1999
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II     Reported by Tanjug news agency and other agencies that it was shot down near Klina (Glinan), Kosovo, CONFIRM ????    
31st May 1999
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II     Shot down by Pristina Corps units CHECK DETAILS    
22nd November 1999
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 81-0985/SP 81st FS damaged     ACES II
10th December 1999
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0212/DM 357th FS damaged     ACES II
2000  
20th January 2000
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0266/ID 190th FS
Idaho Air National Guard
crashed northwest of Boise, Idaho on a training mission Maj. Mark Moynihan, (33)
killed
  ACES II
26th July 2000
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0191/WA 57th Wing damaged     ACES II
2001  
12th January 2001
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0158/OS 25th FS       ACES II
Monday 3rd September 2001
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0676/FT 75th FS
Pope Air Force Base
assigned to 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour-Johnson AFB
Crashed shortly after taking off from Nellis AFB   into a cliff near Mesquite, Virgin River Gorge, near Las Vegas NV Capt. Frederick Sellers
ejected
rescued by a Las Vegas police helicopter
  ACES II
   
2002  
17th January 2002
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0085/DM 354th FS
Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz
Midair collision during a routine training mission near Douglas, Ariz Capt. Patrick Boland
ejected
injured in the accident

Lt. Col. Lance A. Donnelly
ejected
parachute harness leg straps not connected. He fell from his harness when the chute opened.

  ACES II
17th January 2002
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0233/DM 354th FS
Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz
  ACES II
 Thursday, 27th June 2002
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 82-0655/SP 81st FS
Spangdahlem Air Base
Tactical Leadership Program training mission. Crashed in a forest   near the towns of Domptail and Saint-Pierremont,  near the French Polygone Range, southeast of Lunaville, in eastern France Capt. Robert I. "Nova" Lopez
(32)
killed
  ACES II
4th December 2002
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0191/WA 57th Wing mid-air collision about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas over the Nevada Test and Training Range
Capt. Eric Paul "Nutt" Palaro
81st Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany
killed
 Maj. Scott Kneip,
instructor with the USAF Weapons School ,A-10 division
ejected

OK
ACES II
4th December 2002
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0225/WA 57th Wing WHO WAS IN WHICH AIRCRAFT ?? ACES II
31st March 2003
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0094/BD 47th FS damaged     ACES II
7th April 2003
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 81-0987/FT 74th FS damaged     ACES II
8th April 2003
USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0691/ID 190th FS(1245th Wg) Shot down by Iraqi surface-to-air fire  southwest of Baghdad  and crashed near Baghdad International Airport. pilot ejected safely   ACES II
8th April 2003
10:18 a.m. local time

USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II 80-0258/BC 172nd FS   Damaged in action   ACES II
18th November 2003
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0143/WA 57th Wing       ACES II
27th January 2004
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 81-0978/SP 81st FS       ACES II
25th February 2004
USAF
OA-10A Thunderbolt II 78-0700/AK 355th FS
354th FW
Eielson AFB, AK
crashed in Alaska shortly
after takeoff on night mission using
night vision goggles
Pilot killed.   ACES II
27th March 2008
17:00

USAF
A-10A Thunderbolt II   75th Fighter Squadron Moody Air Force Base, Ga Participating in a Green Flag sortie out of Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Made wheels-up landing at Edwards AFB, Cal. on the base's primary landing strip, Runway 22 No ejection   ACES II
Monday 10th May 2010
16:58

USAF
A-10C 23rd Wing
Moody AFB
  During take-off at the south end of the Moody runway Pilot
ejected
  ACES II
   
 

I flew the A-10 from 1977 until 1992.  Here is some information for your web site.

 

This ejection:

 

7th July 1979

http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/WEB-GIFs/flags/usa,0.gif
USAF

A-10A

77-0253/WR

81st TFW

 

Was the first ejection of the 81st TFW.

 

The pilot was Colonel Tommy Thompson. He was the 81st TFW Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations (ADO).  He was also the USAFE A-10 Aerial Demonstration Pilot.  The accident occurred at RAF Chicksands during an air demo.  Col Thompson was killed in the accident, and no ejection was attempted.

