Douglas Skyraider

#1
Just been watching a programme on one of the SKY Channels about the SPAD/SANDY as Elmer used to call them: the dark recesses of my mind tellls me that the FAA used to fly these as AEWs prior to the Gannet. Sure I saw a couple chase each other down Whitsand Bay in my youth, painted dark blue/black as opposed to the Gannet paint 2 tone scheme. Can anyone confirm this ? Also, the cannon armed Skyraider was the first USN aircraft to score a "gun kill" when 2 of them trashed a MIG 15 in Vietnam in a head on pass !!!!
 
#2
Their were quiet a few Gannets painted dark blue with black " COD Gannets " sorry to throw a spanner in the works!! 849 Naval Air Squadron is a squadron of the Fleet Air Arm, the Air Arm of the British Royal Navy. It was formed during the Second World War as a carrier based torpedo-bomber, unit, flying missions against Japanese targets in the Far East. Its service since the Second World War has been as an airborne early warning squadron, flying fixed winged Skyraiders and Gannets from the Royal Navy's fixed wing carriers from 1952 until 1978, and airborne early warning Sea King helicopters since 1982.
 
#4
As ever, Google is your friend and this took me all of five seconds to find (link) along with Streaky's link:

[align=center]Service of AD Skyraider with Fleet Air Arm[/align]
Last revised October 18, 2001

Beginning in November of 1951, the United Kingdom received 50 AD-4W Skyraiders under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program (MDAP). They were intended to provide airborne early warning for the Royal Navy, and were designated Skyraider AEW.1 in Fleet Air Arm Service.

The Skyraider AEW.1 aircraft were originally allocated the following British serial numbers: WT943/WT969, WT982/WT987, WV102/WV109 and WV177/WV185. However, serials were incorrectly applied to five aircraft which appeared as WT097, WT112, WT121, WT761 and WT849 (using the last 3 digits of their Navy BuNos) instead of the correct WT943, WT982, WT983, WV108 and WV109. 20 of the Skyraiders (WT944/WT963) were delivered to the Royal Navy factory-fresh, but the remainder came from US Navy stocks.

The Skyraider AEW.1 first entered service in late 1951 with No.778 Training Squadron, based at RNAS Culdrose, and this unit conducted British carrier trials aboard HMS Eagle. No.849 Squadron was the only unit to fly the Skyraider, and they maintained a Headquarters Flight permanently based at Culdrose and four operational Flights which were detached for service in four-lane units aboard carriers. One of these Flights was operating aboard HMS Bulwark during the Suez operation in November of 1956.

The Skyraider AEW.1 was replaced in active service by the Fairey Gannet AEW.3 by November of 1960, but some Skyraiders remained in supporting and training roles until 1962.

In late 1962 and early 1963, twelve surplus Skyraider AEW.1 aircraft were sold to the Swedish company Svensk Flygtjanst AB. This private company operated target tugs under contract to the Flygvapnet. These were ex WT952, WT949, WT962, WT950, WT956, WT957, WT944, WT959, WTWT0948, WV181, WT987 and WT951. Before delivery, they were modified by Scottish Aviation at Prestwick. These changes included the removal of the military equipment (including the tailhook and the radome) and the fitting of a large bubble observation window on both sides of the fuselage immediately to the rear of the entrance doors. A winch operator's station was installed in the crew position previously occupied by a radar operator. Two more aircraft (ex WT945 and WV185) were later delivered to Sweden as spares. The twelve modified aircraft were assigned the Swedish civilian registrations SE-EBA to SE-EBI and SE-EBK to SE-EBM. The planes were painted a brilliant yellow to make it easier for them to be seen. SE-EBH (ex-WT959) was destroyed by fire after a taxiing accident at Lulea in Sweden on September 8, 1968 and was replaced by ex-WT849, which was converted to target tug configuration at Bullofta and became SE-EBN. This machine was written off in a wheel-up landing accident at Midlanta Airport on May 6, 1971. The Swedish Skyraiders were still in use as target tugs as late as the early 1970s.

Two Fleet Air Arm Skyraiders (WT121 and WV106) are now on display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum at RNAS Yeovilton.

Serials of RNAS Skyraiders

124076/124127 Douglas AD-4W Skyraider
c/n7382/7433
124080 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV104
124085 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV103.
124086 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV106 Feb 1953.
Now in reserve collection at FAA Museum, RNAS Yeovilton, UK.
124097 (VC-190) in takeoff accident from USS Princeton CV-37 Mar 7, 1951. I have this
plane as also going to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT943 but painted
with incorrect serial of WT097
124101 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV177
124103 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT986
124104 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT985
124107 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT969
124110 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV107
124111 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV178
124112 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT982 but painted with incorrect serial WT112
124113 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV105
124114 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT964
124115 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV179
124116 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV180
124121 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT983 but painted with incorrect serial WT121
124122 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV102
124124 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT965
124761/124777 Douglas AD-4W Skyraider
c/n7571/7587
124761 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV108 but painted with incorrect serial WT761
124765 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT966
124768 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT968
124771 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT967
124774/124777 delivered factory-fresh to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT944/WT947
125765/125782 Douglas AD-4W Skyraider
c/n 7658/7675
125772 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV183
126836/126875 Douglas AD-4W Skyraider
c/n 7819/7858
126846 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV184
126849 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV109 put painted with incorrect serial WT849
126866 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT984
126867 (c/n 7850) to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WV181.
127921/127961 Douglas AD-4W Skyraider
c/n 7936/7976
127922 to Fleet Air Arm as Skyraider AEW.1 WT987.
127946/127961 delivered factory fresh to Royal Navy as Skyraider AEW.1 WT948/WT963

Sources:

1. Douglas A-1 Skyraider, Robert F. Dorr, Osprey, 1989
2. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Vol 1, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988
3. The Douglas Skyraider, Harry Gann, Aircraft in Profile, Doubleday, NY.
 
#7
HMS Bulwark, first commish, 1954-56. (from the book "HMS Bulwark 1948-1984")
"Flying trials were due to start on 7th February (1955) ------ During the next three days, proving trials of the catapult gear were carried out --- with differently loaded Avenger, Sea Hawk, and Skyraider aircraft. ---- maintenance personnel for the ship's own aircraft were embarked at Portland on Feb 19th and the ship sailed for the Moray Firth. En route, two Skyraiders of 849 D flight were embarked."

2BM
 
#8
My Hermes time 1961-2 I.m sure they still used Avengers for COD and the older Gannets were the V.I.P runabouts .
Both painted blue.
Our own flight Gannets were 849 'c' I think

Long time ago

G.
 

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