Douglas AD (A-1) Skyraider
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JOE MCGIFFIN, e-mail, 21.09.2020 02:43

I ALSO WAS WITH VA-215 ON THE BONNY DICK. I WAS THE ONE WHO DESIGNED THE STENCIL OF THE BARN OWLS THAT WAS PAINTED ON THE DROP TANKS OF THE AD-6. I STILL HAVE THE ORIGINAL DESIGN IN MY MEMORY CABINET. I REMEMBER GOING TO WINNAMUCKA NEVADA FOR BOMBING TRAINING. I MAY HAVE BEEN THERE WHEN YOU DID YOUR TRIP OFF THE RUNWAY.
BEST OF LUCK,
JOE MCGIFFIN AME3


JOE MCGIFFIN, e-mail, 21.09.2020 02:35

I ALSO WAS WITH VA-215 DURING 59/62 AS A AME AND CRUISED WITH THE 7TH FLEET CAG 21. I CHANGED MANY O2 TANKS AND GAUGES UNDER THE COCKPIT DASH. I REMEMBER LT GRIMES LT JOHNSON AND TASKAVICH. I REMEMBER HELPING THE PARACHUTE RIGGERS IN THE FANTAIL LOFT ON THE LEXINGTON. LOTS TO REMEMBER NOW THAT I AM 80 YEARS OLD. AT SEA REPLENISHMENT PARTIES. SLUCH FUNDS, SECRET POKER GAMES. STEALING FRESH LOBSTERS FROM THE MESS FOOD SUPLY. SLIPPING FOOD TO THE GUYS ON BREAD AND WATER IN THE BRIG BETWEEN SLICES OF BREAD. ALL GREAT MEMORIES. HOPE YOU ARE DOING FINE. JOE MCGIFFIN AME3


Larry Feldhaus, e-mail, 13.04.2020 19:17

Do you remember my brother Jack Feldhaus who was an instructor at VT-30 in Corpus Christi when you were there. He was KIA in Oct 1966 in North Vietnam.


Miles Kirkhuff, e-mail, 09.04.2020 07:06

Ed, both my wife and I are retired AF. I noticed from the aviastar.org replies that you were assigned to Quonset Point NAS in 1962. My wife’s father was assigned to VAW-33 from Sep 61 to Mar 62 at Quonset Point until his crash on 5 March 62 near Oceana NAS. We are trying locate information concerning the crash. What we have so far is that he crashed on/ about 05/1101 Mar 1962 flying a AD-5W and crashed into the Dismal Swamp near Oceana NAS. Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Miles.

Miles L Kirkhuff III, Maj, USAF (Retired)


Miles Kirkhuff, e-mail, 09.04.2020 06:54

Peter, Both my wife and I are retired AF. My wife’s father Smith, David G, LT (j.g.) USNR was stationed at Quonset Point NAS from Sep 61 - Mar 62 until he was killed in an AD-5W accident on/or about 1101/05 Mar 62. We have no solid details about how the crash occurred, but the plane was found in the Dismal Swap near Oceana NAS. Not sure when you arrived QP in 62, but if have any information concerning the crash we would greatly appreciate it.

Miles

Miles L. Kirkhuff III, Maj, USAF (Retired)


Tom Lull, e-mail, 09.01.2016 05:24

Philip Oakley Question: The plates you mention restricted air flow into the engine area for cold weather starts. Some times the exhaust for a huffer was vented into the compartment to keep the oil fluid enough to start. They would open when the engine temps became normal.


Philip Oakley, e-mail, 01.01.2016 17:55

I recently visited the Pensacola museum and noticed what appeared to be hinged "plates" inside the cowling on their Skyraider. They would seem to block airflow to the engine. Can anyone tell me their purpose?


Howard L New AZC USN RET, e-mail, 29.07.2015 23:35

My correct E-mail is howardlnew@gmail.com


Dean Cook, e-mail, 21.04.2015 21:37

Was in VAW13 Agana,Guam from 1959 to June of 1961. Was an AE Airman. Was on the Midway, The Kearsarge,and the Coral Sea and the Hornet. Heard that this AD5W Guppy is a lot like the P46 from WWII.


Bob Sullivan, e-mail, 11.04.2015 20:33

I went thru training on Skyraiders & Nukes in 1962 with VA 122 at Moffit field Ca. then transferred to VA 25 & we moved to Lemoore NAS & then made 2 cruises on the USS Midway 63/64 & 1965 10 mo.Tonkin Gulf we had AD-6 & 7's the Eng.ADI was lock wired closed. I noticed that one fellow wanted to know access for electronics etc- there was a hatch under the belly about even with the rt trailing edge flap, I rode in there many times on compass swings, VA 25 had a confirmed Mig 17 kill in June of 65 (history channels "gun kills of Vietnam")& later we launched a skraider with a Toilet under the rt wing - just Google _ "VA 25 Toilet Bomb" to see video & still pictures, if you notice those bombs next to the toilet are 500 lb , that was normal load with a 1000 lb on center station. Bob Sullivan AE-3


Louis Vega, e-mail, 03.04.2015 09:39

Worked on the engines on A1Es from 10/64 to 10/65 at Bien Hoa in Viet Nam, great plane but at times hard to change cylinders, due to engine configuration, still, the r3350 engine was allmost as powerfull as the r4360 witch was used on the KC97s..
This airplane could take a lickin, but kept right on flying...


George H. Wimer, e-mail, 27.03.2015 02:53

I was a plane captain on an AD-6 with Attack Squadron 85 aboard USS Forestall in 1962-1963 Med. cruise. What a fun time we had until the Cuban missile crises broke out. We left port in the middle of the night.


Fred Volpe, e-mail, 19.02.2015 00:34

I have a B&W picture of an AD6 on the flight deck of the USS Coral Sea CV43?? Part of VMA333 probably taken in 1955 or 1956 somewhere in the Atlantic off Mayport. Fred Volpe


Jack Fennel, e-mail, 27.01.2015 03:21

I have a squadron patch from VA-215 circa 1960 Seems that is what Ralph is looking for. If that is correct he can contact me via e-mail


Owen, e-mail, 15.01.2015 22:37

Mr Johnsen,
I am employed at Battleship Park in Mobile, AL where the SPAD you will soon visit resides. Sir, what squadrons did you serve with in Korea?

v/r,
Owen Miller


soumakischris, e-mail, 07.08.2014 23:04

I need your help as seen in the ZM Skyraider behind the fuel tank there are some electronics and radios how were they accessed ?
What panel was opened to maintain them. any reference photos need
The AD7 has no doors at the side


Ralph Koslin, e-mail, 02.02.2014 19:17

Greetings,

I am looking for old USNR and USMCR Squadron patches from the 1950's and 1960's. If you have only one patch, I would be happy to reproduce the patch + send a new hard-cover book on the Able Dog. An embroidery shop with a loom, can spin an EXACT reproduction of the patch - same size, design, and colors. I would like to keep the original patch for my collection.

I have almost twenty pre-1970 USNR Fighter and Attack Squadron patches in my collection. I also have a handful of older USMCR patches.

I would be happy to send you, a new hard-cover book about the A.D. The book was written by a former A.D. pilot. The book also covers AD operations in Korea.

Please kindly look for an old patch at your leisure. I would send the book to you up-front / (BEFORE) any patch is mailed to me. Thanks for your interest.

Ralph


Roy M. Johnsen, e-mail, 18.01.2014 23:09

Glad to see this row of comments and find Ken Wachtel who was once a crewman sitting behind me in the AD-3W with VC-12 at Qonset. Made several deployments from '53 to '57.


