Douglas A-1 Skyraider
|A-1 (AD) Skyraider|
|U.S. Navy A-1H Skyraider from Attack Squadron VA-152 over Vietnam in 1966.|
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Douglas Aircraft Company|
|First flight||18 March 1945|
|Retired||1985 Gabonese Air Force|
|Primary users||United States Navy
United States Air Force
South Vietnam Air Force
|Developed into||Douglas A2D Skyshark|
The Douglas A-1 Skyraider (formerly AD) was an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. It became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad", after the French World War I fighter. The Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful career, even inspiring its straight-winged, slow-flying, jet-powered successor, the A-10 Thunderbolt II.
It was operated by the United States Navy (USN), the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and the United States Air Force (USAF), and also saw service with the British Royal Navy, the French Air Force, the Air Force of the Republic of Vietnam (VNAF), and others.
Design and development
The piston-engined Skyraider was designed during World War II to meet U.S. Naval requirements for a carrier-based, single-seat, long-range, high performance dive/torpedo bomber, to follow-on from earlier types such as the Helldiver and Avenger. Designed by Ed Heinemann of the Douglas Aircraft Company, prototypes were ordered on 6 July 1944 as the XBT2D-1. The XBT2D-1 made its first flight on 18 March 1945 and in April 1945, the USN began evaluation of the aircraft at the Naval Air Test Center (NATC). In December 1946, after a designation change to AD-1, delivery of the first production aircraft to a fleet squadron was made to VA-19A.
The AD-1 was built at Douglas' El Segundo plant in Southern California. In his memoir The Lonely Sky, test pilot Bill Bridgeman quotes a production rate of two aircraft per day, describing the routine yet sometimes hazardous work of certifying AD-1s fresh off the assembly line for delivery to the U.S. Navy in 1949 and 1950.
The low-wing monoplane design started with a Wright R-3350 radial engine, later upgraded several times. Its distinctive feature was large straight wings with seven hard points apiece. These gave the aircraft excellent low-speed maneuverability, and enabled it to carry a large amount of ordnance (more than its own weight in weapons) over a considerable combat radius and loiter time for its size, comparable to much heavier subsonic or supersonic jets. The aircraft was optimized for the ground-attack mission and was armored against ground fire in key locations unlike faster fighters adapted to carry bombs, such as the Vought F4U Corsair or North American P-51 Mustang, which would be retired by U.S. forces before the 1960s.
Shortly after Heinemann began design of the XBT2D-1 a study was issued that showed for every 100 lbs of weight reduction the take-off run was decreased by 8 feet, the combat radius increased by 22 miles and the rate of climb increased by 18 feet. Heinemann immediately had his design engineers begin a program of finding weight saving on the XBT2D-1 design no matter how small. 270 lbs was found by simplifying the fuel system; 200 lbs by eliminating an internal bomb bay and hanging the bombs, drop tanks and rockets from the wings or fuselage; 70 lbs by using a fuselage dive brake; and 100 lbs by using an older tail wheel design. In the end Heinemann and his design engineers found over 1800 lbs of weight savings on the original XBT2D-1 design.
Navy AD series were initially painted in ANA 623 Glossy Sea Blue, but during the 1950s following the Korean War, the color scheme was changed to light gull grey (FS26440) and white (FS27875). Initially using the gray and white Navy pattern, by 1967 the USAF began to paint its Skyraiders in a camouflaged pattern using two shades of green, and one of tan.
Used by the USN over Korea and Vietnam, the A-1 was a primary close air support aircraft for the USAF and VNAF during the Vietnam War. The A-1 was famous for being able to take hits and keep flying. There was added armor plating around the cockpit area for added pilot protection. It was replaced beginning in the mid-1960s by the Grumman A-6 Intruder as the Navy's primary medium attack plane in supercarrier-based air wings; however Skyraiders continued to operate from the smaller Essex class carriers.
The Skyraider went through seven versions, starting with the AD-1, then AD-2 and AD-3 with various minor improvements, then the AD-4 with a more powerful R-3350-26WA engine. The AD-5 was significantly widened, allowing two crew to sit side-by-side (this was not the first multiple-crew variant, the AD-1Q being a two-seater and the AD-3N a three-seater); it also came in a four-seat night-attack version, the AD-5N. The AD-6 was an improved AD-4B with improved low-level bombing equipment, and the final production version AD-7 was upgraded to a R-3350-26WB engine.
