Book Review
USAF Skyraider Units
USAF and VNAF A1 Skyraider Units of the Vietnam War.
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by: Richard Tonge [ TINBANGER ]


USAF Skyraider units were originally tasked to serve as quasi-training units for the fledgling VNAF. Equipped only with the two-seat models of the Skyraider, American pilots were required to have VNAF ‘observers’ in the aircraft for every mission. Eventually, this arrangement was changed as enough Vietnamese pilots were trained to man their own squadrons, while USAF squadrons were tasked with close support for US ground forces. Eventually, no fewer than four USAF and seven VNAF Skyraider units saw service in Vietnam. Additionally, one A-1 training squadron flew from Hurlburt Field, Florida, throughout the Vietnam War era. In the ten years that this squadron was active, nearly 1000 USAF and 300 VNAF pilots were trained in the Skyraider. While the core mission of all Skyraider squadrons was Close Air Support (CAS), other missions were accomplished at various times. Among these were Search and Rescue (SAR), night interdiction on the Ho Chi Minh trail, helicopter escort and special forces support to name but a few. Each of these missions took full advantage of the Skyraider’s ability to deliver a variety of munitions in close proximity to friendly forces while inflicting heavy casualties on enemy forces

Quoted from Osprey's webpage for this book.

- Introduction.
- Chapter 1
Skyraider and its ordnance.
- Chapter 2
Original Skyraider units.
- Chapter 3
Follow-on Skyraider units.
- Chapter 4
Final Skyraider units.
- Appendices
Colour plates commentary.

The book consists of 96 pages of detailed first hand accounts and is laid out in a easy to read format.

There are 55 colour and 20 black and white photos.
All photos are of good quality and show good details for anyone wishing to detail a model of the Skyraider.
All photos have captions that are well laid out with lots of info in them.

colour profiles

One of the hallmarks of Osprey's books are their excellently researched colour profiles. This book has 10 pages of profiles arranged three per page.
1- A-1E 132637 of the 602nd FS(C), Bien Hoa AB,1964
2- A-1H 135256 of the 514th, Bien Hoa AB.1964
3- A-1E 133914 of the 602 FS(C), Bien Hoa AB.1965
4- A-1H 134610 of the 83rd SAG, Bien Hoa AB.1966
5- A-1H 135281 of the 518th FS, Bien Hoa AB.1965
6- A-1H 137569 of the 520th FS, Binh Thuy AB.1966
7- A-1E 132649 of the 1st ACS, Pleiku AB,1966
8- A-1E 132582 of the 1st ACS, Pleiku AB,1967
9- A-1G 132582 of the 1st ACS, Pleiku AB,1967
10- A-1H 137564 of the 524th FS, Nha Trang AB,1966
11- A-1E 132444 of the 602nd FS(C), Udom AB Thailand,1967
12- A-1E-5 135211 of the 602nd FS(C), Nakhon Phanom AB Thailand,1968
13- A-1H 134609 of the 6th ACS, Pleiku AB,1967
14- A-H 134520 of the 6th SOS, Pleiku AB,1968
15- A-1H 139802 of the 516th FS, Da Nang AB,1966
16- A-1H 139608 of the 1st SOS, Nakhon Phanom AB Thailand,1968
17- A-1H 137570 of the 524th FS, Nha Trang AB,1968-69
18- A-1J 142056 of the 602nd SOS, Nakhon Phanom AB Thailand,1969
19- A-1E 133878 of the 22nd SOS, Nakhon Phanom AB Thailand,1968-70
20- A-1H 134488 of the 516th FS, Da Nang AB,1970
21- A1-E 132686 of the 440th CCTS, Hurlburt Field 1968
22- A-1J 142014 of the 530th FS, Pleiku AB, 1971
23- A-1H 137628 of the 22nd SOS, Da Nang AB, 1969
24- A-1J 142072 of the 56th SOW, Nakhon Phanom AB, 1971
25- A-1E 133892 of the 514th FS, Bien Hoa AB, 1972
26- A 1G 133865 of the 1st SOS, Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, 1972
27- A1-H 135332 of the 440th CCTS, Hurlburt Field 1971
28- A-1H 135340 of the 514th FS, Bien Hoa AB, 1971
29- A-1H 139665 of the 1st SOS, Nakhon Phanom AB, 1972
30- A-1H 139738 of the 1st SOS, Nakhon Phanom AB, 1972

There is a general map of South East Asia and one chart showing USAF & VNAF unit timelines, 1960-1976. There are no scale drawings.

This is a well written book with first hand accounts and insight into weapons developed for this aircraft.
The book will appeal to Douglas Aircraft fans as well as those with an interest in the Vietnam war
Highs: Well written, excellent photos and captions.
Lows: Scale drawings would have been nice.
Verdict: I recommend this to any A-1 Skyraider fan. This book is a welcome addition to my library.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: Combat Aircraft # 97
  PUBLISHED: May 22, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Richard Tonge (tinbanger)

I started building model aircraft with my brother and dad at about 7 years old(Yellow single engine float plane). Born in England so mostly built Airfix and Frog Kits! Moved over the pond in 1979. Main interest any type/era aircraft. Tinbanger call sign comes from my sheetmetal days. I am also ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Richard Tonge [ TINBANGER ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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