An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

100th Anniversary Logo with the 100 in large letters and the museum logo
Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
FREE Admission & Parking

Gunship I: Spooky

Spooky -- the first operational Air Force gunship -- was based on the World War II-era Douglas C-47 cargo aircraft. Armed with three side-firing 7.62mm miniguns, Spooky gunships dropped flares and stopped enemy ground attacks against airfields, bases and villages. They also provided road convoy escort and close air support for troops in contact with the enemy.

The first AC-47 combat missions took place in December 1964. Within a year, they were in action throughout South Vietnam providing local defense at night. On thousands of occasions, Spooky crews prevented friendly ground positions from being overrun.

Click here to return to the Gunships Overview.


Find Out More
Related Fact Sheets
Douglas C-47D Skytrain