Launch the Intruder

Please help us preserve the last of the Intruders and the Last Attack in West Pac!

Updated December 2020:

Welcome to the Launch the Intruder Project! A-6E Intruder, BuNo 159579, Modex NK500, was last flown by the Milestones of VA-196 on March 4, 1997. NK500 is a U. S. Navy All-Weather, Medium Attack Bomber and was well represented in the movie Flight of the Intruder. The A-6E aircraft could carry 65% of its empty weight in ordnance and up to thirty -six 500lb bombs if necessary! The B-52, by comparison, could carry 35%!

After sitting in disrepair for over 20 years, the Launch the Intruder project was established to save this significant aircraft from the scrap heap and have it professionally transported to Castle Air Museum.  To date, we are $40,000 from our goal, BUT, due in large part to a retired Air Force Colonel who has most generously pledged $20,000, we now only require $20,000 in donations!! Colonel, we salute you!

Recently, Worldwide Aircraft Recovery, Ltd. has been diligently working on NK500. They have begun the process of dismantling, crating, loading, and transporting some of her parts such as the outboard wing sections, drop tanks, bomb racks, nose turret, and others. We are very excited of our proximity to our goal and hope to have the hulk of NK500 loaded and transported this January, 2021.  Please help us!

In order to make this final portion of our journey come to fruition, it is up to you, the donors, to get us to this finish line of $20,000 as soon as possible, and we have approved the following rankings for permanent recognition of our donors:

Platinum: $3,000 and over
Gold: $1,000 to $2999
Silver: $500 to $999
Bronze: Up to $499

Castle Air Museum, a 501(c)(3), is one of the largest and most distinguished outdoor military aviation museums in the nation and has the infrastructure in place specifically for this aircraft.

There are two payment options available. You may either mail a check or click on the yellow “Donate” button below to pay electronically. A specific account has been established to track the donations for this project.

Pledges: Please contact Greg Smith directly with your pledge.

1. Pay by check: Make your check payable to "Castle Air Museum", with the memo line reading "Launch the Intruder" and mail to:
Castle Air Museum
Attn: Joe Pruzzo, CEO
5050 Santa Fe Dr.
Atwater, CA 95301

2. Pay by credit/debit card: The yellow “Donate” button at the bottom left is dedicated to our Intruder project.  Disregard the blue “Donate” button at the upper right-this belongs to the museum general fund. Once on the PayPal site, enter the dollar amount you wish to donate and click the white button labeled, “Donate with a Debit or Credit Card.”  Then complete the required information to include your contact information.

Please make your tax deductible donation to preserve the last of the Intruders and the Last Attack in West Pac! You may direct any questions to former Milestone, Greg Smith, at

Please click the yellow "Donate" button to save a piece of U.S. Navy history!

The following is a brief synopsis of the history of BuNo 159579:

1975: Delivered to the US Navy.

1977: VA-95 as NL-504.

1980-81: VMA(AW)-242 as DT-00.

1981-83: VA-115 as NF-511.

1989: VA-145 as NE-512.

1996-97: VA-196 as NK-500.

3/1997: Put into storage at the AMARG bone yard.

6/14/2002: Struck off charge, i.e., removed from government responsibility/ownership.

This aircraft is unique in its relationship to Greg Smith. BuNo 159579 was attached to VA-115 as NF-511 on board USS MIDWAY from 1981 to 1983, when Greg Smith was a young AT2 Troubleshooter.  Fast forward to March 4, 1997, and the disestablishment of VA-196, when this same Greg Smith, by then a LTJG and an Intruder pilot, had the unique privilege and honor, along with his B/N Gary Poe, to fly NK 500 to the “Bone Yard.”

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