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.
About the Author
Byron E Hukee is a retired USAF fighter pilot who flew not only the A-1 Skyraider but also the F-100, A-7D, F-5, and F-16. Though without a lengthy publishing pedigree, he has amassed a vast collection of resources relating to the A-1 Skyraider in the 13 years since he launched his Skyraider.org website. His 'virtual' book, the A-1 Combat Journal, on that website chronicles his one year tour flying the Skyraider in combat with the 1st Special Operations Squadron (SOS) 'Hobos'.
Praise for USAF and VNAF A-1 Skyraider Units of the Vietnam War…
"Over 70 historical photographs bring the admired aircraft and her crews to life. And hobbyists will find ample inspiration from 30 color profiles by Jim Laurier."
- Rachel E. Veres, www.cybermodeler.com
"...[The book] adds to the growing collection of superb books in this series. I found it be a very good read and encourage anyone interested in either the aircraft or this period of history to pick this one up. It will be well worth it."
- Scott Van Aken, www.modelingmadness.com (March 2013)
"...joins others in Osprey's military aircraft history series and belongs in any military or aviation history collection, considering the evolution of the USAF Skyraider units and the VNAF models that saw action in Vietnam. Missions, interactions with enemies, and first-person accounts from those who flew them makes for a vivid account of combat history, paired with vintage black and white and color photos throughout."
- The Midwest Book Review (May 2013)