Gunship II: Spectre The AC-130 Spectre gunship was far more capable than the AC-47. It first flew in combat in the fall of 1967. Spectre gunship crews primarily flew night missions to stop enemy transportation on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos. The AC-130 became the Air Force's most successful "truck-killer." Despite its effectiveness, however, it was never available in large numbers. The AC-130 was continuously improved during the war. AC-130s carried 7.62mm, 20mm, and 40mm guns, and even a 105mm howitzer, depending on the version. AC-130s also possessed sophisticated sensors to detect the enemy at night. These sensors included forward looking radar (FLIR), low-level light television (LLTV) and infrared illuminators. Click here to return to the Gunships Overview.