Randall "Duke" Cunningham
On 19 January 1972, an F-4 Phantom II piloted by Lieutenant Randall "Duke" Cunningham took off from the USS Constellation (CV-64) on a mission over North Vietnam. Operating just north of the Demilitarized Zone, his radar intercept officer, Lieutenant (junior grade) William "Irish" Driscoll picked up two MiG-21 Fishbeds. Cunningham immediately gave chase. Flying at treetop level, Cunningham and Driscoll engaged one MiG with Sidewinder missiles, and scored a kill. This engagement marked the end of a two-year lull in air-to-air combat over North Vietnam, but it was just the beginning for Cunningham and Driscoll.
A few months later, Operation Linebacker had begun, and Cunningham and Driscoll were flying escort for a group of A-6 Intruders, when three MiG-17s appeared. In a brief but harrowing engagement, Cunningham and Driscoll downed one of the enemy aircraft, which was on the tail of his wingman, while the other two were firing on them.