John Webster(GMT1), e-mail, 23.12.2013 23:23

I was transferred to VA-122 RAG in the fall of 63. Just after it moved from Moffet Field. I attended the last weapons loading class there headed up under AO Chief Edsel M. horne.
I really enjoyed NAS Lemoore. As a GMT, I was assigned to the RAG's weapon loading school & helped train both EM & officers. The Vietnam was heating up & it helped extend the lift of the "SPAD" before it morf'ed into a more modern aircraft. There was a few nuclear weapons specialist, but I worked mostly with AO's. We shared the training building with VA-122 training personnel. What a trip!!!


Fred Kattelman, e-mail, 22.10.2013 22:03

We learned how to Ground handle/service/pre-flight/turn-up/run through "check sheets"/throttle-fuel mix-- mag drop settings ect.on ADs [Skyraiders]at ADR"A"school Flightline NATTC Memphis,Grad. spring 1963.[anyone have any ADR-class Photos?]Later 1963 to 5 at Nas Alameda Flightline ,Aircraft Maint.What a Aircraft!!Learned that 6 "reel Type" Tiedowns wont hold a "Spad"back when you pull the prop into "Full Pitch"during a power check out/ run up,I think I was airborne for 30 feet or so before I pulled back to Idle cutoff,I had lots of tarmac to slow down on ,and didnt suffer "sudden stopage"---------Every turnup after that had full hydro pressure "CHAIN TIEDOWNS" secured tight[First]!!!!!. Thanks --Ill shut up now!!!!Fred Kattelman---EX-- [ADR-3]


Ben Ardanowski, e-mail, 16.08.2013 22:52

I flew with VAW-13 1962-1964 Did the back seat and 7 Aircraft Carriers. Did the front seat with the Skipper in
Alameda and some gunnery practice off Cubi. I loved the job.
Finished up with 12 years as an IFT with the P-3. Orion. Last flight at age 52. Aviation was a right choice for me.


John Cleveland, e-mail, 27.11.2012 19:31

I flew as a cremen in AD 3W, 4W, %W and 5N while at El Toro with Vmc-3/VMCJ-3. This weas 1954 thru 1956. Have many fond memories of my many flights and various experiences in the AD. Paramaont among them is the 3rd Marine Air Wing Gunnery Meet in Mojave in 1956. Our squadron was entered in only the air-to-ground phase. Our pilots were individual winners in all the phases, including a pr


Anymouse79, e-mail, 27.09.2012 17:30

I am relaying stories I remember my father and his friends telling when they were over at our house when I was a kid. My father was a Navy Man from the word go. He enlisted right out of high school becoming a Radarman. He went through the Naval Aviation Cadet program. On graduation his first assignment was to Quonsett Point, Mass, flying the Spad. He mostly flew the Guppy version, but he also flew single seaters. He talked about flying attack missions, to include nuclear attack using toss-bombing tactics, in the Spad. Imagine trying to get away from the blast in a Spad. He even talked about doing training attack runs to Naples. I was also told he spotted the first Russian submarine located during the Cuban Crisis. He lost at least one friend to flying, but he went on to fly not just the Spad, but theWilly Fudd (WF-1 or E-1), E-2 Hummer, Fairey Gannet on exchange with the British Royal Navy due to his AEW flying, as well as the C-131 and C-12. He always wanted to do aerobatics with an empty E-2. Things he told me about the Spad was that the limiting factors to Spad flight time was the pilot and the oil capacity. There was only a limited supply of oil on the plane which would go into and out of the engine. It could actually carry more fuel than it had oil for. Then the question was could the pilot fly as long as the oil would last? Up until he passed away, his favorite aircraft was the Spad since it most reminded him of the real aircraft flown in World War II when he grew up. That was CAPT Red, USNR. Im sure hes still flying a Spad.


Gene Whitney, e-mail, 06.05.2012 21:06

I was on board the Intrepid 1959-1963 in V2 division, I have many stories to tell but concerning the AD6, this one is among the best. I was starboard deck operator and on a very early launch we had a spad on the starboard cat ready for launch. (we usually cat launched two spads before everyone else to give the pilots cat time). It was still dark and the pilot was in full two finger turnup when the the D-ring in the holdback unit failed and the spad was now in a deck launch, without flaps. I had my wands raised and cross in final ready and watching the pilot in his red instrument lights. I threw one wand at the cockpit but it missed and I was thinking he is now committed, I was just wishing he would lower flaps but no. when he left the bow; he dropped like a rock at first and then he slowed and I was beginning to think he would make it, the rate of decent stopped and then the landing gear caught a wave and he did a nose over and the ships horn was blasting and we went hard over to port. I watched the spad go by and the pilot got out and survived. Of course I was interviewed afterwards and every procedure was followed, It was later determined; the D ring was cabable to be inserted into the holdback unit in a cocked position. ( rare). all ended well.


Dick Longlet, e-mail, 19.03.2012 02:55

My 1st flight in a AD-5 was as a E-1 in route to NATTC Mempnis as a Reservist out of NAS Twine Cities in 1960. This was an accelerated program to get people rated to fly as crewmen on P2V's. Flew to Memphis in my dress whites. They were not very white after that flight. Attended boot camp, and ADR "A" school all in Memphis. Had several other flights in the AD-5 over the next 7 years but most of my time was spent in the P2 as an aircrewman. The 3350 was a strong engin but I don't recall many times coming home without one of the engins needing a lot of work. Old airplans, old engins, and changing technology has changed things but still there is nothing like hearing that 3350 come to life


Mike Gallagher, e-mail, 27.02.2012 20:17

It says "every plane ever built". Where is the AD-5. Talk about it, but don't show it.


Steve MacMillan, e-mail, 15.02.2012 20:05

Went through ADR school at NATTC Memphis in 1967. Worked on this aircraft and did turnups. 3000 H.P supercharged engine. Then went to AOCS in Pensacola and assigned to VA125 an A4 Skyhawk RAG who also happened to have the last 2 Navy EA1E 6 place skyraiders. Flew in them every chance I could. One lost its engine and crashed into a snow bank in the Siera mountains in winter. What a great air plane as was the Douglas A4 Skyhawk.


Tim Wooldridge, e-mail, 23.12.2011 00:29

Does anyone know of the details concerning the crash landing of two skyraiders in the med in Algeria about 1964-65. The two pilots were tossed in prison, escape, went to Algiers, we're put back in prison, and later released.


john shippee, e-mail, 10.12.2011 05:45

looking at the above sketches under the specs. the top view shows a straight , symetrtcal fuselage. Actually the fuselage curved to the right (looking aft) with the tail pointing toward 1:oo o'clock, perhaps 10 degrees off the center-line.


Ed Jennings, e-mail, 11.10.2011 19:10

My first flight in a Skyraider was 1962 in the back seat of the A1E assigned to NAMI Pensacola. Was that you Jeb? Anyway, the pilot flew aerobatics while a flight surgeon observed me... I was a NAVCAD "volunteered" as part of the Apollo program study. Little did I realize that I would be flying these later myself. Assigned to VAW-33 in Quonset Pt, have many bounces at "Charley Town"... flew ASW missions aboard Intrepid, Lake Champlain, and Wasp.
Launched off Wasp while it was tied up in Boston Harbor once. Along with the 3 other Guppies in our detachment, helped "pinwheel" the Intrepid at anchor in Sardinia during a simulated emergency evacuation (Pearl Harbor scenario).
Intercepted a "Bear" (TU95U) once in the Atlantic... took photos as part of political campaign to thwart their penchant of recon over our fleet. Dove on him from 30K ft and caught up with him about 10K. Got a good look at those 23mm twin cannons in his tail as they trained on me in my "Guppy".
Have some neat photos of Gemini astronauts we recovered.
Small world... ran into Brian Eakin in Tampa a few years back while buying my motorhome. Found out his wingman was Glenn Kalember when he got shot down in Nam... my wingman in VT31. Had the sad duty to inform him that Glenn bought the farm doing a private airshow for his parents after 2 tours in Nam.
Flew A-4A/B out of South Weymouth in reserves 68-70. Had a lot of fun in the A-4, but nothing like the A-1.
Flew 33 years with TWA, flying 707,727,747,757,767 and MD80. Several squadron mates in TWA... ran into others in other airlines at various times in career. Good memories.


