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Douglas A-1 Skyraider references, articles and publications

Image of Once a Jock...Always a Jock!!: Recollections of the Flying Midshipmen

Once a Jock...Always a Jock!!: Recollections of the Flying Midshipmen

Earl Rogers

“Once a Jock . . . Always a Jock!!” is a compilation of three hundred stories written by the first postwar generation of Naval Aviators who began their training in late 1945 as teenagers fresh out of high school. A 16-week Pre-Flight school started the clock running on a two-year contract where each future Navy pilot held the rank of Aviation Midshipman, USN. The clock was still running when they earned their gold wings and were assigned to fleet squadrons. These Flying Midshipmen flew every aircraft in the Navy’s arsenal. Eventually they were sworn in as commissioned officers and went on to participate in every major aviation event from the Berlin Airlift, the Korean War, and the Cold War, to the conflict in Vietnam. A reader of these stories will discover what motivated 3,000 high school kids to fly for the Navy. They will learn what it was like to be a Flying Midshipman at the bottom of the pecking order aboard ship or as a pilot in an aircraft squadron.
Today’s young pilots will gain some useful knowledge about training mishaps and accidents that could have been avoided. They will be thrilled by accounts of My First Corsair Flight or My First Jet Flight or My First Cat Shot. They might reflect on the sobering story of Jesse Brown, the African-American who broke the color barrier in Naval Aviation the same year that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball.
Those who have flown as civilian or military pilots will discover themselves in the narrow escapes and the humor in the aftermath of bad judgment, and above all, in their great love of flying. They will learn what it is like landing a battle damaged fighter on an aircraft carrier in bad weather or guiding a blinded pilot to successful wheels-up landing. Reading these stories, veteran flyers may remember the long monotonous anti-submarine and maritime patrols that ended in moments of stark terror. Anyone who has ever sat in the left seat of a flying boat may be surprised to know that seaplane pilots had to supplement their flying skills with a firm knowledge of seamanship. They can read about it in Recollections of an Old PBM Pilot. Of course the book has stories for helicopter jocks and transport pilots and instrument pilots flying in all kinds of weather from the arctic to the tropics. For the poetry minded, there are some of those too. These stories should appeal to anyone who has ever dreamed about flying. And most important, 100% of the profits are directed to the Flying Midshipmen Endowment Fund to support the Youth Aviation Training Program aboard the USS Midway Museum in San Diego.

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Image of Carrying a Nuke to Sevastopol: One Pilot, One Engine, and One Plutonium Bomb

Carrying a Nuke to Sevastopol: One pilot, one engine, and one plutonium bomb

Daniel Ford

This story began as a study of lofting or tossing nuclear weapons, known as"LABs," for Low Altitude Bombing system. I became fascinated with the notion of using the prop-driven Skyraider for this purpose, and the story evolved into an account of what it would have been like to drive this 1940s aircraft to Sevastopol
on the first day of the Third World War. "Crazy days," as one pilot called the notion. The article was published in Foundation magazine of the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola in its Fall 1999 issue, and is somewhat expanded here. I have included my email correspondents with the men who call themselves the
"Spadguys," for the benefit of those who'd like to delve deeper into the sometimes desperate measures that were taken during the Cold War years. The book's frontispiece shows the pretty Pokrovsky cathedral in the center of Sevastopol, which I have chosen as the IP or Initial Point of my mythical sortie. From its spire, all other calculations would be based. Crazy days, indeed! -- Daniel Ford

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Image of Taking Fire: Saving Captain Aikman: A Story of the Vietnam Air War

Taking Fire: Saving Captain Aikman: A Story of the Vietnam Air War

Kevin O'Rourke

American military special operations forces—Rangers, SEALs, and others—have become a well-recognized and highly respected part of our popular culture. But whom do these elite warriors look to in their times of greatest need: when wounded on the battlefield, cut off deep behind enemy lines, or adrift in the expanse of the world’s oceans? They look skyward, hoping to catch a glimpse of their own personal guardian angel: a U.S. Air Force pararescue jumper (PJ) who lives, and sometimes dies, by the motto that others may live.