For service in Vietnam, USAF Skyraiders were fitted with the Stanley Yankee extraction system, which acted similarly to an ejection seat though with a twin rocket pulling the escaping pilot from the cockpit.
In addition to serving during Korea and Vietnam as an attack aircraft, the Skyraider was modified into a carrier-based airborne early warning aircraft, replacing the Grumman TBM-3W Avenger. It served in this function in the USN and Royal Navy, being replaced by the Grumman E-1 Tracer and Fairey Gannet respectively in those services.
Though the Skyraider was produced too late to take part in World War II, it became the backbone of United States Navy aircraft carrier and United States Marine Corps (USMC) strike aircraft sorties in the Korean War (1950–1953), with the first ADs going into action from the USS Valley Forge with VA-55 on 3 July 1950. Its weapons load and 10-hour flying time far surpassed the jets that were available at the time. On 2 May 1951, Skyraiders made the only aerial torpedo attack of the war, hitting the Hwacheon Dam, then controlled by North Korea.
On 16 June 1953, a USMC AD-4 from VMC-1 piloted by Major George H. Linnemeier and CWO Vernon S. Kramer shot down a Soviet-built Polikarpov Po-2 biplane, the only documented Skyraider air victory of the war. AD-3N and -4N aircraft carrying bombs and flares flew night-attack sorties, and radar-equipped ADs carried out radar-jamming missions from carriers and land bases.
During the Korean War, A-1 Skyraiders were flown only by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, and were normally painted in dark navy blue. It was called the "Blue Plane" by enemy troops. A total of 128 Navy and Marine AD Skyraiders were lost in the Korean War - 101 in combat and 27 to operational causes. Most operational losses were due to the tremendous power of the AD. ADs that were "waved-off" during carrier recovery operations were prone to perform a fatal torque roll into the sea or the deck of the aircraft carrier if the pilot mistakenly gave the AD too much throttle. The torque of the engine is so great it would cause the aircraft to rotate about the propeller and slam into the ground or the carrier.
Cathay Pacific VR-HEU Incident
On 26 July 1954, two Douglas Skyraiders from the aircraft carriers USS Philippine Sea and Hornet shot down two Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force La-9s[original research?] off the coast of Hainan Island while searching for survivors after the shooting down of a Cathay Pacific Skymaster airliner three days previously, also by La-9s.
As American involvement in the Vietnam War began, the A-1 Skyraider was still the medium attack aircraft in many carrier air wings, although it was planned to be replaced by the A-6A Intruder as part of the general switch to jet aircraft. Skyraiders from the carriers USS Constellation and Ticonderoga participated in the first U.S. Navy strikes against North Vietnam on 5 August 1964 as part of Operation Pierce Arrow in response to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, striking against fuel depots at Vinh, with one Skyraider from Ticonderoga damaged by anti-aircraft fire, and a second from Constellation shot down, killing its pilot.
During the war, U.S. Navy Skyraiders shot down two North Vietnamese Air Force (NVAF) Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 jet fighters: one 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 LTJG William T. Patton of VA-176. While on his very first mission, Navy pilot Lieutenant (j.g.) Dieter Dengler took damage to his A-1H over Vietnam on 1 February 1966, and crash-landed in Laos.
As they were released from Navy service, Skyraiders were introduced into the South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF). They were also used by the USAF to perform one of the Skyraider's most famous roles: the "Sandy" helicopter escort on combat rescues. USAF Major Bernard F. Fisher piloted an A-1E on the 10 March 1966 mission for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor for rescuing Major "Jump" Myers at A Shau Special Forces Camp. USAF Colonel William A. Jones, III piloted an A-1H on the 1 September 1968 mission for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor. In that mission, despite damage to his aircraft and suffering serious burns, he returned to his base and reported the position of a downed U.S. airman.
After November 1972, all A-1s in U.S. service in Southeast Asia were transferred to the South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) and their roles taken over by the subsonic LTV A-7 Corsair II. The Skyraider in Vietnam pioneered the concept of tough, survivable aircraft with long loiter times and large ordnance loads. The USAF lost 201 Skyraiders to all causes in Southeast Asia, while the Navy lost 65 to all causes. Of the 266 lost A-1s, five were shot down by surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), and three were shot down in air-to-air combat; two by North Vietnamese MiG-17s.
