Douglas A-1 Skyraider - (scan - 1997)

Designed for Navy as replacement for Curtiss SB2C and Grumman TBF (also produced by General Motors as TBM). -1 through -4 versions could be adapted for 4 main uses: day assault, all-weather assault, radar surveillance, and electronic countermeasures. -5 version (only 2-seater) built in 3 versions--assault, all-weather (N), and radar surveillance (W). -6 and -7 versions were single-seat assault aircraft. AD was last heavy, single-seat, piston-engine combat aircraft. AD-1 reached operational units Dec 46 and remained in first-line service over 20 yrs. With takeoff weight of 25,000 pounds, could carry 8000 lbs of bombs. Served in Korean and Vietnam Wars and proved unbeatable as ground attack aircraft. Skyraiders used by Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and by RVNAF. France and Britain among other countries which used it. Maj Bernie Fisher flew A-1E on mission that earned him Congressional Medal of Honor, the first awarded to an airman in SE Asia conflict. 10 Mar 66 he landed his Skyraider in midst of enemy troops and rescued downed pilot. Air Force pilots nicknamed it "Spad."

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