Douglas AD Skyraider

            The Douglas AD Skyraider was a single-seat, single-engine, carrier-based, attack bomber used by both the US Navy and Marine Corps during the Korean War.

            The AD Skyraider first flew on 18 March 1945.  At that time it was the heaviest production single-seat aircraft in the world.  The Skyraider was an exceptionally strong aircraft.  It could carry up to 8,000 lbs. of external ordnance on fifteen hardpoints, one central and seven under each wing, and it could carry a wide variety of ordnance – rockets, bombs, napalm, torpedos, and mines.  It was also armed was either two or four 20mm cannon.  The Skyraider had exceptional endurance and could remain in the air for up to ten hours.

            The Douglas AD Skyraider proved to be a very successful attack aircraft during the Korean War, equipping eleven USN squadrons, three USN reserve squadrons, and two USMC squadrons.  In addition, night-fighter and radar early-warning variants of the AD served with a USMC composite squadron, VMC-1.

            Production of the AD Skyraider ended in 1957 after 3,180 had been built.  The Skyraider remained in service for decades, and it was heavily used during the Vietnam War also.