James R Sadler ( SadMan), e-mail, 23.08.2011 18:25

1953

While at NAS Millington and Class AM A School we were taught the principals on the Structural mechanic Rating on the Corsair.
A beautiful AirCraft.

After completing AM school several of us were transfered to NAS Quonset Point Rhode Island. Immediately upon arrival at Quonset three or four of us were immediately dispatched to NALF Charles Town in the back of a USN Dump Truck Charlestown R.I.was a good assignment
At Charlie town we were assigned Crash Crew and Strucural Fire Fighting duties.

One brght sunny day AB3 Charles Allen and I and AMAN were on duty at the head of the runway while
VC-12 with their
AD-5W's were making touch and go's on the runway.
We saw an AD approaching the runway for his touch and go's with the wheels up.
While Charlie was communicating with the Tower about the problem I was loading and shooting the flair gun as a warning.
None the less the AD touched the runway with wheels up.
The pilot, unknown to me , immediately relize what he had done and gave it full throttle. The AD plowed along the runway for a hunded feet or so and eventually became airborne. He circled the field and landed safely on our chopped up runway.
After he taxied to the Line Shack area and set foot on the ground he started immediately to give Charley and I a hard time for not being alert and doing our job.
Our Chief, A WW2 Sailor, using words that I cannot print said " What do you mean those Sailors were not alert and not doing their Job. It looked like the 4th of July down there when you screwed up, So dont blame my sailors for your screw up".
A good Chied He was. The guppy and the botom of the aircraft was totally wasted,
The props were all cupped from digging ruts in the runway.
one of the props came loose when being examined by the pilot.
The Ole 3350 had guts and the power to do is duty with cometent maintenance and piloting
I was later transferred to VC-12 at Quonset Point and eventually to the USS Intrepid CVA 11 with VC-12.
I was never privy to the name of the pilot that had the
" Controled crash"
at Charlietown "

Guess who was waiing for our arrial oh the Intrepid ?
AB2 Charles Allen my ole buddy who was on the runway when the AD-5W dug in at Charlestown.
HTC Jim Saddler (Ret)
Portsmouth, Ohio


James Shaw, e-mail, 17.08.2011 23:14

GREAT A/C, Was an AO in VA-85 onboard USS Forrestal during a Med Deployment and at NAS Oceana, VA. in the early to mid 1960s. Was always great to load NAPAUM and thoes 5in Rockets. AO2 Willy Ganor was the PO in charge. Fill Them wit oil, kick the tire,light the fire.


Claude F. Hendrickson III, e-mail, 11.08.2011 20:26

I own an AD4N That I bought and imported from France. I was only able to fly it for 14 hours before the Federal Government decided that I am a criminal by "smuggling" the aircraft into the States. It is soon to go to trial here in Birmingham, and I hope that I am able to keep the Skyraider. There are so few left in the world, that we should keep them flying. The US assistant Attorney, Jim Ingram, called the Skyraider a "National Treasure"......the one thing that I can agree with him on. Our Country is in very grave danger.....The Federal Government ignores the Constitution on a daily basis.....Gaurd your freedoms everyone.....you have no idea how precious and tenuous they really are.....Claude Hendrickson


Jack T. French, e-mail, 02.06.2011 02:43

I had the pleasure to be CO of VA-176 with A1 aircraft. The squadron had just returned from Viet-Nam area when I checked in as PCO and was XO during the workup training out of NAS Jax. The squadron had acquired a "Nick Name" as MIG KILLERs, where four SPADS were attacked by NVN Migs....Score was scratch one Mig and one probable..no damage to the SPADS.
Upon return to CONUS, the squadron was scheduled for another SEASIA deployment on the same ship..INTREPID..but brief weeks prior to the scheduled deployment, the squadron was beefed up from 12 to 20 aircraft and was switched to SARATOGA for a Med assignment.
The squadron was involved in the USS LIBERTY attack and actually launched 8 SPADS at 30 minute intervals to fly cover. During the squence the mission was drastically changed since new intell info changed the order of battle. All 20 aircraft were expertly loaded with various ordnance loads for assigned missions. The entire "flap" was put on standdown and the "launched" SPADS were recovered henceforth...and the entire Air Group embarked now had an entirely different mission.
The squadron flew throughout the Med cruise and was to transition to the A-6 upon retun to Jax....HOWEVER upon return we were put on standby and reduced to 4 A1s...and 6 pilots.. The squadron was in existence throughout VA-25s reirement ceremony in Leemore....and we retired the VERY last SPAD to the USAF in NAS QUONSET POINT...way after VA-25s event. It was amatter of CHINFO having prepped the news folks so the ceremoy could not be reassigned to VA-176, who still were an active SPAD squadron.
Is was with dusmay we could not transition into the A6 Intruder, as there were not avail planes. The remainder of the squadron was then temporarily assigned to transition into Porter-Pilatus OV-13 aircraft in Haggerstown, MD... We were to learn how to fly out of a parking lot for use in country Viet Nam. Tis program was shelved when another sircarft manufacturer found out that they had been keft out of the competitive bidding for a similar aircraft with STOL qualities... Needless to say the remaining personnel were again reassigned to different areas and assignments.
The program was later established agin in the form of VAL-3 with OV-10s borrowed from the USMC.... end of the story


Capt. Fred Wicknick, USMCR, e-mail, 15.05.2011 10:39

I flew the AD with a reserve squadron out of NAS Sand Point, Seattle, Washington, from September 1967 as a "Weekend Warrior" while completing my studies at the University of Washington. We were paid well to spend one weekend a month in a challenging aircraft. It was about the last of the military taildraggers and a lot of airplane to fly. The pilot sat about three stories off the ground and landing was the greatest challenge. I was able to walk away from all of my landings.

We did a lot of formation flying on the weekends, with some bombing practice on a target off an island in the Puget Sound. We flew with veterans of both WWII and Korea. I don't remember any of them saying anything about their combat time, nor did they attempt to impart any learning that might help us stay alive in combat.

Anytime during the week we could check out an AD and spend time flying alone North to the entrance of Puget Sound and then South along the Olympic Pensinsula to the Columbia River, and then North again over some of the most beatiful scenery in the world.

Like just about any military airplane I flew, you could trim the AD to fly just about "hands off." Not my favorite bird, but a great experience.


Capt. Fred Wicknick, USMCR, e-mail, 15.05.2011 10:38

I flew the AD with a reserve squadron out of NAS Sand Point, Seattle, Washington, from September 1967 as a "Weekend Warrior" while completing my studies at the University of Washington. We were paid well to spend one weekend a month in a challenging aircraft. It was about the last of the military taildraggers and a lot of airplane to fly. The pilot sat about three stories off the ground and landing was the greatest challenge. I was able to walk away from all of my landings.

We did a lot of formation flying on the weekends, with some bombing practice on a target off an island in the Puget Sound. We flew with veterans of both WWII and Korea. I don't remember any of them saying anything about their combat time, nor did they attempt to impart any learning that might help us stay alive in combat.

Anytime during the week we could check out an AD and spend time flying alone North to the entrance of Puget Sound and then South along the Olympic Pensinsula to the Columbia River, and then North again over some of the most beatiful scenery in the world.

