If a pilot is responsible for dropping a nuke, do they survive the explosion caused by the nuke they dropped?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 06, 2020 03:20 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 06, 2020 03:20 PM

When I was flying Navy A-4 Skyhawks, and A-7 Corsairs and planning nuclear strikes from carriers, we planned as if we would survive the explosion and be able to return to “someplace”, not necessarily the carrier. The delivery methods in use at that time (late 60’s early 70’s) if executed properly would allow a successful escape from the blast. We always assumed that finding a place to land afterwards would probably be a larger problem. Delivery of those weapons at the time required that you be over the target or close enough to “toss” the bomb to the target.

As a pilot, you were now faced with a long trip back to the carrier from over enemy territory. And they would obviously be hostile! Our assumptions for the return was that the carrier would not be there when we returned so we found alternate places to eject and try to survive until we could be rescued. The missions were normally ‘Max range” missions so there was little room for error.

As a pilot, you prayed that you would never be ordered to fly this mission! (But I never met a fellow pilot that indicated he would not fly the mission if ordered!)

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