Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Profiles General Joseph Orville Shelby - June 28th, 2004
Posted on 06/28/2004 12:00:12 AM PDT by SAMWolf
The Douglas "Skyraider" was a design submitted to the U.S. Navy as a replacement for the famous SBD dive-bomber. Originally designated as the XBT2D-1, the new aircraft made its maiden flight on March 18, 1945, two weeks ahead of schedule. It was the most powerful carrier-based aircraft ever built. Its single engine with its three fuselage stations and six racks on each wing could carry varied assortments of ordnance including rockets, mines, torpedoes, bombs, and napalms. In fact, it could carry more ordnance weight that that of the famous Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. The Navy gave Douglas a letter of intent of 543 aircraft, but the order was reduced to 277 after VJ (Victory in Japan) Day. In 1946, the aircraft was designated as "AD-1."
The prototype of the Skyraider was first flown on 18 March 1945. Designed as a robust, multirole attack aircraft for the US Navy, the carrier-based Skyraider was able to carry a wide variety of weapons on its numerous wing hardpoints. The Skyraider first saw combat in the Korean War, where its long loiter time and heavy load-hauling capability gave it a distinct utility advantage over the jet aircraft of the time.
Various versions were developed over the years; the most numerous types being: AD-1 (Initial production version with 2500hp R-3350 engine); AD-2 (Improved AD-1 with wheelwell covers and increased fuel load, etc.); AD-3 (Redesigned canopy, improved propeller, etc.); AD-4 (2700hp R-3350 engine, further canopy improvements, etc.); AD-4W (3-seat Early Warning version); AD-5 (4-seat multirole version. Many variants of the AD-5 were capable of carrying up to 12 passengers in the rear fuselage); AD-6 (Single-seat attack version).
During the 1960s, the AD-x designations were changed to A-1D through A-1J. The A-1 series was operated with enormous success during the Vietnam War, where it was used in the Ground Attack, Forward Air Control, and Search and Rescue roles. The AD-6 and AD-7 were used by the French Armee de l'Air in Algeria.
Nicknames: Able Dog; Sandy; Spad; Hobo; Firefly; Zorro; The Big Gun; Old Faithful; Old Miscellaneous; Fat Face (AD-5 version); Guppy (AD-5W version); Q-Bird (AD-1Q/AD-5Q versions); Flying Dumptruck (A-1E); Crazy Water Buffalo (South Vietnamese nickname).
The Remaining Years (Korea and Vietnam):
Few aircraft have been known by so many names as the Skyraider. At various times in its career, it was designated the BT2D, AD (Able Dog), A -1, and was also affectionately called the Destroyer, Hobo, Spad, Sandy, and the Flying Dump Truck.
Following the AD-1 came 178 AD-2s, 193 AD-3s and 1,051 AD-4s. These performed various roles as daytime and all-weather attack, radar patrol, and electronic countermeasures. In 1951 the variant two-seater AD-5 appeared, with a bigger cabin, and a year later production resumed with 713 single-seater AD-6 versions. The last version was the 72 AD-7s in 1955.
The Skyraider performed well in Korea by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. It was described as the best close-support and interdiction aircraft in the world at that time. During one mission, ADs destroyed the floodgates of the Hwachon Dam using torpedoes. This precluded the enemy from flooding two valleys and holding back the American advance.
In Vietnam, the Skyraider was employed by both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force. From carriers in the South China Sea, the Skyraiders carried out bombing strikes and close air support operations. It was used in operations against the Viet Cong strongholds in South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. It picked up its famous call-sign "Sandy" as an integral element in the recovery of downed aircrew. It joined a team of helicopters in the rescue effort. it provided suppressive fire on the enemy while U.S. Air Force Sikorsky HH-3s (Jolly Greens) and Sikorsky HH-53s (Super Jolly Greens) plucked the down aircrew members.
Despite being a propeller-powered aircraft, A-1H Skyraiders of the 77th Task Force hold the incredible feat of shooting down two Mig 17s.
The Navy used the Skyraider up until April 1968, completing over 100,000 missions over Vietnam. Surplus Skyraiders were turn over to the South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF). The U.S. Air Force continued to use the Skyraider in rescue operations.