Taking Fire provides an up-close look into the heroism and mystique of this little known segment of the Air Force Special Tactics community by focusing on one of the most dramatic rescues of the Vietnam War. It was June 1972 and Capt. Lynn Aikman is returning from a bombing mission over North Vietnam when his F-4 Phantom is jumped by an enemy MiG and shot down. He and his backseater Tom Hanton eject from their crippled aircraft, but Hanton lands near a village and is quickly captured by local militia. Badly injured during the ejection, Aikman lands some distance from the village, and there is a chance that he can be recovered if American rescuers can reach him before the enemy does.

Now on the ground and drifting in and out of consciousness, Captain Aikman looks up and suddenly sees his guardian angel in the form of USAF Pararescue Jumper Chuck McGrath. As Sergeant McGrath is preparing to hook the downed pilot to a hoist line, he sees it fall to the ground. Hostile fire on the hovering Jolly Green Giant rescue helicopter has damaged the hoist mechanism causing the operator to cut the line. While circling A-1 Skyraiders strafe the militia to keep them away from Aikman and McGrath, the helicopter crew races to come up with a plan. It’s getting dark, and they’ll only have one chance.

Taking Fire is an exciting, highly dramatic story of life and death over North Vietnam. Much more than a chronicle the events of 27 June 1972, the book gives the reader an up-close look at the little known world of the U.S. Air Force’s elite aerial rescue force.

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"Intrepid" - in name and spirit

Volume 6 Issue 03, 1973, Aircraft illustrated

Peter Kilduff

THE veteran American aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (CVS11) has earned the title which graces the sides of her gangplank ; "The Oldest of the Boldest." From the fierce Kamikaze punctuated battles of the Pacific to relentless strikes over Vietnam and, lately, as a component of NATO forces, Intrepid has served long and well. The shi p's present mission-as the only anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft carrier operating from the American east coast-also presages the make-up of future US Navy carr ier forces : a combination of ASW and tactical aircraft operating from the same ship....

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US Navy Aircraft on Display

Volume 18, Issue 12, 1956, Air Pictorial

ON 1st to 3rd September America's National Air Show was staged at Oklahoma City, and on display was the might ofthe U.S.A.F. / and U.S. Navy. Ranging from the  Cessna L-19B Bird Dog to the giant Convair B-36H, an impressive array of aircraft was on show.
The illustrations on these pages give some indication of the variety of aircraft in service with the U .S. Navy, and in comparison the Royal Navy, so far as aircraft are  concerned, lags behind.

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Image of Naval Aviation in the Korean War: Aircraft, Ships and Man

NAVAL AVIATION IN THE KOREAN WAR: Reflections of War - Volume 1 - Cover of Darkness

Warren Thompson

The first part of this book covers the role of US aircraft carriers and aircraft in stopping the North Korean initial push to the south and also their role in the famous Inchon Landing and Pusan Perimeter Break out. The last part of the first chapter deals with naval operations during the Marine's Chosin Reservoir march to the sea in December 1950. The book goes on to describe the stabilization of the front lines after the Chinese had entered the war during 1951. At this time, the emphasis for naval air operations was centered on interdiction behind the lines. The focus was on trying to stop road and rail traffic from resupplying the communist troops and allowing them to build up to a major offensive. It also includes the entry of the F2H Banshee into carrier operations which gave the USA four major types of aircraft with which to wage the war. During 1952 most carrier air groups spend their time off the coast of North Korea while hitting targets up along the Yalu River, putting them well within the range of the MiG-15s. Navy F9F Panthers were used as top cover while the Corsairs and Skyraiders went after major targets such as the dam complexes up river and marshaling yards north of Pyongyang. During 1953, naval air operations were stepped up in an effort to get the communists back to the truce talks. The number of MiG-15s had grown to a figure many times that of the UN for overhead protection. The deep missions were more dangerous than ever and the Chinese brought in state of the art antiaircraft automatic weapons. The number of sorties flown by the US Naval aircraft increased over the previous year's record numbers. The war ended on July 27, 1953.

