The A-1 Skyraider originated as a carrier-based torpedo and dive bomber. Deliveries as
the AD-1 to the Navy began in November 1946 and in 1962 was renamed A-1. It was
the first single-seat torpedo/dive bomber to serve with the Navy. The primary mission of
the A-1 was close air support for ground troops because of its heavy ordnance load and
accuracy. The aircraft had great success in Korea and Vietnam. There were 3,180
Skyraiders built in seven major models and 28 different versions. There were 266 A-1s
lost in Vietnam.
Some nicknames - Able Dog, Spad, Sandy, Hobo, Firefly, Zorro and "Crazy Water
Buffalo," a VNAF nickname.
VA-52 “Knight Riders” was one of three A-1 units to wear a CAG paint scheme during
the Vietnam War. It wore a diagonal blue fuselage band containing various colored
stripes that represented the squadrons belonging to CVW-19. During VA-52’s third and
last Vietnam deployment all its aircraft wore midnight blue weapon pylons. A-1H 134569
was built in 1953 and originally served with VA194 and then two other squadrons before
transferring to VA-52. Eventually 134569 was transferred to the USAF and then to the
VNAF and was shot down in 1972.