Like just about any military airplane I flew, you could trim the AD to fly just about "hands off." Not my favorite bird, but a great experience.


Capt. Fred Wicknick, USMCR, e-mail, 15.05.2011 06:31

I flew the AD with a reserve squadron out of NAS Sand Point, Seattle, Washington, from September 1967 as a "Weekend Warrior" while completing my studies at the University of Washington. We were paid well to spend one weekend a month in a challenging aircraft. It was about the last of the military taildraggers and a lot of airplane to fly. The pilot sat about three stories off the ground and landing was the greatest challenge. I was able to walk away from all of my landings.

We did a lot of formation flying on the weekends, with some bombing practice on a target off an island in the Puget Sound. We flew with veterans of both WWII and Korea. I don't remember any of them saying anything about their combat time, nor did they attempt to impart any learning that might help us stay alive in combat.

Anytime during the week we could check out an AD and spend time flying alone North to the entrance of Puget Sound and then South along the Olympic Pensinsula to the Columbia River, and then North again over some of the most beatiful scenery in the world.

Like just about any military airplane I flew, you could trim the AD to fly just about "hands off." Not my favorite bird, but a great experience.


Fred West, e-mail, 11.05.2011 18:58

Flew AD's at Cabannas Field, Pensacola for Advance flight training...Loved it...Begged a night hop with a VA detachment aboard Coral Sea (I think)and on final, our lights went out requiring waveoff...Found popped circuit breaker for hook was the problem...Pilot told me to put my finger on the breaker (behind his seat) and hold it in if it popped again...It did, and I did...and we made an O.K.2 pass... Still love the plane and would jump into one in a heartbeat


David Richardson, e-mail, 07.05.2011 00:35

To those who flew or loaded the A-1, did any of you get to work with or drop the BLU-72/B and if so what was it like?


Tom Lull, e-mail, 31.03.2011 16:19

Graduated VT-30 in May 65. After RAG (VA-122),assigned to VA-152 in Decemer the same year. Made both 66 and 67 tour on the Oriskany. 1500+ hrs. Aircraft brought me home on more than one occasion when the odds said it couldn't.


Don Olson, e-mail, 24.03.2011 01:26

As a aviation mech I trained on the AD's at NAS Millington, Tn in 1961. A year later in my 2nd flight in an airplane, I flew with a marine major over lake erie from NAS Grosse Ile, Mi. I will never forget what he told me before we took off, If I order you to bail out, you better move or I will be coming right over you. Great memories.


Bob S, e-mail, 12.03.2011 01:28

Hi I enjoyed mr RJ Stantons information except for one thing - the SkyRaiders I worked on from 1962 -1966 while I was with VA25 in the Navy aboard the USS Midway were all painted Gray & White after we turned our planes over to the Airforce they painted them a nasty camo paint job - the Last of VA25's Skyraiders now lives in Pen. Fla.(flown there by Ted Hill) in the Museum and is still painted Navy Gray & White. best regards Bob


uncle-mac, e-mail, 10.03.2011 20:11

Where did class 7-57 go.- Flew the 5,6,7, in the Ferry command VRF-32 Great cross country A/C Just missed the Marines at Lemore for Survival school as they grabbed who they could. Took a 6 into Green Bay to see the lady friend. Caused quite a sturrr


R.Thomas Kingzett, e-mail, 02.03.2011 15:15

Station with VAW-11 1960 to 6/61...transferred to VAW-13
with members of Det Mike from VAW-11 July 1961.Served on many Dets 61-thru-64. Skyraiders and the 3350 were a way of life. Love It. !!


Robert J. Stanton, e-mail, 28.02.2011 05:31

I worked at Douglas Aircraft, El Segundo, CA. from 1952 till 1956. I didn't have the wonderful experience of the LUCKY men who got to fly that "Work Horse", the AD's, 5 & 6, SKYRAIDERS but I spent some of that tme at the B3 Hnagar facility on Imperial Blvd., at LAX. Today this is the FEDEX location at LAX. This is the place where the AD's were delivered to the USN. I did some final inspections, to see if the part numbers on many of the electronics and engine parts matched the manifest of the planes fuselage number. Also loaded on board many of the loose items that were delivered along with the aircraft. That plane was a RUGGED machine. During this time period, there were still some enlisted Petty Officers pilots, left over from WWII that picked up the planes from the factory and delivered them to their first duty station. They came from the factory in their NAVY blue paint. They didn't get their gray paint jobs until they were turned oveer to the Airforce and became A-1 SKYRAIDERS. I have some great memories of that rugged, beautiful aircraft!!


'Jess'e Garrett Forsythe, Jr, e-mail, 15.02.2011 21:04

Flew the AD-4 & -3 61 missions in Korea starting at Inchon 9/15/1950. Saved me fron an electical fire (400 hz ac system) and recovered gently from an approach stall at the 90deg position. Now a photo of this Fist of the Fleet (VA-65) aircraft is my computer 'wallpaper' with me in the cockpit!


Donald Hess, e-mail, 22.01.2011 18:09

WAS WITH VA-215 59/61 AS A AMS- CRUISE 7TH FLEET 77TH TASKFORCE CAG 21 OFF THE LEXINGTON/MOFFITT FIELD - DIDN'T GET THE HONOR OF FLYING ONE BUT DID LOVE WORKING ON THEM. HAD SOME FINE PILOTS FLYING THEM (LT JOHNSON,GRIMES, TASKAVICH TO NAME A FEW. IF LT JOHNSON EVER READS THIS I STILL OWE HIM A CIGAR FOR THAT LAST FLY BY OF THE SHIP.


Howard L New AZC USN Ret, e-mail, 22.01.2011 05:53

I am a plankowner of VAW-13 NAS Guam. I was in Det. Delta that left VAW-11 aboard the Hancock that formed VAW-13 at Guam. Stayed there until VAW-13 changed homeports.
Capt Edwin Nile Hitchcock was the Skipper and LCDR Robert John Brunskill the Maintenance Officer


Ron "Banty" Marron, e-mail, 15.01.2011 05:05

Failed to mention...your email addy does not work!!


Ron "Banty" Marron, e-mail, 15.01.2011 05:04

PING: Larie Clark...

Larie Clark, clarkfl5=aol.com, 29.10.2010
Looking for the Spad Squadron and pilots off the USS Saratoga who crash landed two spads in Central Algeria while on the 1962/1963 Med cruise. Held captive for several weeks and escaped to the US Embassy

Be in touch...I'm your man...


Rich Frost, e-mail, 08.01.2011 02:34

1958 assigned to VAAW35 NAS North Island San Diego. Our 4 plane detachment(AD5Ns) went to WESPAC on Ranger CVA 61. Was ATN3. Earned my Combat Aircrew Wings. Operated Radar, ECM, and Navigation. On return to CONUS transfered to VAW11 and detached to Yorktown CVS 10. Flying in AD5Ws (Guppy) as airborne controller for ASW exercises. Trained officers for this job on return to North Island. Got out 9/60 as AT2.


CDR Lanny Cox, USN (Ret), e-mail, 03.01.2011 22:38

Flew the AD-6/7 while completing Advanced Flight Training at VT-30 in Corpus Christi, TX. Received my "Wings of Gold" and orders to VA-152 in Oct 1964 and traveled to VA-122 at NAS Lemoore, CA for further training in the SPAD. While at VA-122, received a change of orders sending me to VAW-13 to fly the EA-1F Electronic Warfare version of the aircraft. Flew 135 missions over and around North Viet Nam supporting air wing strikes from VAW-13 detachments aboard USS Oriskany, Bon Homme Richard, Independence, Ranger, Constellation, Intrepid, Midway, Coral Sea, and F.D. Roosevelt. Always enjoyed flying the SPAD whether single seat or EA-1F or A-1E. A great machine!


