Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA2918 Douglas AD-3 Skyraider 122743, VMA-121, US Marines, Korean War

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.

VMF-121 “Green Knights” was activated in 1941 and renamed VMA-121 in 1951. On October 19, 1951 VMA-121 deployed to Pyongtaek, South Korea where they became the “Wolf Raiders” completing their first mission on the 27th. Their mission was to destroy airfields, supply depots, bridges and railroads and by doing this the squadron dropped more tonnage than any other USN or USMC unit and earned them the nickname “Heavy Haulers”. One of the 125 AD-3s built was BuNo. 122743 21/AK made it through the Korean War but was written off in December 1955.

Specifications for the Douglas AD-3 Skyraider
Number built – 125
Dimensions
Length – 38 ft 2 in
Wingspan – 50 ft ¼ in
Height – 12 ft
Weights
Empty – 10,800 pounds
Gross – 16,000 pounds
Maximum – 18,500 pounds
Performance
Powerplant – 1 X Wright R-3350-26W Duplex Cyclone 18-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 2,700 hp
Maximum speed – 321 mph@ 18,300 ft
Cruising speed 200 mph
Initial rate of climb – 2,760 ft/min
Service ceiling – 32,300 ft
Range – 1,300 miles
Armament
2 X 20-mm cannons in wings