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AMJET's Warbirds

Number 162, January 1995, Flypast magazine

Robert Rudhall

An amazing collection in the USA. Although a little known organisation, several of AMJET's warbirds have already won several awards for excellence

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No. 60 - AD Skyraider in Action

Aircraft in Action Jim Sullivan

As a replacement for the obsolete SBD Dauntless, Douglas Aircraft Company at El Segundo developed the XSB2D Destroyer, a single engine two place dive bomber with the secondary capability of torpedo attack. Equipped with a tricycle landing gear, and inverted gull wings similar to the F4U Corsair, the Destroyer was armed with two 50 caliber machine guns mounted in each wing and three 50s mounted in remotely controlled aft turrets. Maximum bomb load was 4000 lbs., which was carried internally. However, while the two place Destroyer was under development, the Navy changed it's requirements from a two place SB (Scout Divebomber) to a single place BT (Divebomber Torpedo Attack). Douglas quickly went to work redesigning the XSB2D into a single seat aircraft under the designation XBTD-1. Unfortunately the inverted gull wing design proved to be impractical and the XBTD-1 project was cancelled in June of 1944.

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No. 60 - AD Skyraider in Action

Aircraft in Action Jim Sullivan

As a replacement for the obsolete SBD Dauntless, Douglas Aircraft Company at El Segundo developed the XSB2D Destroyer, a single engine two place dive bomber with the secondary capability of torpedo attack. Equipped with a tricycle landing gear, and inverted gull wings similar to the F4U Corsair, the Destroyer was armed with two 50 caliber machine guns mounted in each wing and three 50s mounted in remotely controlled aft turrets. Maximum bomb load was 4000 lbs., which was carried internally. However, while the two place Destroyer was under development, the Navy changed it's requirements from a two place SB (Scout Divebomber) to a single place BT (Divebomber Torpedo Attack). Douglas quickly went to work redesigning the XSB2D into a single seat aircraft under the designation XBTD-1. Unfortunately the inverted gull wing design proved to be impractical and the XBTD-1 project was cancelled in June of 1944.

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Image of Douglas Skyraider

Douglas Skyraider

Berkely R Jackson

Second Library Copy. San Diego Air and Space Museum.

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Taking the Flak

Number 305, December 2006, Flypast magazine

Warren Thompson

Perilous US Navy and Marine Corps Skyraider missions over North Korea, described by Warren E Thompson.

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SKYRAIDER #13 (Illustrated History of the Vietnam War)

Robert F Dorr

Complete story of a WWII vintage aircraft in Vietnam. The A-1 "Flying Dumptruck".

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‘Sandy’ to the rescue

Number 346, May 2010, Flypast magazine

Warren Thompson

Skyraiders were at the heart of an amazing five-day rescue of a shot-down bomber crew in Vietnam. Warren E Thompson profiles the operation.

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Preserved ’raiders

Number 346, May 2010, Flypast magazine

Andy Marden

The world’s surviving ‘fighter’ cockpit Skyraiders are detailed by Andy Marden.

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All-seeing ‘Guppy’

Number 346, May 2010, Flypast magazine

Pete West

Pete West artwork brings the Royal Navy’s AEW.1 ‘Guppy’ to ‘life’.

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Wolf Raiders

Number 346, May 2010, Flypast magazine

Warren Thompson

Warren E Thompson tells of ‘derring-do’ as the Marines’ VMA-121 Squadron went into battle over Korea.

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In Focus: Douglas Skyraider

Number 346, May 2010, Flypast magazine

We turn our attention to the warhorse of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts – the Douglas Skyraider.