CDR Jim Glendenning, e-mail, 02.01.2011 20:32

A bit over 2000 hours in the SPAD. Great airplane and fun to fly. Flew it as an all-weather interceptor in South Vietnam and as an ECM platform over North Vietnam.
Also did some test flying O&R Alameda on the A-1Es that were converted for the USAF Air Commandoes to fly in South Vietnam. Many memories.


Bill Spradley, e-mail, 20.12.2010 19:04

We had 2 AD-5N's at Natc Pax River from 61-64. I flew in them as an ECM operater. We also used them as a 4 passenger transport. Great airplane, I loved flying in them. And yes they coulfly very slow, barely hanging by the prop. One pilot I flew with liked to play games with people by just mushing along at about 80 knots.


Joe Scanlon, e-mail, 11.12.2010 19:22

I was an engine Mech on the A1E in Nam 65 to 66. We started in Bien Hoa then moved to Nha Trang and i finished my tour in Udorn, Thailand. Got to fly right seat several time on ferry trips to NKP where the Spads flew cover for the Jolly Greens. It was a great aircraft with a wonderful engine. One time on a post flight check i found a bullet hole in the nose case of the engine where the reduction gear is located. There had been no grips written up by the pilot.


William (Bill) Davidson, e-mail, 30.11.2010 17:13

I was a titles wave (Yeoman) in VF-193 1954 1955. VF- 193 was part of CAG 19. The CAGs home port was Moffitt Field, Sunnyvale, CA. Being a black shoe I didnt fly much but because I was the designated court recorder, I was sometimes flown to TAD sites to set up and run courts marshals. One time, I believe in late 1954, I was flown to NAS Fallon, NV in an AD5 trainer with the two seats side by side and duel controls. The pilot who took me was none other than then Lt Allan B. Shepard, Jr. God bless his soul.
I had the ride of my life that night. It almost scared me to death but I would do it again if I could. I suspect that some of the maneuvers Mr. Shepard performed and where they were performed may have been against regulations so I wont go into detail and most readers wouldnt believe me anyway.
I am currently writing a book that involves the Ads and have questions that someone who flew the aircraft could answer. Please contact me. If you contact me I will be happy to send you a copy of my book Brothers Through Honor, an historical novel about WW2. If you would like to purchase a copy, it is on Amazon


William (Bill), e-mail, 30.11.2010 02:21

I was a titles wave (Yeoman) in VF-193 1954 1955. VF- 193 was part of CAG 19. The CAGs home port was Moffitt Field, Sunnyvale, CA. Being a black shoe I didnt fly much but because I was the designated court recorder, I was sometimes flown to TAD sites to set up and run courts marshals. One time, I believe in late 1954, I was flown to NAS Fallon, NV in an AD5 trainer with the two seats side by side and duel controls. The pilot who took me was none other than then Lt Allan B. Shepard, Jr. God bless his soul.
I had the ride of my life that night. It almost scared me to death but I would do it again if I could. I suspect that some of the maneuvers Mr. Shepard performed and where they were performed may have been against regulations so I wont go into detail and most readers wouldnt believe me anyway.
I am currently writing a book that involves the Ads and have questions that someone who flew the aircraft could answer. Please contact me. If you contact me I will be happy to send you a copy of my book Brothers Through Honor, an historical novel about WW2. If you would like to purchase a copy, it is on Amazon.


Lew Daugherty, e-mail, 24.11.2010 17:22

We started the SANDY mission with the A1E out of UDORN in late 65, patterned after the NAVY missions. We located downed aircrews up north and covered pickups by Jolly Green choppers


Pete Weiland, e-mail, 17.11.2010 00:30

I flew AD-3, Ad-4, AD-4N, AD-5 and AD-5Ws. The plane was rugged and always brought you back. I lost all my oil one day but made it back to Barin Field for a dead stick landing. In an AD-4 I was practicing stall/spins when the plane snap rolled into an inverted spin. It took me 7,700 feet of the 8,000 feet I started with to figure out how to get out of that predicament. In the Med one night I was 75 miles from the USS Intrepid when the red light went on indicating metal chips in the oil sump. I made it back and the mechs took a large pail full of chips out of the sump. The engine had only moments of life left. What a great plane.


tokyoraider, e-mail, 11.11.2010 03:22

I went to Naples Italy for my first duty station after "A" school in Millington TN. I flew in the AD-5 Skyraider as the towreel operator and then as crew chief. We would tow targets for fleet gunnery pratice. I have loged several hundred hours in the AD-5 and it was a great plane.


W E Steinwedell, e-mail, 30.10.2010 00:42

Cag 4,NAS Jacksonville, Fl 1956-1958: 1956 shakedown cruise on the Sara to Gitmo. 9 month cruise in the Med in 1957-58: Re: aircraft specifications noted above- max ceiling 25,400 ft. I recall the "Spad" manuel noted a max ceiling was 32,500 ft. I instinctively knew that the AD could fly higher and on one hop with 2 empty 300 gal external fuel tanks, got as high as 39.600, hanging their at the stall and full throttle. I couldn't go any faster or slower, and missed angles 40 by 400 ft. When the oil pressure light went red, I kicked the rudder, extended the dive breaks and split "S'd" back down...... My longest Sandblower-low level flight was over 13.5 hours. Now that was a long day..... May I add, that an AD6 doesn't" float worth a damn.....Splash


Larie Clark, e-mail, 29.10.2010 19:51

Looking for the Spad Squadron and pilots off the USS Saratoga who crash landed two spads in Central Algeria while on the 1962/1963 Med cruise. Held captive for several weeks and escaped to the US Embassy


Bear Hildebrandt, e-mail, 27.10.2010 22:35

I was lucky enough to get in on the end of the SKYRAIDER era with the VA-215 BARNOWLS. After our last cruise on the Bonny Dick, they were all flown to the desert...It was a handful to handle and it would bite you real bad if you let it....a trip off the runway into the dirt at Lemoore during my first flight at VA-122 proved that to me right off !!!


Rabon Prater, e-mail, 20.10.2010 05:27

Made a shake down cruise in Gitmo, February 1964 when Castro cut off the water to the base. Nine month Med cruise in 1964 with VA-15 A1H Spads as an aviation store keeper. Planes were to be given to the Airforce to be used in Vietnam, home port change and first Intruders for this squadron. Being a short timer went to VA-44 Cecil Field Florida and seperated in July 1965. Good dependable plane, carry its weight in bombs I was told and knew by heart most of the ordered parts numbers at one time.


Don Safer, e-mail, 17.10.2010 22:22

I was aboard the USS Kitty Hawk for the '65-'66 cruise with the first depoyment of the E-2A Super Fudd (VAW-11 det C) as an ATR-2. Also aboard was VA-115, a Skyraider squadron. As I recall, it was the last A-1 attack squadron deployed aboard the Kitty Hawk or any other "super carrier", CVA59 and newer.
I remember the A-1 wings were so heavily loaded with ordinance that the wings could not be folded by the hydraulics alone and had to be assisted by several of the deck crew. I guess this was required after loading and before taxi-ing to take off position on the deck.
I remember a "story I was told about A1s back then. VIPs were observing carrier launches and as a Skyraider started down the deck the PR officer explained "the A-1 can carry the same bomb load as a WWII B-17, but (at this point, as the A-1's angine faultered when clearing the bow, causing it to drop out of sight) not as far". ;>


Grumpy72, e-mail, 13.10.2010 22:43

Saw one of these crash after takeoff at MCB Kaneohe Bay in 1957 or 58. I think it was from VMA 212, I was in 1st MAR Brigade. Not a pretty site. I also saw these dive bombing Kaho'olawe island during training maneuvers. It was very impressive. Tried to be a Marine pilot was accepted but failed (vertigo). I have tremedous respect for pilots.


