Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA1411 A-4M Skyhawk VMA-214 “Black Sheep” Iwakuni AB 1977

Designed by McDonnell-Douglas the A-4 Skyhawk was meant to replace the AD Skyraider and met all the requirements of the US Navy and exceeded many. It was half the maximum weight, could carry four times the weapon load and small enough that it didn’t need folding wings for carrier duty. This small aircraft would earn many nicknames “Heinemann’s Hot Rod” "Scooter", "Bantam Bomber", "Tinker Toy Bomber". The A-4 was replaced in the mid 1980s by the AV-8 Harrier II.

In 1942 the 214 Marine Fighter Squadron was commissioned at Ewa Airfield on Oahu, Hawaii. It started out full of misfits under the command of legendary Major Gregory “Pappy” Boyington who had just finished flying with the AVG Flying Tigers. Considering the demeanor of the crew the name “Blacksheep” seemed very appropriate so the 214 decided to use it as the name for the new group. The bar sinister black shield of illegitimacy with a black sheep, a Corsair and a circle of stars their status and the manner in which they were established. Pappy shaped his men into one of the most deadly fighter team of the Pacific in WWII. The 214 was decommissioned for a short time after WWII but was re-commissioned in 1948. The squadron fought in Korea where they played a major part during the landings at Inchon. They also showed the same excellence as the original team while in combat in Vietnam. The squadron flew 3971 combat sorties and 5274 combat flight hours in the first eight months of their tour of duty in Vietnam. For the next several years the 214 were relocated several times and flew several different aircraft types.

A-4M specifications
Engine: One 11,200-pound thrust Pratt & Whitney J52-P-408A turbojet
Weight: Empty 10,465 lbs., Max Takeoff 24,500 lbs.
Wing Span: 27ft. 6in. Length: 40ft. 3.75in. Height: 15ft. 0in.
Performance: Maximum Speed at Sea Level: 670 mph Range: 340 miles with 4,000-pound bomb load
Armament: Two 20-mm cannon Up to 9,155 pounds of weapons on five external hard-points