The first A-1 was shot down on 29 April 1966, and the second A-1 was lost on 19 April 1967; both were from the 602 Air Commando Squadron (ACS). The third A-1 Skyraider was from Squadron VA-35 and was lost to a Chinese MiG-19 (J-6) on 14 February 1968. Lieutenant (j.g.) Joseph P. Dunn, USN, had flown too close to the Chinese held island of Hainan, and had been intercepted. Lieutenant Dunn's A-1 Skyraider was the last U.S. Navy A-1 lost in the war. He did not survive. Shortly thereafter, A-1 Skyraider naval squadrons transitioned to the A-6 Intruder, A-7 Corsair II or Douglas A-4 Skyhawk.
In contrast to the Korean War, fought a decade earlier, the U.S. Air Force used the naval A-1 Skyraider for the first time in Vietnam. As the Vietnam War progressed, USAF A-1s were painted in camouflage, while USN A-1 Skyraiders were gray/white in color; again, in contrast to the Korean War, when A-1s were painted dark blue.
In October 1965, to highlight the dropping of the six millionth pound of ordnance, Commander Clarence J. Stoddard of Attack Squadron 25 (VA-25), flying an A-1H, dropped a special, one-time only, object in addition to his other munitions – a toilet.
South Vietnamese Air Force
The A-1 Skyraider was the close air support workhorse of the South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) for much of the Vietnam War. The U.S. Navy began to transfer some of its Skyraiders to the VNAF in September 1960, replacing the VNAF’s older Grumman F8F Bearcats. By 1962 the VNAF had 22 of the aircraft in its inventory, and by 1968, an additional 131 aircraft had been received. Initially Navy aviators and crews were responsible for training their South Vietnamese counterparts on the aircraft, but over time, responsibility was gradually transferred to the USAF.
The initial trainees were selected from among VNAF Bearcat pilots who had accumulated 800 to 1200 hours flying time. They were trained at Corpus Christi, Texas, and then sent to LeMoore, California for further training. Navy pilots and crews in Vietnam checked out the Skyraiders that were being transferred to the VNAF, and conducted courses for VNAF ground crews.
Over the course of the war, the VNAF acquired a total of 308 Skyraiders, and was operating six A-1 squadrons by the end of 1965. These were reduced during the period of Vietnamization from 1968 to 1972, as the U.S. began to supply the South Vietnamese with more modern close air support aircraft, such as the Cessna A-37 and Northrop F-5, and at the beginning of 1968, only three of its squadrons were flying A-1s.
As the U.S. ended its direct involvement in the war, it transferred the remainder of its Skyraiders to the South Vietnamese, and by 1973, all remaining Skyraiders in U.S. inventories had been turned over to the VNAF. Unlike their American counterparts, whose combat tours were generally limited to 12 months, individual South Vietnamese Skyraider pilots ran up many thousands of combat hours in the A-1, and many senior VNAF pilots were extremely skilled in the operation of the aircraft.
The Royal Navy acquired 50 AD-4W early warning aircraft in 1951 through the Military Assistance Program. All Skyraider AEW.1s were operated by 849 Naval Air Squadron, which provided four-plane detachments for the British carriers. One flight took part in the Suez Crisis in 1956 aboard the carrier HMS Bulwark. 778 Naval Air Squadron was responsible for the training of the Skyraider crews at RNAS Culdrose.
In 1960, the Fairey Gannet AEW.3 replaced the Skyraiders, using the APS-20 radar of the Douglas aircraft. The last British Skyraiders were retired in 1962. In the late 1960s, the APS-20 radars from the Skyraiders were installed in Avro Shackleton AEW.2s of the Royal Air Force which were finally retired in 1991.
Fourteen British AEW.1 Skyraiders were sold to Sweden to be used by Svensk Flygtjänst AB between 1962 and 1974. All military equipment was removed and the aircraft were used as target tugs with the Swedish armed forces.
The French Air Force bought 20 ex-USN AD-4s as well as 88 ex-USN AD-4Ns and five ex-USN AD-4NAs with the former three-seaters modified as single-seat aircraft with removal of the radar equipment and the two operator stations from the rear fuselage. The AD-4N/NAs were initially acquired in 1956 to replace aging Republic P-47 Thunderbolts in Algeria.