Chuck Purcell, e-mail, 11.10.2010 22:37

While I was in the reserves at Alanta I flew the Skyraider. While flying from Miami back home I put on automatic pilot got out my lunch tuned aM station and a nice flight home. Nice plane.


AOC James F. Shaw, e-mail, 05.10.2010 17:28

Was Stationed with VA-85 onboard USS FORRESTAL 1962 thru 1964 as an Ordnanceman third class. What a workhorse, This Aircraft carried everything but missiles. I think in two years I must have loaded millions of MK-76s at NAS OCEANA. Sure brings back GOOD memories.


paul engel, e-mail, 24.09.2010 17:49

1960-1966 VA-42 VA-85 VA-135 VA-35 VA-45/43
The old lady saved my ass many times. Last of a breed !!!!


Kenneth Wachtel, e-mail, 18.09.2010 19:22

I was an AT2(CA)in VC-12 in the period 1953-1956. In 1954-1955 I was assigned to Detachment 35 of VC-12 on the carrier Midway (CV-41). We flew AD-4W Guppies during the evacuation of the Tachen Islands when the Chinese Communists were forcing the Chinese Nationalists across the Straits of Formosa to Formosa (Taiwan). Our carrier was part of Task Force 77, as I remember it. We had 4 carriers in our force and flew, or stood ready aircraft, during the evacuation period. In "Warbird Tech Series, Volume 13" by Kris Hughes and Walter Drainem the many versions of the AD(A1) are shown. Many of the pictures are of VC-12"s aircraft. Personally, I was privledged to fly as a radar operator and crewman for 2,200 hours in AD-3W, AD-4w, and AD-5W aircraft. Had 50 carrier landings with LtJG Charles Gillespie (Later Captain, now deceased). Charles endured 6 years of imprisonment in Viet Nam later.

Kenneth Wachtel


Rick Steans, e-mail, 14.09.2010 04:00

I took care of radio and nav-aids on A1E's at Pleiku during 1966. When debriefing a returning pilot it was routine to hear that he lost comm or nav during or right after a bomb or strafing run. You then checked the fuselage for bullet entry holes to determine if it was going to be the black box, or god forbid, a wire bundle. I'll never forget those guys or the A1E.


John Upthegrove, e-mail, 05.09.2010 06:58

I am searching for a Skyraider Pilot who flew in Nam during 1969, call sign Sandy, Spad, or Hobo, can't remember. My call sign was Eagle Claw and was on a Praire Fire mission to rescue a recon team in Laos. My aircraft was a Marine UH-1E gunship. To make a long story short, the Skyraider Pilot was high on reserve and after we made a few passes he called and said, "you boys are having all the fun, why don't you spread out that formation of yours and let use fly between your choppers? My suprised reply...can you fly this slow??? Reply... we sure can...we did and the skyraiders did. The boys back at the base in Phu Bhi had a hard time beliving what we told them. Give me a shout if you read this...


John Hebbe, e-mail, 16.08.2010 19:20

In a flying career spanning 51 years, the Skyraider was by far the most enjoyable to fly. VA-35 (east coast) 1959-1962. Read farther down: If you have any 8mm or movies of the AD, Joe Kaposi would be pleased to hear from you.


Dale Mastley, e-mail, 27.07.2010 00:17

I was an aviation electricians mate in the Navy and was in an AD-5(A1E)SQUADRON IN 1963.We later switched to the A4 Skyhawk.I absolutely loved being a plane captain on both of these fine airplanes.The Skyraider could be difficult to start and it wasn`t unusual for one of us plane captains to have to start one for a reserve pilot.


Mike Hall, e-mail, 26.07.2010 04:06

i recently watched a Military Channel program about F-16's providing close support to Special Ops guys in Iraq. It occurred to me that a powerful piston powered fighter capable of carrying massive amounts of ordnance would be better at this job. i wonder if any A1 pilots from the Vietnam era have any thoughts on this.


Gear, e-mail, 13.06.2010 13:28

Could you please tell me what are the improvement or diffirences between A-1H and A-1J. Thank you.


Richard Paul, e-mail, 12.05.2010 23:33

Went to mech school at NAS Millington and use to do mag checks on ADs in the morning. What a thril. When later assigned to HMX-1 5/57-4/59 I had the oportunity to fly with a captain who was assigned to the engineering squadron (AES 12?) at the same field. AD5s and T 34s. If still out there please e-mail me. He was also a friend of a Major Mixon. S/F


Joe, e-mail, 28.04.2010 10:23

Dear Shipmate,
I served in the Royal Australian Navy as an Aircraft Handler on our last carrier HMAS Melbourne during the late 70's.
I now collect copies of 'privately' filmed (8mm or video) carrier films as a hobby as well as PLAT footage, mishaps and other items filmed by Navy cameramen aboard carriers. I would like to swap copies of any carrier flying footage you may have, especially home video or mishaps film.

If you have any footage and are interested in sharing with a fellow ship mate, please reply and ask for my swapping list.
Long time Tailhook member.

Regards Joe jkaposi@hotmail.com
Sydney Australia


Dave Roscoe ex-ET1, e-mail, 21.03.2010 04:14

Served aboard USS HORNET CVA-12 1953-1956 . Plankowner from recomissioning at Brooklyn NS Sept 1953 . Heading out on our 1954 World Cruise, on transitting Suez Canal , 4 AD's , lashed down at bow , 2 STBD , 2 PORT facing each other , responding to orders from Bridge , with commands for various thrust requirements. Due to speed restrictions imposed on HORNET holding us to 5 Knots max due to a few feet clearance between our keel and canal bottom , we needed the thrust from the Spads for adequate steerage , not available at 5 Knots . Talk about their versatility ! What an airplane.


Don Palmer, e-mail, 10.03.2010 22:08

Mt first duty assignment was Va-122 NAS Lemoore(66-68). I learned to be a Plane Captain on A1H/J and T28 B/C. What great memories. The smoke and sound of those recips was a turn-on.


John Teerling, e-mail, 22.02.2010 05:26

I flew the A1H/Js off the Ticonderoga CV14 getting out in July 1965. Flew missions in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. A great flying machine that was extremely versitile. In one tour was able to log over 200 carrier landings with over 100 night landings. Flew with a bunch of great guys that pulled every stunt in the book.


CDR. Darrell "Buddy" Edson USN, e-mail, 22.02.2010 00:13

First flew the Skyraider during advanced pilot training at VT-30, Corpus Christie,TX. Received my "Wings of Gold" in OCT 1962 and then reported to VA-122 (Flying Eagles) at NAS Moffit Field, CA for Replacement Airgroup Training with further orders to V-152 (Aces) or commonly named the 152nd Light Bombardment and Twilight Pursuit Squadron. I was fortunate to fly the A-1E/G/H/J models of the Spad for 1,719hrs. I was a member of V-152 Det Zulu sent to Bein Hoa AFB, South Vietnam in 1964 to train the South Vietnamese pilots to fly the A-1H/J and also to fly combat sortties in South Vietnam. I also flew the A-1H/J in combat off the ORISKANY in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1965. I finished up flying the Spad training the last of the A-1H/J West coast Navy pilots at VA-122 in Lemoore,CA (1966-1969). This multi-mission capable aircraft was a pleasure to fly and could sustain a lot of battle damage and yet return one safely to the ship. As Captain George Duskin said, "had enough firepower to make true believers out of the gommers".


