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.
"Designed and built on a carrier-based attack aircraft, the A-1 never saw combat in World War II and eventually was viewed as dated. But it proved its worth during the Korean War and earned a reputation as a craft able to carry any weapon in the naval arsenal. This history comes packed with black and white photos and is a 'must' for any serious military collection." -California Bookwatch (June 2009)
"Number 77 in Osprey's 'Combat Aircraft' series, US Navy 1-2 Skyraider Units of the Vietnam War combines the skills of two former editors of Naval Aviation News, Richard R Burgess and Rosario M Rausa, the latter of whom had the personal experience of flying A-1s in two combat tours over Vietnam. All Navy units that served between 1960 through final withdrawal from the theater in 1969 are covered, with photos and color profiles to illustrate some of the striking markings with which the Spads went into battle. Firsthand accounts add a vital extra dimension to the narrative, including the occasional hair-raising encounters these lumbering but tough old birds had with surface-to-air missiles and MiG-17a - two of which were shot down by Skyraiders in the course of the war." -Jon Guttman, Vietnam Magazine (August 2009)
"Overall, it is an excellent book on a subject that is both historically significant and fascinating to read. It is one I can highly recommend." -Scott Van Aken, www.modelingmadness.com (April 2009)
US Navy A-1 Skyraider Units of the Vietnam War by Rick Burgess