The Skyraiders were first ordered in 1956 and the first was handed over to the French Air Force on 6 February 1958 after being overhauled and fitted with some French equipment by Sud-Aviation. The aircraft were used until the end of the Algerian war. The aircraft were used by the 20e Escadre de Chasse (EC 1/20 "Aures Nementcha," EC 2/20 "Ouarsenis" and EC 3/20 "Oranie") and EC 21 in the close air support role armed with rockets, bombs and napalm.
The Skyraiders had only a short career in Algeria. But they nonetheless proved to be the most successful of all the ad hoc COIN aircraft deployed by the French. The Skyraider remained in limited French service until the 1970s. They were heavily involved in the civil war in Chad, at first with the Armée de l'Air, and later with a nominally independent local air force staffed by French mercenaries. The aircraft also operated under the French flag in Djibouti and on the island of Madagascar. When France at last relinquished the Skyraiders it passed the survivors on to client states, including Gabon, Chad, Cambodia and the Central African Republic.(several aircraft from Gabon and Chad have been recovered recently by French warbird enthusiasts and entered on the French civil register).
The French frequently used the aft station to carry maintenance personnel, spare parts and supplies to forward bases. In Chad they even used the aft station for a "bombardier" and his "special stores" – empty beer bottles – as these were considered as non-lethal weapons, thus not breaking the government-imposed rules of engagement, during operations against Libyan-supported rebels in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
- Single-seat dive-bomber, torpedo-bomber prototype for the U.S. Navy.
- Three-seat night attack prototypes; only three aircraft built.
- Photographic reconnaissance prototype; only one built.
- Two-seat electronics countermeasures prototype; one aircraft only.
- BT2D-2 (XAD-2)
- Upgraded attack aircraft; one prototype only.
- The first production model; 242 built.
- Two-seat electronic countermeasures version of the AD-1; 35 built.
- AD-1 with radar countermeasures and tow target equipment, no armament and no water injection equipment.
- Three-seat airborne early warning prototype. AD-3W prototype; one aircraft only.
- Improved model, powered by 2,700 hp (2,000 kW) Wright R-3350-26W engine; 156 built.
- Unofficial designation for AD-2s used as remote-control aircraft, to collect and gather radioactive material in the air after nuclear tests.
- Two-seat electronics countermeasures version of the AD-2; 21 built.
- AD-2 with radar countermeasures and target towing equipment, no armament and no water injection equipment; one aircraft only.
- Similar to XBT2D-1 except engine, increased fuel capacity.
- Proposed turboprop version, initial designation of A2D Skyshark.
- Stronger fuselage, improved landing gear, new canopy design; 125 built.
- Anti-submarine warfare model; only two prototypes were built.
- Three-seat night attack version; 15 built.
- Electronics countermeasures version, countermeasures equipment relocated for better crew comfort; 23 built.
- Target towing aircraft, but most were delivered as the AD-3Q.
- Airborne early warning version; 31 built.
- AD-3W modified for ASW with Aeroproducts propellor
- Strengthened landing gear, improved radar, G-2 compass, anti-G suit provisions, four 20 mm (.79 in) cannon and 14 Aero rocket launchers, capable of carrying up to 50 lb (23 kg) of bombs; 372 built.
- Specialized version designed to carry nuclear weapons, also armed with four 20 mm cannon; 165 built plus 28 conversions.
- Equipped for winter operations in Korea; 63 conversions.
- Three-seat night attack version; 307 built.
- Designation of 100 AD-4Ns without their night-attack equipment, but fitted with four 20 mm (0.79 in) cannon, for service in Korea as ground-attack aircraft.
- version of the AD-4N; 36 conversions.
- Two-seat electronic countermeasures version of the AD-4; 39 built.
- Three-seat airborne early warning version; 168 built. A total of 50 AD-4Ws were transferred to the Royal Navy as Skyraider AEW Mk 1.
- AD-5 (A-1E)
- Side-by-side seating for pilot and co-pilot, without dive brakes; 212 built.
- AD-5N (A-1G)
- Four-seat night attack version, with radar countermeasures; 239 built.
- AD-5Q (EA-1F)
- Four-seat electronics countermeasures version; 54 conversions.
- One prototype to test Magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) anti-submarine equipment.
- AD-5W (EA-1E)
- Four-seat airborne early warning version; 218 were built.
- Utility version of the AD-5.