CDR Lanny Cox, USN (Ret), e-mail, 21.02.2010 08:14

First flew the venerable Skyraider during advanced pilot training at VT-30 in Corpus Christi, TX. Got my wings in Oct 1964, then to Lemoore, CA for more training in VA-122 with orders to join VA-152. While in VA-122, was selected to fill VAW-13's need for a Spad pilot who was already CARQUALED and who could transition quickly to the AD-5Q (EA-1F) the ECM version of the Spad. Spent 30 months (1964-67)in VAW-13, deployed to WESTPAC twice, flew 135 combat missions in support of Navy strikes over North Viet Nam, launching from the carriers Oriskany, Bon Homme Richard, Independence, Kitty Hawk, Ranger, Midway, Intrepid, Midway, Constellation, and F.D. Roosevelt. Drove Spads for over 1,200 hours and loved the airplane. Transitioned to jets in 1967 and flew the A-4 Skyhawk and A-7E Corsair II. "Jets are for kids".


Ron Soule, e-mail, 20.02.2010 04:17

Flew A-1e/g/h/j's with USAF Air Commandos/Special Opns out of NKP 1968-69. The E's and G's with side-by-side seating in cockpit restricted vision out of the right side of acft, so tendency was to come off the tgt and break left. It didn't take the FNG (New Guy) long to realize the gomer gunners had this figured out -- the gunner usually drew lead to the left and the FNG conviently jinked into the ground fire. Usually only happened once. Old heads would say, "Told you not to break left."


Chet Simpson, e-mail, 15.02.2010 19:43

I am looking fro some pictures from 1955--1957 of VMA-212 aircraft. While with that squadron we flew 4,276.2 hours in the month of May 1956 from MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawii, T.H.


Larry Warren, e-mail, 15.02.2010 05:54

Great airplane and close air support weapon. Engine & Cockpit were armor plated. Equipped with 20mm guns and 13 stations from which you could fire, shoot, eject, or drop about any munition; or use three of them for fuel tanks. My first assignment out of UPT, and probably my best flying assignment. Flew with the 56th Special Ops Wing under callsigns Zorro, Sandy, Spad, Hobo, and others with the 22nd & 1st SOS at Nakhon Phanom, Thailand; and the 56th OLAA at Danang.


Peter Leyden, e-mail, 06.02.2010 05:28

I was attached to VAW33(1962-4) out of Quonset Point. At that time the squadron was flying AD5Q's and AD5W's Got lots of experience repairing radar equipment on the AD5W("Guppy).I only got to fly in one of our planes twice -both times to Norfolk for school. I was so worried about doing something dumb that I barely noticed anything about the plane or the flight. She was a beautiful plane, easy to work on.After I retired in 2001 I volunteered as a tour guide at the American Airpower Museum and was thrilled when an AD4N version ended up as one of our exhibits and I could show, rather than just tell visitors about "my plane".
Unfortunately the plane is now gone. The plane was called "Naked Fanny" and can be seen on the internet


CHUCK STARK USN CORPSMAN, e-mail, 05.02.2010 22:24

HERE IN THE PALM BEACH'S THERE LIVED LCDR JOHN "BUCK" BUCHANAN WHO WAS A TEST "DRIVER" FOR THIS PLANE OUT OF CHINA LAKE, CA. IN 1947. HE HAD ASKED THAT HIS PLANE BE PAINTED WITH ORANGE STRIPES AS THE DARK BLUE WAS HARD TO PICK UP IN THE PHOTOS. HE GAVE ME A COPY OF THE PIC WITH HIM STANDING NEXT THE WING. COPY IS AT THE OFFICE OF THE ASSOC. OF NAVAL AVIATION. THE STORY IS IN THE SUMMER-FALL ISSUE 2006 "WINGS OF GOLD" HE WAS A "MUSTANG" STARTING OUT AS A WHITE HAT IN 1934. HE PASSED AWAY 23 MAY 2005 WAS A HONOR AND PRIVILEGE TO HAVE KNOWN HIM. REGARDS, CHUCK


Jim Galluzzi, e-mail, 04.02.2010 06:11

USAF Retired. Had the honor of being a Maintenance Officer on this aircraft in the Air Commando Wings at Hurlburt AFB and NKP 1966 -1972. Also logged lots of flying time in the "E". One of the greatest combat aircraft ever made.


Kent Sezen, e-mail, 23.01.2010 03:46

My Uncle, Robert E. Calkins fly one of these planes. Wish I had the chance to met him, but he died before I was born.


M Harnetty, e-mail, 20.01.2010 05:25

ANYONE OUT THERE COULD GIVE ME THE NAME OF AN AVIATION "OUTFIT" IN THE USA, WHERE I COULD HAVE MY FRIEND, RET. COL BOB,(ONE OF THE ORIGINAL "SANDY"!) TAKE ONE LAST FLIGHT IN HIS FAVORITE WAR AIRPLANE,( WHATEVER THE COST, SORT OF.. )? HE FLEW VIETNAM 65/66.
THANKS. M Harnetty


paul amos amh-2, e-mail, 04.01.2010 01:58

was in vaw-11 and vaw-13 1959-end of 1962 love these ad's and loved to work on them


JEB Stuart, e-mail, 11.12.2009 04:31

I flew 150 combat missions in 1965 and 1966 off of the Coral Sea and Intrepid with VA-165 and the SPAD brought me home every time. We had the A-H/J models. Our mounts, phased out of the Navy with VA-165, I retreated to Pensacola and flew another year, flying the A-1E with NAMI. My mission--to try to get volunteer subjects sick, with an aerobatic routine while the Flight Surgeons in back tried just the opposite with the latest anti-nausea drugs. Fun for me!


BILL DAVIDSON, e-mail, 11.10.2009 22:25

Was a YN in VF-193 back in 1955 and didnt draw many flight skins but I did get the ride of my life in an AD5 from Moffett to Fallon, NV with Alan B. Shepard Jr. Didnt spend a lot of time on this trip right side up and I have told my grand children about it.


Jim Merkle, e-mail, 25.09.2009 17:24

I flew Spads off the Saratoga in 1965 and our skipper "Whiskey" Bill insisted we do an endurance flight. I tooled around the med,for 13.6 hours, 2 box lunches popped some pills from the flight surgeon, and landed over the LSO's screams.


John Campbell, e-mail, 26.04.2009 00:28

we had an A-1E aboard the USS Intrepid, it had at one time ditched into ocean and was recovered. it spent months in re-work.On its test hop all went very well, not a glitch, but upon engageing arresting gear both external fuel tanks released and the engine mounts broke causing engine to fold away drom front of fuselage.


Richard Goodrum, e-mail, 02.04.2009 00:11

I too was a member of VA176 aboard the Sexy Sara (CVA - 60 ). I remember the News Networks commenting about what was going on during the 6 day war. Then we were hearing in the squadron "Thats not what I saw". This plane was one of a kind. Able to do any task from close cover support to refueling the fuel hungry jets. The only plane since, any where similar would be the "Wart Hog".


two98ZJs, e-mail, 02.03.2009 04:25

A1s, This plane was second to God's hand for the ground troops in Nam. Not too fast, plenty of hurt until the choppers could get there to slice and dice the situation. ThankYou again and Welcome Home, SPAD drivers of BienHoa, NhaTrang, Pleiku '66. You were the best.... 2/09.


