126922/G-RADR Douglas A-1 Skyraider
Flying Legends Show held at Duxford 7th July 2007
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126922/G-RADR Douglas A-1 (originally designated AD) Skyraider Photographed in the markings of Attack Squadron VA-176 while aboard the USS Intrepid in 1965
By the time of the start of the United States Involvement in Vietnam, the Skyraider had already seen combat in two Wars. With the United States Navy and United States Marines in Korea and with Armée de l'Air in Algeria.
In 1965, the A-1 Skyraider was still the medium attack aircraft in many carrier air wings, although it was slated to be replaced by the A-6A Intruder as part of the general switch to jet aircraft. But Vietnam was the War that made the Skyraider famous, being used in many roles and missions and collecting a large plethora of nicknames and mission names on the way, including: Spad and Able Dog (from its earlier operations), Hobo, Firefly, Zorro (from a Squadron Call-signs), Big Gun, Old faithful, Old Miscellaneous, Fat Face, Guppy, Q-Bird, Flying Dumptruck, Sandy (applied to specific versions) and finally Crazy Water Buffalo applied by the South Vietnamese nickname.
Of these perhaps the most famous role were the Sandy Missions (Combat Search And Rescue Helicopter Escort), with Skyraiders not just protecting the SAR helicopters, but clearing enemy from the rescue area with Ground Attacks, to enable a safe pick-up.
The Skyraider inevitably encountered enemy combat aircraft and whilst in Korea there is only one documented Air to Air Comabt Victory and this against a Polikarpov Po-2 biplane, in Vietnam USN Skyraiders scored two victories against Mig 17 Fighters. The first on 20 June 1965, a victory shared by Lieutenant Clinton B. Johnson and Lieutenant Junior Grade Charles W. Hartman III of VA-25 and one on 9 October 1966 by Lieutenant Junior Grade William T. Patton of VA-176.
Douglas A-1 (formerly AD) Skyraider - Wikipedia Entry
The A-1 Skyraider Association - Tribute Site
AD/A-1 Skyraider Attack Bomber - Boeing History Site