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Image of Douglas A-1H Skyraider Pilot's Flight Operating Instructions

Douglas A-1H Skyraider Pilot's Flight Operating Instructions

United States Navy

Designed to allow maximum loiter time in the battle zone, the A-1 Skyraider was one of the U.S. militarys most versatile Cold War-era aircraft. It was also one of the most enduring - the "Spad" flew in the 40s, 50s, 60s and early 70s, performing combat missions in Korea and Vietnam. Boasting heavy armor and seven hardpoints on each wing, it could pack a wallop. Yet the plane could also hold its own against fighters: in 1966 two Navy pilots scored victories against MiG-17s. Over 3,100 Skyraiders were built. They flew for the USAF until 1972. Originally printed by the U.S. Navy, this A-1H Flight Operating Manual taught pilots everything they needed to know before entering the cockpit. Classified "Restricted", the manual was recently declassified and is here reprinted in book form. This affordable facsimile has been reformatted and color images appear in black and white. Care has been taken however to preserve the integrity of the text.

11/08/2009

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Spads' over Korea

Volume 4 Issue 3, Military Aircraft Monthly (was Model Aircraft Monthly )

Neil Robinson

In the second Korean War feature in this issue, modelling the recent 1/48 scale re-release of the 'old' ESCI kit as an AD-4B torpedo bomber and then produces a USMC AD-4N 'night interdictor' from the loft, whilst Jon Freeman offers some alternative Korean War 'Spad' schemes

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Nam Spad Trio

Volume 4 Issue 2, Military Aircraft Monthly (was Model Aircraft Monthly )

Will Alcott

Builds three 1/72 scale Vietnam War period Skyraiders, with various detail improvements, culminating in a comprehensive 'kitbash'

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Image of US Navy A-1 Skyraider Units of the Vietnam War (Combat Aircraft)

US Navy A-1 Skyraider Units of the Vietnam War (Combat Aircraft)

Rick Burgess

Osprey's examination of the A-1 Skyraider Units' participation in the Vietnam War (1955-1975). Designed and built as a carrier-based attack aircraft in 1944, the A-1 reached frontline units too late to see combat in World War II (1939-1945). With the advent of jets in the late 1940s, the Skyraider was seen as a dated throwback to the golden age of piston-engined naval aviation. Despite its days seemingly numbered, the A-1 proved to be a huge success in the Korean War. Remaining in production through to 1957, some 3,180 Skyraiders had been built by the time the last one left the Douglas plant.

Nicknamed the ''flying dump truck'', the A-1 remained a key component in naval air wings into the 1960s, allowing the aircraft to play its part in the escalating conflict in Vietnam. Both A-1 attack and EA-1F airborne early warning aircraft saw action in Southeast Asia from 1960 through to 1969, when the last examples were finally retired from carrier decks. The A-1s in particular bombed targets in both North and South Vietnam, despite the aircraft being highly vulnerable to enemy flak and fighters. Co-written by a two-tour Vietnam War combat veteran in the A-1, this is the first book that focuses exclusively on the aircraft's service in Vietnam, providing a must-have volume for Vietnam aviation enthusiasts.

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Image of A-1 Skyraider - Walk Around No. 27

A-1 Skyraider - Walk Around No. 27

Ed Barthelmes

History of the most versatile single engine propeller a/c every built. Provides in-depth coverage of all variants both inside & out. Over 80 B&W photos plus 34 pgs of color photos & 4 pgs of color profiles. 80 pages.