- AD-6 (A-1H)
- Single-seat attack aircraft with three dive brakes, centerline station stressed for 3,500 lb (1,600 kg) of ordnance, 30 in (760 mm) in diameter, combination 14/30 in (360/760 mm) bomb ejector and low/high altitude bomb director; 713 built.
- AD-7 (A-1J)
- The final production model, powered by a R-3350-26WB engine, with structural improvements to increase wing fatigue life; 72 built.
- Central African Republic
- South Vietnam
- United Kingdom
- United States
Specifications (A-1H Skyraider)
Data from McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920
- Crew: One
- Length: 38 ft 10 in (11.84 m)
- Wingspan: 50 ft 0¼ in (15.25 m)
- Height: 15 ft 8¼ in (4.78 m)
- Wing area: 400.3 ft² (37.19 m²)
- Empty weight: 11,968 lb (5,429 kg)
- Loaded weight: 18,106 lb (8,213 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 25,000 lb (11,340 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-3350-26WA radial engine, 2,700 hp (2,000 kW)
- Maximum speed: 322 mph (280 kn, 518 km/h) at 18,000 ft (5,500 m)
- Cruise speed: 198 mph (172 kn, 319 km/h)
- Range: 1,316 mi (1,144 nmi, 2,115 km)
- Service ceiling: 28,500 ft (8,685 m)
- Rate of climb: 2,850 ft/min (14.5 m/s)
- Wing loading: 45 lb/ft² (220 kg/m²)
- Power/mass: 0.15 hp/lb (250 W/kg)
- Guns: 4 × 20 mm (0.79 in) M2 cannon
- Other: Up to 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) of ordnance on 15 external hardpoints including bombs, torpedoes, mine dispensers, unguided rockets, or gun pods
Notable appearances in media
The A-1 Skyraider received various nicknames including: "Spad" and "Super Spad" (derived from the aircraft's AD designation, its relative longevity in service and an allusion to the "Spad" aircraft of World War I), "Able Dog" (phonetic AD), "the Destroyer", "Hobo" (radio call sign of the USAF 1st Air Commando/1st Special Operations Squadron), "Firefly" (a call sign of the 602nd ACS/SOS), "Zorro" (the call sign of the 22nd SOS), "The Big Gun," "Old Faithful," "Old Miscellaneous," "Fat Face" (AD-5/A-1E version, side-by-side seating), "Guppy" (AD-5W version), "Q-Bird" (AD-1Q/AD-5Q versions), "Flying Dumptruck" (A-1E), "Sandy" (the 602nd ACS/SOS call sign for Combat Search And Rescue helicopter escort), and "Crazy Water Buffalo" (South Vietnamese nickname).
While the Skyraider is not as iconic as some other aircraft, it has been featured in some Vietnam-era films such as The Green Berets (1968), Flight of the Intruder (1991) flying as Sandy escort, and in We Were Soldiers (2002) in the ground support role. The Skyraider also played a computer-generated role in Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn (2007). Skyraiders were also featured in the classic Korean war movie The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1953). A formation of U.S. Navy A-1s stood in for U.S. Army Air Force P-47s in the 1962 film, The Longest Day.
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- Thornburg, Chris. "World Air Forces - Historical Listings: Gabon (GAB)." WorldAirForces.Com, 3 December 2006. Retrieved: 24 March 2011.
- Burgess and Rausa 2009, p. 7.
- Coram 2004, p. 227.
- Bridgeman and Hazard 1955, pp. 38–40.
- "Headaches of a Jet Designer." Popular Mechanics, January 1953, pp. 81-85, 248.
- Johnson, E.R. "Able Dog." Aviation History, September 2008.
- Mersky 1983, p. 144.
- Faltum 1996, pp. 125–126.
- Grossnick and Armstrong 1997
- Jordan, Corey C. "Douglas AD-4 Skyraider." A Frozen Hell... The Air War Over Korea, 1950–1953, 2001. Retrieved: 14 July 2011.
- " Air Clash off Hainan." South China Morning Post, 27 July 1954.
- Dorr Air Enthusiast 1988, p. 3.
- Dorr and Bishop 1996, pp. 34–35.
- Johnson, Clinton. "Skyraider vs Mig-17." Untold Stories. Retrieved: 14 July 2011.
- Dengler 1979
- "Douglas A-1H and A-1J", National Museum of the United States Air Force. Retrieved: 30 December 2007.
