Shadow and Stinger

Developing the AC-119G/K Gunships in the Vietnam War

978-1-58544-577-6 Cloth
6 x 9 x 0 in
352 pp. 19 b&w photos.
Pub Date: 02/26/2007


  • Cloth $49.95 s
2008 Frank Futrell Award for Excellence in Historical Publications, presented by the United States Air Force History and Museum Program 2007 Air Force Material Command Excellence in Historical Publications Award, presented by the Air Force
Nicknamed “the truck killer,” the AC-119K gunship and its counterpart, the AC-119G, were developed in the late 1960s in response to the needs of the U.S. military in Vietnam. This important book examines the evolution of these aircraft and their role within Vietnam, military policy, and geopolitical realities.

Drawing on unpublished studies and a host of primary materials, William Head discusses the events that led to the birth of the AC-119, the planning and modification processes that followed, and its operational history. The G model, or “Shadow,” focused on air support and anti-personnel missions. “Stinger,” the K model, which could carry more cargo for longer distances, was suited for destruction of enemy vehicles.

Though the AC-119 was only an interim asset, its descendants—the AC-130E, H, and U—have played an active role in the recent conflict in Iraq.

A narrative of the crews and pilots who executed the missions and the engineers, designers, and the politicians responsible for the aircraft, Shadow and Stinger will be of interest to Vietnam veterans, historians, and scholars, as well as aviation enthusiasts.

Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press