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Image of Douglas A-1H Skyraider Pilot's Flight Operating Instructions

Douglas A-1H Skyraider Pilot's Flight Operating Instructions

United States Navy

Designed to allow maximum loiter time in the battle zone, the A-1 Skyraider was one of the U.S. military s most versatile Cold War-era aircraft. It was also one of the most enduring the Spad flew in the 40 s, 50 s, 60 s and early 70 s, performing combat missions in Korea and Vietnam. Boasting heavy armor and seven hardpoints on each wing, it could pack a wallop. Yet the plane could also hold its own against fighters: in 1966 two Navy pilots scored victories against MiG-17s. Over 3,100 Skyraiders were built. They flew for the USAF until 1972. Originally printed by the U.S. Navy, this A-1H Flight Operating Manual taught pilots everything they needed to know before entering the cockpit. Classified Restricted , the manual was recently declassified and is here reprinted in book form. This affordable facsimile has been reformatted and color images appear in black and white. Care has been taken however to preserve the integrity of the text.

15/09/2008

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Image of Skyraider: The Douglas A-1 Flying Dump Truck

Skyraider: The Douglas A-1 Flying Dump Truck

Rosario Rausa

The real story behind this great workhorse/attack plane that served with distinction in Korea and Vietnam

1/11/1982

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Image of Douglas A-1 Skyraider: A Photo Chronicle

Douglas A-1 Skyraider: A Photo Chronicle

Frederick A Johnsen

The famed Skyraider in Korea and Vietnam, emphasizing its great ground assault capabilities.

1/03/1994

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Image of The A-1 Skyraider in Vietnam: The Spads Last War (Schiffer Military History Book)

The A-1 Skyraider in Vietnam: The Spad's Last War

Wayne Mutza

Through its remarkable service during the war in Southeast Asia, the Skyraider became legendary. It served with distinction in the hands of U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and South Vietnamese Air Force pilots, who took the war to the enemy, often at low altitude and in the face of devastating antiaircraft fire. And it suffered heavy losses. The Skyraiders versatility and the mettle of its pilots were unmatched. This book takes not only a look at an old airplane, but at the warriors who flew and maintained the machine they called the Spad. This volume captures the essence of combat in the Spad, and explains the broad range of Spad operations. The text, which is rich with the narratives of Spad pilots and ground crew, is complemented by over 300 original photographs, seventy emblems, and detailed listings of every Skyraider that flew in the war, and the colorful units to which they were assigned. This fascinating volume is a must for aviation enthusiasts, history buffs, and modelers alike.

1/07/2007

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Image of From the Cockpit: Coming of Age in the Korean War

From the Cockpit: Coming of Age in the Korean War

Tex Atkinson

An autobiography of a naval aviator who flew over 100 combat missions in the Korean War. Tex Atkinson flew F4U Corsairs and AD Skyraiders. He served on the USS Princeton and USS Boxer.

An important contribution to the history of naval aviation with detailed and often chilling accounts of combat flying during the Korean War and of straight-deck carrier operations during that time. Includes excellent descriptions of the flying characteristics (and hazards) of the Corsair and Skyraider.

Also a very human story with accounts of the author's growing up years in Hillsboro, Texas and his attendance at Southwestern University. There is an interesting account of a Willie Nelson concert to benefit the restoration of the Hill County courthouse which burned to the ground and was completely rebuilt to look like the original.

Book includes two photo sections (32 pages total) of excellent personal and naval aviation photography.

This is a much expanded and much higher quality edition than the paperback edition published by Publish America. DO NOT CONFUSE THE TWO. There is little comparison.

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Image of Nixon's Trident: Naval Power in Southeast Asia, 1968-1972 (U.S. Navy and the Vietnam War)

Nixon's Trident: Naval Power in Southeast Asia, 1968-1972 (U.S. Navy and the Vietnam War)

John Darrell Sherwood

This commemoration booklet focuses on naval air power during the final years of the Vietnam War. For much of this period, Navy aircraft sought to hamper the flow of supplies down the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos—a huge investment in air power resources that ultimately proved fruitless. After North Vietnam’s invasion of the South in 1972, however, Navy tactical aviation, as well as naval gunfire support, proved critical, not only in blunting the offensive but also in persuading North Vietnam to arrive at a peace agreement in Paris in1973. The Navy’s forward presence saved the day in 1972 and allowed President Nixon to finally achieve “peace with honor.”