 

This accident along with a slew of other accidents and mishaps was most likely the result of Foreign Objects being left in the “White Area” of the A-10 at the factory – a supposedly sealed area in the cockpit where the normal hydraulic operated flight controls met with the manual reversion flight controls.  After another two  A-10  air demo accidents at Nellis in 1981 (see below) there was an incident at Bentwaters where a pilot from the 510th TFS experienced flight control binding, that locked the aircraft into a dive.  Luckly this pilot had enough altitude and strength to break the flight controls free.  The airplane was grounded after landing, and a pen was found in the White Area.  This led to a grounding of the entire A-10 fleet, where all White Areas were reinspected and several other foreign objects were found that could be traced to the Fairchild factory.

 

A number of A-10 accident widows sued Fairchild over the deaths of their husbands, and

 

            kim campbell check

 

   

Call Sign - Killer Chick

Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism

Citation
Captain Kim N. Campbell is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism while participating in aerial flight as an A/OA-10 fighter pilot, 75th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 332d Expeditionary Operations Group, 332d Air Expeditionary Wing at Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base, Kuwait on 7 April 2003. On that date, at North Baghdad Bridge, Iraq, flying as Yard 06, Captain Campbell’s professional skill and airmanship directly contributed to the successful close air support of ground forces from the 3d Infantry Division and recovery of an A-10 with heavy battle damage. While ingressing her original target area, Captain Campbell was diverted to a troops-in-contact situation where enemy forces had positioned themselves within 400 meters of the advancing friendly forces and were successfully preventing the lead elements of the 3d Infantry Division from crossing the North Baghdad Bridge.

Unable to eliminate the enemy without severe losses, the ground forward air controller had requested immediate close air support. After a quick situation update and target area study, Captain Campbell expertly employed 2.75 inch high explosive rockets on the enemy position that had been threatening the advancing forces, scoring a direct hit and silencing the opposition.

During her recovery from the weapons delivery pass, a surface-to-air missile impacted the tail of Captain Campbell’s aircraft. Immediately taking corrective action, she isolated the hydraulic systems and placed the A-10 into the manual reversion flight control mode of flight and prepared for the long and tenuous return flight to Kuwait.

Captain Campbell’s aviation prowess and coolness under pressure directly contributed to the successful comletion of the critical mission and recovery of a valuable combat aircraft. The outstanding heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Captain Campbell reflect great credit upon herself and the United States Air Force.

Air Force
3/29/2004 - WASHINGTON — The Iraqi republican guard may have had luck on their side that miserable Baghdad day, but they did not know who was flying the A-10 Thunderbolt II they had just hit with a rocket.

It was April 7, 2003, and an elite unit of Iraqis had U.S. forces pinned down along the Tigris River, firing rocket-propelled grenades into their position, not far from the North Baghdad Bridge. The word from the forward-air controller on the ground with the U.S. forces indicated assistance was needed immediately.

Capt. Kim Campbell of the 75th Fighter Squadron, speaking to a large crowd at the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum on March 24, said she knew there would be considerable risk involved in the mission. But she said that it is the nature of the beast for an A-10 attack pilot.

“These guys on the ground needed our help,” said the captain. “That’s our job — to bring fire down on the enemy when our Army and Marine brothers request our assistance.”

The day’s mission had not been ideal by any means. Once she and her flight leader were airborne, with instructions to target Iraqi vehicles and tanks in the city, they had trouble finding the tanker for gas, because of inclement weather conditions in the area. Before leaving Kuwait, the weather prompted Captain Campbell’s flight leader, who was also her squadron commander, to ask if she had her lucky rabbit’s foot.

“I did not know how much luck I would later need,” she told the Smithsonian crowd.

As soon as the call for close-air support came through, Captain Campbell said she knew the two planes would be over the target area within minutes. The pilots kept their planes above the weather as long as possible before descending in time to identify both the friendly and enemy locations. Then they unleashed their fury, beginning with the flight lead applying his 30 mm cannon on the enemy, and ending with both pilots making several passes, firing both cannon and explosive rockets.