- "Medal of Honor Citations: Vietnam War Medal of Honor Recipients (A-L)." U.S. Army Center of Military History, 16 July 2007. Retrieved: 23 December 2007.
- "Rescue in Vietnam." National Museum of the United States Air Force. Retrieved: 30 December 2007.
- Hobson 2001, pp. 268–269.
- Johnson, Captain Clint. "VA-25's Toilet Bomb." USS Midway. Retrieved: 24 March 2011.
- Chinnery 1997, p. 95.
- Denehan 1997, pp. 10–11.
- Denehan 2007
- "Skyraider." NASM. Retrieved: 7 October 2009.
- Chinnery 1997, p. 96.
- Baugher. Joe. "Service of AD Skyraider with Fleet Air Arm." Douglas AD/A-1 Skyraider, 18 October 2001. Retrieved: 7 October 2009.
- Francillon 1979, p. 403.
- Francillon 1979, pp. 403–404.
- Francillon 1979, p. 405.
- Burgess, Richard R. and Rosario M. Rausa. US Navy A-1 Skyraider Units of the Vietnam War (Osprey #77). Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing Limited, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84603-410-7.
- Bridgeman, William and Jacqueline Hazard. The Lonely Sky. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1955. ISBN 978-0-8107-9011-7.
- Chinnery, Philip D. Air Commando: Inside The Air Force Special Operations Command. London: St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1997. ISBN 978-0-312-95881-7.
- Coram, Robert. Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. Los Angeles: Back Bay Books, 2004. ISBN 0-316-79688-3.
- Denehan, William, Major, USAF. From Crickets To Dragonflies: Training And Equipping The South Vietnamese Air Force 1955-1972. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Air Command and Staff College, Air University, 1997.
- Dengler, Dieter. Escape from Laos. New York: Presidio Press, 1979. ISBN 0-89141-076-7.
- Dorr, Robert F. "Southeast Asian "Spad"... The Skyraider's War". Air Enthusiast, Thirty-six, May–August 1988. Bromley, UK:FineScroll. pp. 1–11, 73–77. ISSN 0143-5450.
- Dorr, Robert F. and Chris Bishop. Vietnam Air War Debrief. London: Aerospace Publishing, 1996. ISBN 1-874023-78-6.
- Drury, Richard S. My Secret War. Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishing Inc., 1979. ISBN 978-0-8168-6841-4.
- Faltum, Andrew. The Essex Aircraft Carriers. Baltimore, Maryland: The Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1996. ISBN 1-877853-26-7.
- Francillon, René J. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920. London: Putnam, 1979. ISBN 0-370-00050-1.
- Grossnick, Roy A. and William J. Armstrong. United States Naval Aviation, 1910–1995. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Historical Center, 1997. ISBN 0-16-049124-X.
- Hobson, Chris. Vietnam Air Losses, USAF/USN/USMC, Fixed-Wing Aircraft Losses in Southeast Asia, 1961-1973. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 2001. ISBN 1-85780-115-6.
- McCarthy, Donald J. Jr. MiG Killers: A Chronology of US Air Victories in Vietnam 1965-1973. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 2009. ISBN 978-1-58007-136-9.
- Mersky, Peter B. U.S. Marine Corps Aviation: 1912 to the Present. Annapolis, Maryland: The Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1983. ISBN 0-933852-39-8.
- "Skyraider." Model Airplane News, September 2008, Volume 136, Number 9; Cover and p. 38.
- Swanborough, Gordon and Peter M. Bowers. United States Navy Aircraft since 1911. London: Putnam, Second edition 1976. ISBN 0-370-10054-9.
- United States Air Force Museum Guidebook. Wright-Patterson AFB Ohio: Air Force Museum Association, 1975.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: A-1 Skyraider|
|Wikisource has several original texts related to: Audio recordings and transcripts with comments of actual Wild Weasel missions flown during the Vietnam War, including Sandy-assisted rescue.|
- Air Force Fact sheet on the Douglas A-1E Skyraider flown by Major Fisher
- The A-1 in Airpower Classics from Air Force Magazine
- Douglas A-1 Skyraider articles and publications
- AeroWeb: List of A-1 survivors on display
- Heritage Flight Museum: A-1 Skyraider “The Proud American”
- The short film STAFF FILM REPORT 66-21A (1966) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]