Century Wings 1/72nd scale CW001632 LTV A-7D Corsair II 23rd TFW 75th TFS U.S.A.F EL218 England AFB 1981 . Buy now online at Flying Tigers.
The LTV A-7 Corsair II is a carrier-capable subsonic light attack aircraft designed and manufactured by American conglomerate Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV).
The A-7 was developed during the early 1960s as replacement for the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. Its design is derived from the Vought F-8 Crusader; in comparison with the F-8, the A-7 is both smaller and restricted to subsonic speeds, its airframe being simpler and cheaper to produce. Following a competitive bid by Vought in response to the United States Navy’s (USN) VAL (Heavier-than-air, Attack, Light) requirement, an initial contract for the type was issued on 8 February 1964. Development was rapid, first flying on 26 September 1965 and entering squadron service with the USN on 1 February 1967; by the end of that year, A-7s were being deployed overseas for the Vietnam War.
The 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing moved “on paper” without people or equipment to England Air Force Base, Louisiana, 1st July 1972 and took over the assets and personnel of the 4403rd Tactical Fighter Wing. Assigned to the Ninth Air Force, the wing activated all three of its original World War II fighter units – the 74th, 75th and 76th Tactical Fighter Squadrons for the first time since 1949, and began operations with the Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D Corsair II aircraft.
Squadron markings were a blue tail stripe, later adding white stars and a “74” in 1979 for the 74 TFS; s white outlined black tail stripe, later changed to black and white checkered for the 75 TFS, and a red tail stripe with white stars and a “76” for the 76 TFS. All 23 TFW aircraft carried the “EL” tail code at England.
On 5th July 1973, the 74 TFS deployed to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on temporary duty with the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing (Deployed) from Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, South Carolina. The 74th replaced the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona that had completed its temporary duty. For just over a month, until the cessation of all U.S. bombing on 15th August 1973, the 74 TFS supported the air war activities in Cambodia, accounting for the destruction of 311 enemy structures, 25 ground artillery and missile sites, three bridges and 9,500 cubic meters of supplies. The 74 TFS returned to England on 28th December 1973.
On 18th May 1972, the squadron was redesignated the 75th Tactical Fighter Squadron, and on 1st July 1972 was activated at England Air Force Base, Louisiana. There the squadron began flying the A-7D Corsair II ground attack aircraft.
The 23 TFW took part in a variety of operational exercises both in the United States and overseas, including tactical bombing competitions against the Royal Air Force at RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland, during October 1977 and July 1978. In both events, A-7D teams captured the Sir John Mogg Team Trophy.
It flew the A-7D until 1981 when conversion to the A-10 Thunderbolt II was completed. It became an A-10 training unit and remained at England AFB supporting the deployments of the 74th and 76th TFS. On 2nd December 1991, the 75th Fighter Squadron was inactivated as part of the conversion to the Objective Wing and drawdown of the Air Force after the end of the Cold War.
Eight of the 23rd’s A-7Ds were transferred to the 4450th Tactical Group, based at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada in June 1981, during the transition to the A-10. The 4451st Tactical Squadron at Tonopah Test Range Airport used these aircraft to train F-117 Nighthawk pilots and to provide a cover story for F-117A development.