US Navy A-7 pilot recalls when a Corsair II driver used a $40K AGM-62 Walleye to destroy a $2K broken-down pickup truck blocking a road intersection during the Vietnam War

US Naval Aviator recalls when a fellow A-7 Corsair II pilot used a $40K AGM-62 Walleye to destroy a $2K broken-down pickup truck blocking a road intersection during the Vietnam War

By Dario Leone
Mar 23 2024
Share this article

The AGM-62 Walleye

Although designated an air-to-ground missile (AGM), the Martin Marietta AGM-62 Walleye was actually an unpowered glide bomb with a nose-mounted television camera to guide it to the target.

The Walleye’s camera sent an image of the target to the pilot’s television screen. Once the pilot “locked” onto the target, he launched the weapon. The Walleye’s onboard guidance system independently compared the locked image with the current image and made course corrections. Since the pilot did not have to control the bomb all the way to the target, the Walleye was known as a “fire and forget” weapon.

Walleyes worked well if a target stood out from the surrounding area, but they had trouble if there was not enough contrast. Also, the weapon’s light weight made it ineffective against targets like bridges.

Using a $40K precision weapon to take out a $2K broken-down pickup truck

The AGM-62 worked well against pickup trucks as David Tussey, former US Navy A-7E Corsair II, explains on Quora;

VA-86 A-7 Print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. A-7E Corsair II VA-86 Sidewinders, AJ400 / 159292 / 1977

‘When I first joined Naval Aviation, a number of senior pilots had flown in Vietnam. They flew A-7s, A-4s, and A-1s(!) on ground attack missions.

One A-7 guy told me this story of being diverted from his primary mission (due to weather), and was handed off to a Forward Air Controller (FAC). He was instructed to destroy a broken-down pickup truck that was blocking a road intersection.

‘The only weapon he had was a TV-guided precision weapon, the AGM-62 Walleye.

‘And so, it went…he targeted the broken-down pickup truck with the Walleye, and destroyed it.’

Tussey Concludes;

‘So…we took a precision weapon costing about $40K and in short supply, and took out a $2K broken-down pickup truck. Good grief!

‘But it was a good example of pretty specific targeting — a single truck.’

US Navy A-7 pilot recalls when a Corsair II driver used a $40K AGM-62 Walleye to destroy a $2K broken-down pickup truck blocking a road intersection during the Vietnam War
An AGM-62 Walleye glide bomb mounted on the wing pylon of a US Navy Ling-Temco-Vought A-7C Corsair II

Photo credit: U.S. Navy


Share this article

Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this article


Share this article
Share this article

Always up to date! News and offers delivered directly to you!

Get the best aviation news, stories and features from The Aviation Geek Club in our newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.

Error: Contact form not found.


Share this article
Back to top
My Agile Privacy
This website uses technical and profiling cookies. Clicking on "Accept" authorises all profiling cookies. Clicking on "Refuse" or the X will refuse all profiling cookies. By clicking on "Customise" you can select which profiling cookies to activate. In addition, this site installs Google Analytics in version 4 (GA4) with anonymous data transmission via proxy. By giving your consent, the data will be sent anonymously, thus protecting your privacy. We and our selected ad partners can store and/or access information on your device, such as cookies, unique identifiers, browsing data. You can always choose the specific purposes related to profiling by accessing the advertising preferences panel, and you can always withdraw your consent at any time by clicking on "Manage consent" at the bottom of the page.

List of some possible advertising permissions:

You can consult: our list of advertising partners, the Cookie Policy and the Privacy Policy.
Warning: some page functionalities could not work due to your privacy choices