NAS GROSSE ILE

Douglas AD-5N Skyraider


132605 was an AD-5N assigned to NASGI from October 1961 to August 1963.
Photo Furnished by William T. Larkins


Douglas AD Skyraider

 

Douglas AD-1Q Skyraider

Photo furnished by William T. Larkins                   NASGI AD-1Q   (SN 09370)                                     Larkins Collection

 
Photo of the AD flightline 8/5/53

 

AD-5

 
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The Skyraider was one of the longest lived combat aircraft in the United States air arsenal.  First arriving as the A-1 and AD series of Navy fame, it entered production in 1945 to late to see action in W.W.II,  Its Wright R-3350 18 cylinder air cooled radial engine developed 2700+ horsepower gives it exceptional load carrying ability.  It was soon thought to be outdated, but proved its worth as an attack aircraft during the Korean War.  It was so successful that production continued until plane number 3180 came off the line in 1957.  Through the years there had been 28 different versions of the Skyraider produced for the Navy, Marines and Air Force.

An antique by most standards it would still prove its value in another war with the approach of the Vietnam conflict.  In Vietnam the Skyraider again did all that it was called on it to do and more, whether called the A-1, AD, Spad, The Flying Dump Truck, Able Dog, Sandy, Dusty or any number of other names.

The Skyraider came in single seat and the side by side models with a wider fuselages.  Probably the most unusual model was the A1-E which had the side by side cockpit and a rear cabin that could seat 12 passengers or 6 stretchers or up to 2000 pounds of cargo.  It also had a larger vertical tail.

The AD's internal armament was four 20 mm cannons that were used mainly for ground support with up to 8000 pounds of assorted ordnance on fifteen pylons on the wings.

Manufacturer Douglas
Designation AD
Version -4
Type Attack Bomber
Crew 1 or 2
Length 38'2"
Wingspan 50'
Gross Weight 18,263 lb.
No. of Engines 1
Power plant Wright R-3350
Horsepower 2700
Max. Speed 321 Mph
To the surprise of many, in the early years of the United States involvement in Vietnam, Navy pilots from VA-25 shot down two MIG-17's in June of 1965.

The Skyraider proved it could handle any role required of it, but even this great bird had been replaced by an all active unit by 1968.

"The Marines initially maintained the AD-5Nís but 5 sailors, including me, were assigned mid to late 1960 to the Marines and maintained our block of 4 Spads and later were assigned the 2 T-28ís as our responsibility when they were received. When the Marines received the C-119ís sometime in 1961, the AD-5Nís were turned over to the Navy maintenance and Harvey Muir was the first AD line supervisor.

By the end of the 1965, all of NAS Grosse Iles AD-5N's (actually they were then designated A1E as the military standardized aircraft designation to the Air Force method) they were transferred to the Air Force, modified probably on the West Coast, with pneumatic tail wheels, tailhooks removed, and new radio and nav gear installed. They were then sent to Vietnam. " -- Dick Johnson

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Revised: June 30, 2010