Two significant aircraft of the Vietnam War, the Douglas AD-1 Skyraider and the A-4 Skyhawk are featured in this Warbirds in Review. Both these aircraft are owned by The Warbird Heritage Foundation in Waukegan, IL. The Douglas AD-1 Skyraider was a U.S. single-seat attack bomber of the late 1940's, 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. Skyraiders participated in the first strikes against North Vietnam. As they were released from Navy service, they were used by the USAF to perform one of the Skyraider's most famous roles: the "Sandy" helicopter escort on combat search and rescue operations. The A-4 Skyhawk was a post Korean War U.S. attack aircraft intended to be operated from aircraft carriers. It was the jet powered replacement for the A-1 Skyraider. The Navy's primary light bomber during the early years of the Vietnam War the A-4's carried out some of the first U.S. air strikes of the war. A Marine Skyhawk is believed to have dropped the last US bombs on the country. Notable A-4 pilots during the war were LCDR John McCain and Vice Admiral James Stockdale. Autographed copies of Admiral Stockdale’s book will be available for sale in the Warbird store.
Dave Waldrop who flew the F-105 in Vietnam is joined by Skyraider pilot Dick Diller. When the air force needed pilots for the Vietnam War, Dick was assigned to fly A-1 Skyraiders at Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand, where he flew 203 missions, mostly at night, over Laos. It is not likely that you have heard the story of an F-105 pilot shooting down two (2) MIGS on one mission. Dave, an animated speaker, will tell about the mission when he did just that! One of the confirmations he received for one of the two MIGS he shot down came from General Robin Olds, who was there. General Olds wrote a letter stating “As far as I’m concerned you got that first MIG without any shadow of doubt….And I may say in passing that the sight of your Thud hot on the tail of a MIG 17, shooting like hell, and scoring hits was one of the most thrilling sights of my whole tour….”