Members Only Wild Weasels T-Shirt
First in. Last out — the story of the Wild Weasel.
Wild Weasel is a code name given by the United States Armed Forces, specifically the US Air Force, to an aircraft of any type, equipped with radar-seeking missiles and tasked with the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD). That is to say; their mission is to destroy the radar and Surface-to-Air Missile installations of enemy air defense systems. "The first Wild Weasel success came soon after the first Wild Weasel mission 20 December 1965 when Captains Al Lamb and Jack Donovan took out a site during a Rolling Thunder strike on the railyard at Yen Bai, some 75 miles northwest of Hanoi."
In brief, the task of a Wild Weasel aircraft is to bait enemy anti-aircraft defenses into targeting it with their radars. Once focused, the radar waves are traced back to their source, allowing the Weasel or its teammates to precisely target it for destruction. The unofficial motto of the Wild Weasel crews is YGBSM: "You Gotta Be Shittin' Me." This acronym appears prominently on the logo patch of some squadrons. As the story goes, this was the response of Jack Donovan, a former B-52 EWO (Electronic Warfare Officer). This was the natural response of an educated man, a veteran EWO on B-52s and the like, upon learning that he was to fly back seat to a self-absorbed fighter pilot while acting as flypaper for enemy SAMs.
His exact words were: "You want me to fly in the back of a little tiny fighter aircraft with a crazy fighter pilot who thinks he's invincible, home in on a SAM site in North Vietnam, and shoot it before it shoots me, you gotta be shitting me!" His vernacular stuck and YGBSM is prominently displayed on the patch of some squadrons, adding to the legend of the Wild Weasel.
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