(9 Total References)
Rear Admiral Lyle Bull, ...
Rear Admiral Lyle Bull, US Navy, Retired
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Lyle Franklin Bull (NSN: 0-643704), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism on 30 October 1967 as a Bombardier/Navigator in Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED NINETY-SIX (VA-196), embarked in U.S.S. CONSTELLATION (CVA-64).
Exercising exceptional professional skill and sound judgment, Lieutenant Bull assisted in the planning and execution of an extremely dangerous, single-plane, night, radar bombing attack on the strategically located and heavily defended Hanoi railroad ferry slip in North Vietnam.
Although the entire Hanoi defensive effort was concentrated upon his lone bomber, he flawlessly assisted his pilot in navigating the aircraft to the target area and commencing an attack.
Seconds before bomb release, six enemy surface-to-air missiles were observed to be tracking on his plane.
Undaunted by this threat to his personal safety, Lieutenant Bull assisted his pilot in taking swift and effective action to avoid the missiles and complete the attack, releasing all weapons in the target area with extreme accuracy.
After release, four more missiles were fired at his aircraft in addition to the intense anti-aircraft-artillery fire.
In spite of this intense enemy opposition, Lieutenant Bull completed his mission and was directly responsible for dealing a significant blow to the North Vietnamese logistics efforts.
His indomitable perseverance and conspicuous gallantry were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Lieutenant Lyle Bull, U.S. Navy, were awarded the Navy Cross for "extra-ordinary heroism" and performance "above and beyond the call of duty.
This is their story. (Written by LCDR William Graves, PAO COMSEVENFLT, in the July 1969 U.S.
Naval Institute Proceedings).
The previous afternoon was like many others.
The two had coffee in the stateroom Bull shared with another bombardier-navigator from their unit - Attack Squadron 196.
had just finished the planning for a routine night hop in which they would be going after trucks in North Vietnam.
Finding and hitting moving targets in complete darkness was no trick for the crew or the highly sophisticated electronic black boxes in the A-6 Intruder.
"Piece of cake," they called it.
They discussed the mission thoroughly, but Bull
did the actual planning.
The pilot looked over his
navigator's work very carefully, but, as was usually the case, made no changes.
The final weather briefing was scheduled for 1800.
There was time to relax-it was only 1630-until a phone call from the squadron duty officer changed their plans.
"Better get down to IOIC, Lyle
" , said the duty officer, "you're going to Hanoi tonight."
While Barrick left to get the target folder, Hunter and Bull
glanced at the air defense charts of the Hanoi area, noting fresh red markings which indicated new surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites.
Barrick, Hunter, and Bull
studied the target carefully.
"Stand back, you guys, here come Charlie and Lyle
There were at least 560 known anti-aircraft guns of various calibers in the area Hunter and Bull
were to fly over.
Hunter and Bull
did not discuss the fact that they might not make it back.
Hunter and Bull
would be the first to know.
With precision accuracy, Bull
guided the pilot by search radar down to 300 feet, with the jagged hills rising on either side.
At the lower altitude, their instruments indicated they had lost the SAM lock-on.
In the radar scope, Bull
could see only the ridges of the hills on both sides above them and the reflection of the valley floor below.
eves fixed on the radar scope, Bull
placed the crossed hairs on the IP in his
As the Intruder flew at near tree-top level, Hunter and Bull
could see a missile lift off from its pad.
head and could see the ground beneath him lit up by flak.
The Intruder rolled out close to the target heading.
attention on the radar scope, noting that the radar cursors had stayed on the target through the roll.
could clearly see trucks and people on the road below.
They were now only seconds from the target.
The five missiles guided perfectly in azimuth, but could not reach down to the A-6
sensed that the missiles exploded above the canopy, but he
didn't look up.
attention was momentarily fixed on the ground where multiple rows of anti-aircraft guns were firing at the aircraft.
watched the muzzle blasts as the jet shot past each row.
Hunter must hold the wings level and the course steady, so that Bull
and the computers could do the job they had come so far to accomplish.
For the first time Charlie Hunter and Lyle Bull
had time to realize what they had been through.
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Q & A with Ret. Rear Admiral Lyle Bull
Two-star Rear Admiral Lyle Bull joined the Navy Reserve before graduating high...
On the night of October 30, ...
On the night of October 30, 1967 a single A-6A Intruder, flown by Lieutenant-Commander Charles B. Hunter with Lieutenant Lyle F. Bull as bombardier/navigator [the sat side-by-side], took off from the carrier Constellation to attack a ferry slip near Hanoi.
As Hunter and Bull
closed on the target they came under intense AA fire.