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Image of Carrier Aviation -Air Power Directory

Carrier Aviation -Air Power Directory

David Donald

This truly unique and fully up-to-date reference work covers every aircraft carrier currently in service and/or having served during the past 50 years. Arranged country by country, this new book features a detailed history of each nation's carrier development, procurements, and combat action, and includes: Entries for every aircraft type, its variants, missions, specifications, weapons and operators; Entries on every fixed-wing carrying vessel, specifications, key dates, and air wing details; Details of chains of command, orders of battle for current assets, and 'snapshots' of historic orders of battle; Descriptions of carrier operations, including deck systems and launch and recovery procedures. Beautifully illustrated with hundreds of color and black and white photos.

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Image of Strike from the Sea: U.S. Navy Attack Aircraft from Skyraider to Super Hornet, 1948-Present

Strike from the Sea: U.S. Navy Attack Aircraft from Skyraider to Super Hornet, 1948-Present

Tommy H Thomason

Strike from the Sea: U.S. Navy Attack Aircraft from Skyraider to Super Hornet 1948-Present celebrates carrier-based air-to-ground attack aircraft which first came into operation during the Korean War, reached maturity during Vietnam, and are deployed today throughout the world. Well-known author and naval aviation authority Tommy Thomason not only explores such legendary Navy aircraft as the A4D Skyhawk, A3J Vigilante, and A-6 Intruder, but also the critical role of the aircraft carrier itself, for without these massive nuclear-powered floating airfields, U.S. Navy attack aircraft would have no sea-borne bases from which to operate.

Armament from gravity bombs to today's GPS-guided smart weapons are covered in great detail, and this book also explains that while many different types of airplanes were required for flying attack missions in the past, only one aircraft, the advanced F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, is needed to carry out these same missions in an even more complex and hostile combat environment today.

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Image of Cheating Death: Combat Air Rescues in Vietnam and Laos

Cheating Death

George J Marrett

They flew low and slow, at treetop level, at night, in monsoons, and in point-blank range of enemy guns and missiles. They were missions no one else wanted, but the ones all other pilots prayed for when shot down. Flying the World War II-vintage Douglas A-1 Skyraider, a single-engine, propeller-driven relic in a war of “fast-movers,” these intrepid US Air Force pilots, call sign Sandy, risked their lives with every mission to rescue thousands of downed Navy and Air Force pilots.

With a flashback memory and a style all his own, George J. Marrett depicts some of the most dangerous aerial combat of any war. The thrilling rescue of “Streetcar 304” and William Jones's selfless act of heroism that earned him the Medal of Honor are but two of the compelling tales he recounts. Here too are the courages Jolly Green Giant helicopter crews, parajumpers, and forward air controllers who worked with the Sandys over heavily defended jungles and mountains well behind enemy lines.

Passionate, mordantly witty, and filled with heart-pounding adrenaline, Cheating Death reads like the finest combat fiction, but it is the real deal: its heroes, cowards, jokers, and casualties all have names and faces readers will find difficult to forget.

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Aircraft Profile 60 - Douglas Skyraider

Profile Publications Harry Gann

"Dauntless II, Skyraider, BT2D-1, AD, A-1 A or Spad: Cali it what you will for all of these i designations refer to the same aeroplane. Few like mortals, have the rare combination of that result in a truly outstanding performer. can deny that the AD possesses these characteristics. Asa result of a Department of Defence dir standardise the designation systems of the procured for the U.S. Navy, Marines, Army U.S. Air Force, many American military air known by more than one type of designate Skyraider has this multiple identity. The service in 1962 were re-identified as follows: A-1E, AD-5W to EA-1E, AD-5Q to EA-1F, AD5N to A1G, AD-6 to A-1H, and AD-7 to A-1J"...

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