Captain Campbell was leaving the target following her last rocket pass when she felt and heard a large explosion at the back of the aircraft. There was no question in her mind, she said, that the plane had been hit by enemy fire.

“The jet rolled fairly violently to the left and pointed at the city below, and the jet was not responding to any of my control inputs,” she said. “I had several caution lights, but the ones that stood out in my mind the most were the hydraulic lights. I checked the hydraulic gauges and both read zero.”

With both hydraulic lines gone, the only option was to put the jet into “manual inversion,” a system of cranks and cables that allows the pilot to fly the aircraft under mechanical control. The captain said she saw it as her last chance to avoid a parachute ride down into the city.

It was a huge relief, she said, when the jet started to climb out and away from Baghdad. But that relief was short-lived. She still had to maneuver the plane back to Kuwait, much of the way through hostile territory.

“I knew that if I had to eject, my chances of survival and rescue would be much better if I could get out of the city,” she said. “As we started maneuvering south to get out of Baghdad, we noticed that anti-aircraft artillery was coming at us from several locations.”

With little control to keep the jet moving in the manual inversion configuration, Captain Campbell said she could only hope for the best.

“I was hoping that the theory of big sky, little bullet would work out in my favor,” she told the crowd. “Amazingly, we made it out of Baghdad with no further battle damage.”

The design of the A-10 restricts how much the pilot can see of the rear portion of the jet, so Captain Campbell was limited to her flight lead’s description of the damage to her aircraft. His words were not encouraging.

“He did an initial battle-damage check and told me that I had hundreds of small holes in the fuselage and tail section on the right side, as well as a football-sized hole in the right horizontal stabilizer,” she said. “I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I knew that that didn’t sound great.”

Soon thereafter, the captain began the long process of going through several emergency checklists. She said she had a decision to make — stay with the jet and try to land, or get to friendly territory and eject. Pilots do not train very often in manual inversion — only once during initial training to find out how the jet will respond, she said. In fact, one of the items on the checklist is to “attempt manual inversion landings only under ideal conditions,” she said. Still, Captain Campbell said she was confident she was going to get the jet back safely on the ground.

“I felt that I had a lot of things going my way that day,” she said. “The jet was flying extremely well, the winds at our home base were down the runway, and I had a very experienced flight lead on my wing, providing me with mutual support.”

At the same time, the captain also said that A-10 manual-inversion landings had been attempted three times during Operation Desert Storm, and not all had been successful. One pilot had been killed when his jet crashed, and one survived after touching down only to find out that his jet had no brakes.

“The trip back to Kuwait was probably one of the longest hours of my life,” she said. “I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen when I slowed the aircraft down in an attempt to land.”

After she completed the emergency-gear extension, the gear came down with three green-light indicators, telling Captain Campbell that the gears were down and locked. Now it was just a matter of flying the aircraft through the continual haze of dust storms associated with Kuwait. The pilots contacted the tower and the supervisor of flying to say they were on the way in.

As Captain Campbell started on final approach, the aircraft was flying extremely well, she said. But, as the A-10 crossed the landing threshold, the aircraft started a quick roll to the left. The captain quickly counteracted that with flight controls, and the A-10 touched down.

“When all three wheels hit the ground, it was an amazing feeling of relief, but I still had to get the jet stopped,” she said. “So I accomplished the procedure for emergency braking, and once again, that jet worked as advertised.”

Looking back on the ordeal, Captain Campbell said she has nothing but kind words for those responsible for building the A-10, and for those responsible for maintaining it.

“I am incredibly thankful to those who designed and built the A-10 as well as the maintainers who did their part to make sure that that jet could fly under any circumstances, even after extensive battle damage,” she said.

Captain Campbell told the Smithsonian crowd that experts believe a surface-to-air missile hit near the right rear stabilizer, a missile fired without the aid of any type of navigation system — it was a lucky shot.

But that luck pales in comparison to the good fortune of Captain Campbell’s A-10. Thanks to her, the plane has since found a nice resting place amongst the heroes of days gone by — in the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. — instead of becoming a burning heap of metal in Iraq.