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Old 8 February 2017, 23:54
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AC-47D call sign "Spooky"

Have always had a small fascination with this aircraft. Wonder who the first military person was to give it the nickname "Puff, the Magic Dragon"? Wish I could have seen it in action back in the day.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=uKOrpyO0z48

Last edited by X18BSOCAL; 9 February 2017 at 00:00.
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Old 9 February 2017, 11:27
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I always thought Spooky & Spectre were cool names. Whoever started the "Puff" thing must have been gay.
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Old 9 February 2017, 11:59
Armitage12 Armitage12 is offline
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No. Peter, Paul and Mary came out with the hit song "Puff, the Magic Dragon" in 1963 and it spent time on the pop music charts (which mattered in a different way then than now). The predecessor to the AC-47, the AC-131 testbed, was in August 1964. The first operational tests occurred in December 1964, and the pilots used the call sign Puff. The cultural reference stuck.
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Old 9 February 2017, 14:39
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Watching a mini-gun workout from above, at night is either the coolest sight you could imagine or the scariest, depending on your point of view.
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Old 9 February 2017, 14:47
wildman43 wildman43 is offline
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Part of the name was what the V.C. called it, due to the rate of fire coming from the guns, at night it looked like a flying Dragon spiting FIRE from it mouth. It scared the hell out of them
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Old 9 February 2017, 14:52
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I saw the tracers from the miniguns, maybe four or five miles away, and there were so many that it looked like a Christmas tree shape in the sky with no visual sensation of back and forth motion at all.
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Old 9 February 2017, 22:49
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I was west twice between the fall of '67 and fall of '69. I saw Puff several times at night and it looked like a fire hose streaming red water. Absolutely no break in the stream to my recall. I'm also glad to hear someone else call the bird "Puff". That's what I remember but all the references I see now are to the 130 and"Spooky". At various times we had Marines embarked and I could have heard the name on their net or on one of our guards, I don't remember.

I have a buddy I worked with in the early '80's who was SF. He tells an interesting tale about Puff and how it saved his rear end. He loved Puff!
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Old 10 February 2017, 00:05
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_AC-47_Spooky
My gut says Douglas was looking to get into the attack side, while maintaining their domestic side.

I see elements, design wise, of the AC-10. While the AC-10 was neither McDonnell or Douglas, McDonnell Douglas engineers were involved in Fairchild Aircraft's design of the Warthog.
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Old 10 February 2017, 02:39
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..the AC-119 was also deployed.
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Old 10 February 2017, 12:09
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Worked with them many times. Often we we would be on a scramble and attacking the target. We were informed that Puff/Spooky was overhead and ready to fire. We then got out of the way and watched the show, awesome.
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Old 10 February 2017, 21:19
WGH0922 WGH0922 is offline
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I always thought the Corps should get (4) AC-130's. One on each coast, Okinawa and MARFORRES in New Orleans to support the MEU's.
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Old 12 February 2017, 15:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole crusty bastard View Post
Watching a mini-gun workout from above, at night is either the coolest sight you could imagine or the scariest, depending on your point of view.
Witnessed an AC-130 firing its guns one night from a distance in Iraq, just one big cone of fire raining down on a small piece of real estate.

Cool, but would hate to be underneath that thing when it opened up.
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Old 2 March 2017, 04:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
My gut says Douglas was looking to get into the attack side, while maintaining their domestic side.
No - production of the airframe had stopped over a decade before and they were on to bigger and better things (DC-5, 6, 7, & 8 had all been produced). Plus, it was an Air Force developed system and not Douglas. A good book on the development and evolution of Air Force gunships is "Gunships: A Pictorial History of Spooky" although it really only goes a bit past Vietnam due to its publishing date.
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Old 3 March 2017, 14:52
57Medic 57Medic is offline
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[QUOTE=X18BSOCAL;1058630387]Have always had a small fascination with this aircraft. Wonder who the first military person was to give it the nickname "Puff, the Magic Dragon"? Wish I could have seen it in action back in the day.
QUOTE]

I too admit a fascination with these warbirds. Very cool and very, very deadly.
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Old 3 March 2017, 15:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCH View Post
..the AC-119 was also deployed.
Friend of mine flew missions on the AC-119.
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Old 10 March 2017, 23:58
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Nothing more logical than calling the early birds Puff.
Fit the song to a T.
Don't know their callsigns.

Remember talking to a 130 version one on the radio.
Callsign was "Spooky 22" or domething like that.
He also verbally used "Spook."
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Old 1 June 2017, 19:03
Davelrrp Davelrrp is offline
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I have thankful memories of being covered by Spooky.

The reason I can post here. http://spocnet.com/showthread.php?t=99476
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Old 1 June 2017, 22:46
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My dad was a forward air controller in Vietnam. Our first family dog was named "Spooky", after the gunship.

The dog was also highly adept at hosing things down when he got pissed off.
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Old 2 June 2017, 01:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paperpusher View Post
I saw the tracers from the miniguns, maybe four or five miles away, and there were so many that it looked like a Christmas tree shape in the sky with no visual sensation of back and forth motion at all.
I've always wanted to get somewhere to take a picture like this


But yea, as others have said, its a shitty situation to be on the receiving end of this. Although they earned it.
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Old 5 June 2017, 07:33
Paul85 Paul85 is offline
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I remember the story about Mr. Levitow and his unbelievable action with that damned flare aboard one of these. 40 wounds, nope, not going down.
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