LT. DAVE RANDOLPH, e-mail, 05.02.2009 03:02

WHILE ON CVA-60,USS SARATOGA, SUMMER, 1967, CAG WANTED TO PROVE THAT SKYRAIDERS COULD FLY LOW LEVEL (200' ABOVE GROUND, 100' ABOVE WATER) FROM AREAS OF THE MED TO DEEP PENETRATION OF AN ENEMY COUNTRY AND DELIVER A WEAPON. AT 6AM, CDR. JACK FRENCH (CO) AND I (GREEN ENSIGN) LAUNCHED AT SUNRISE EAST OF PALERMO, SICILY, TRAVERSED SAME AT 200' AGL AND WENT "FEET WET" AT THE FOOT OF MT. AETNA. ISLAND HOPPING THE AEGEAN, FEET DRY IN SOUTHERN TURKEY, 2 HOURS INLAND THEN REVERSE COURSE AND "FEET WET" ONCE AGAIN IN THE AEGEAN SEA. MORE ISLAND HOPPING UNTIL LANDING AT SUNSET JUST SOUTH OF THE STRAITS OF MESSINA. FLIGHT TIME WAS IN EXCESS OF 12 HOURS. ALL DONE WITH "DR" NAVIGATION A "WAC" CHARTS. THEY WORK!


jack g king at1 usn ret, e-mail, 13.10.2008 23:40

in 1954 cdr nyburg and i flew one flight for 13.7 hrs off uss midway i have about 900 hrs in ad4nls and 5,s


jack g king at1 usn ret, e-mail, 13.10.2008 23:35

in 1954 on the uss midway cdr nyburg and i his crewman flew 13.7 hrs in one long flight how about topping that bud


Tex Brown, e-mail, 29.09.2008 16:40

Wow, what a great airplane!! I was the last 2Lt to fly it in 1971-72 at NKP Thailand....We had A-1 E/G/H/J's and flew for the USAF doing SAR and CAS missions all over SEA....It was a fantastic experience flying this huge recip with some of the best pilots I have ever known....What a great kick off to my 35 yr career in the Air Force......


b. richardson, e-mail, 15.09.2008 02:54

While serving in Nam, (4 tours), spec.ops. Sandy saved our group on two occasions. Great a/c and even greater drivers.

b.l. richardson
SCPO,USN,ret.


Bill Query, e-mail, 30.08.2008 23:23

Way back in 1958 while I was in VF-173 flying FJ's, during a Friday happy hour, my skipper and rhe VA-44 (AD's) skipper got into a "discussion" about how difficult it would be for the other sqds. pilots to fly their A/C. Some of us in 173 had never flown a tail wheel A/C while few if any of the 44 pilots had flown a jet, much less a SWEPT WING jet!! The CAG heard this conversation and challenged the two skippers to "put their money where their mouth was and Monday AM swap A/C. Mon. myself and another ENS., Wayne Miller, got three hours of sys. lectures in the 44 ready room and went out as the first jet types with no tail wheel experence to do our stuff. A VA-44 pilot got on the wing of my AD-6 and started the engine, saluted and said "good luck". All I can say is it was a fun plane to fly and a hand full to land---something called 'torque'!!! The prop guys did well in our FJ's, only a few blown tires. I wonder what would happen to any C.O. who tried to pull a stunt like that now??


Pete Weiland, e-mail, 28.08.2008 19:32

I flew AD-3s, AD-4s, AD-4Ns, AD-5s and AD5Ws with about 800 hours and 125 traps, mostly aboard the USS Intrepid in the period 1957-60. Longest flight was 7 hours - a long time to not pee. It was a wonderful plane, very stable and very reliable. I am looking for a retired one to use as a display on the USS Intrepid. They are scarce. If anyone knows of one available please contact me. Thanks.


EARL F. LONG ADR1 (USNRET), e-mail, 31.07.2008 19:51

WHILE FLYING OVER LAKE MIC.IN A AD4N ON WAY TO NAS BEMIDJI MINN. MY PILOT FLEW THE DROP TANK DRY AND THE ENG, QUIT, HE YELLED ON THE INTERCOM TO STAY WITH HIM AND HE AIRSTARTED THE ENG, I HAD MY HAND ON THE DOOR JETISON HANDLE AND NEEDLESS TO SAY WAS NOT A HAPPY CAMPER,AFTER WE LANDED HE TRIED TO JOKE ABOUT IT BUT I KEPT MY MOUTH SHUT, I THINK I COULD HAVE CAUSED HIM MUCH TROUBLE IF I WOULD HAVE TOLD THE SKIPPER ABOT IT. ALL IN ALL IT WAS QUITE A THRILL.


Lloyd Patrick, e-mail, 14.07.2008 01:41

Flew the A1 with VA-35, 1956 thru 1958. Great aircraft. Over 1,000 hours and about 200 traps. VA-35 was primarily an atomic weapons delivery squadron - low level nav, loft bombing and all that stuff. Most shipboard time was aboard the USS Saratoga in the Med. Never had one of those great machines so much as cough or sneeze once in all of those hours and sorties.


Matt Wallace, e-mail, 05.07.2008 06:11

I served in the USMC, squadron VMA-212. In 1956, flying AD-4's & -4B's, we flew 4,276.2 hours. The commanding Officer was Major Warren P. Nichols. 4,276.2 hours set a record, I don't know if that record has been beaten.


Capt. George Duskin, (USNR, Re, e-mail, 11.06.2008 17:42

Great aircraft. Extemely reliable; deadly accuate; flew like a dream. Had enough firepower to make true believers out of the gommers. Obviously slow compared to jets. They usually led us too much - which was good - but uncomfortable. Needed angle of attack instrumentation. Firing all four cannons at once would stop acceleration in a dive. 1075 hrs, 275 traps, 170 missions (VA-52 1965-67)


Paul Brockman, e-mail, 28.05.2008 16:33

While I never flew in one, my good friend Cdr. Larry McGuire did. He spoke lovingly of the AD's he flew in Viet Nam. He also mentioned that if they weren't dripping oil it was because the sump was empty. After a mission he said they would fill up the oil and check the gas. He was saddened by the AD being phased out and replaced with the A4, a plane he was too tall to comfortably fly.


Jack H. Olsen, e-mail, 21.05.2008 02:39

I've got about 1000 hours in AD1,3,4,5,6. A great A/C. Your description says the AD's range was 900 miles. I once flew an AD6 from JAX to LAS at 50' (no higher) in 10 hours and 20 minutes. What a beautiful A/C.


Bill Alderman, e-mail, 20.05.2008 01:15

I was a plankowner in VAW 13 at Guam. In a 15 month period I landed on the Hancock, Ranger, Ticonderoga, Hornet, Yorktown and made an emergency night trap on the Forrestal while TAD at Oceana. Loved the airplane. If it wasn't dripping oil, it was out of it.


ML CLARK, e-mail, 19.05.2008 22:38

I served aboard the USS HORNET (MM2 1957-1929) and observed the AD in use at that time. Very impressive.


George Caruana USAF Reti, e-mail, 01.05.2008 02:49

As a Airborne Mission Commander in Air Rescue while serving in Nam I had great admiration for the Spad pilots and learned during one mission that the Spad pilot off my wing (HC-130) was my friend from my Bermuda tour. My regret was that I did not get to fly in one lOVE TO HEAR FROM Spad pilots from Nam in 1968


John Cleveland, e-mail, 28.04.2008 07:15

W,


Dutch Schouttz, e-mail, 19.04.2008 20:01

Received the ADs after suffering with SB2Cs and could out climb and out turn or F4U fighters and return our vexation about performance.


Marv Garrison, e-mail, 02.04.2008 20:01

This was my first aircraft out of Pensacola. I was able to log 500 hours in 12 months in AD-1's. My Commanding Officer believed that 2nd Lt's belonged in the air at all times. When he would see me on the ground, he would say, "Why are you not flying". Flew all versions of the AD.




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