For my A-6 Intruder Buds! I flew the EA-6B Prowler, it was a stretched A-6, and they are often confused for each other.
This is an A-6 Intruder. A two man crew, Pilot and Bombardier-Navigator (BN).
This is an EA-6B Prowler. A 4 man crew, Pilot and 3 Electronic Counter Measures Officers (ECMO).
Both were designed to go in low and fast to project power (ie blow shit up). The A-6 was a Medium Attack aircraft, its mission was bombing whether over the land or against ships. It also could mine harbors, shoot anti-SAM, Harpoon anti ship and even AIM-9 air to air missiles. But it’s bread and butter mission was hauling up to 28 (32 with gear doors off) 500 pound MK-82 (or bigger) bombs through all weather, night or day, at low level and put them on target.
Countering surface to air missiles (SAMs) and search radars through jammers and AGM-88 HARM missiles was the Prowler’s bread and butter. It was also a great Electronic Spy platform and occasionally we’d put linguists onboard as well. It combined many missions which is why it lasted 40 years in the Fleet. In fact the Marines are still flying it. I had 1,800 hours in the mighty Prowler, 550+ carrier landings 200 at night. It wasn’t easy to fly, but it was honest. And those J52-P408s could dig you out of a big hole. One would bring you safely back aboard and did four times for me.
My books: The Aviator Series are progressing through the history of Naval Aviation: Project 7 Alpha, Vengeance at Midway and Guadalcanal, ENDGAME in the Pacific and CODE NAME: Infamy all are set in WW2. My latest, COLD WAR HOT, will move into the jet age and Cold War culminating in the Korean War and is closing in on the Prowler/Intruder era.