Country of Origin: United States of America
Primary Function: Carrier-Borne Attack-Bomber
Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company - El Segundo, California
Crew: Pilot Only
First Flight: 11 March 1945 XBT2D-1
Number Built: 3,180
Number Still Airworthy: Approx. 19
Wingspan: 50 feet 0.25 inches
Length: 38 feet 10 inches
Height: 15 feet 8.25 inch
Wing Area: 400.33 square feet
Weights: Empty: 11,968 lbs - Loaded: 18,106 lbs - Maximum: 25,000 lbs
Powerplant: One - Wright R-3350-26W Cyclone, air cooled, 18-cylinder radial, 2,700-hp
Maximum Speed: 322-mph at 18,000-feet
Cruising Speed: 198-mph
Climb Rate: 2,850-fpm
Service Ceiling: 28,500-feet
Normal Range: 1,316-miles
Four 20-mm cannon;
8,000-lbs of external stores on 1 underfuselage and 14 underwing hardpoints
All photos Copyright of The Able Dogs
I read Thunder Run about the liberation of Baghdad and is it ever a good read. I knew the run was no cake walk, but it was a heck of an example of outstanding soldiering and bold, aggressive leadership. IMHO the Brigade commander should have been awarded a Cross, but he was lucky to receive a Silver Star because the P.C. crowd was all over him for his tankers firing on the Palestine Hotel, mistaking journalists with hi powered cameras trained on them for an enemy o.p. directing artillery on their position. Highly recommended.
Welcome back CT!
I read the abbreviated news account the same author wrote about the Thunder Run. Was gonna do a thread on it but it was from one of the papers we can't quote from. :-(
The book is on my "to get" list.
So how'd the vacation go?
Skyraiders, thanks Johnny, great link to the Able Dogs too.
Hi ct. Vacations always end too soon. Sounds like you had a great one! Thanks for the review of Thunder Run.
Sad to say, but Disneyland got on my nerves. There are long lines to do everything, even to get in the park (rumored due to budget cuts). Every time I go the people seem more rude and crude. You wouldn't believe the things some parents wear on tee shirts or even have tattooed on their bodies. But it was worth it to see the little tykes enjoying themselves.
Nothing will spoil a vaction faster for me than "long lines" and waiting. I have zero patience, ask Snippy. Still, as long as it didn't spoil the entire trip and you enjoyed yourself, then all went well.
Confederate general Joseph O. Shelby and his legendary Iron Brigade refused to acknowledge Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Instead, they fought their way to Mexico in search of a place where they could continue to defy the United States government. These veteran Missouri calvarymen clawed their way for fifteen hundred miles, fighting Juaristas, Indians, desperados, and disgruntled gringos. Never defeated, they disbanded only when the Emperor Maximilian (the Austrian pretender to an illusory Mexican throne) declined their services. Shelby's adjutant, journalist John N. Edwards, recorded the exploits of this superb mounted brigade and its quixotic final march.
This stirring adventure tale and gem of Lost Cause literature was first published in 1872 and except for a 1964 collectors' edition has been out of print for more than a century. Conger Beasley has written an appropriately lively introduction which includes the first biographical sketch of the author. He has also annotated the text to identify people, places, and events.
". . . [R]ecords the acts and sufferings of a body of men as desperately brave and as wildly adventurous as any whom the world has known. . . . [This is] a story to dazzle the fancy and stir the blood with deeds of desperate valor, with hair-breadth escapes, with splendors of tropical scenery, and horrors of Mexican cruelty. . . . [The] author, after the manner of Victor Hugo, whose style he has taken for his model, has thrown some arabesques of a lively imagination around and among his historical figures." - September 1874, Southern Magazine, The Transactions of the Southern Historical Society
"Shelby's Expedition to Mexico is the romantic yet authentic tale of how brave men with brave hopes sought to redeem defeat in one war by victory in another war, only again to lose all save honor. A classic." - Albert Castel, author of Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864 (Kansas, 1995)
University of Arkansas Press, Fall, '02
General Jo Shelby's Final Review is re-enacted yearly in Chatfield, a small town near Corsicana, about 45 miles southeast of Dallas, Texas, in April. Shelby was the commander of the Missouri Cavalry Division in what was known as the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War. His men distinguished themselves, often outnumbered, in battle after battle with the invading Yankees.
What is not well-known is that General Shelby did not surrender his forces to swear allegiance to the United States. Rather, he asked, "who will go with me to Mexico?" and led his men south of the Rio Grande, to uncertain futures in a post-Confederate world. These non-political soldiers were weary of the years of deprivation in the Lost Cause. This book chronicles some of their adventures, first told to the author as part of oral familial history of the Iron Brigade. The author met several people in Mexico City in the 1940s who claimed to have witnessed the Last Review.
Those who fought under "Old Jo" intended to maintain their sacred honor and "hatred of oppression" brought about by the invasion of the Southern states by what they felt was a mercenary army--and strangulation through blockade by an distained navy that deprived their countrymen, women, and children of basic necessities of life.
This is very interesting reading to any student of the American Civil War. General Shelby and his men finally found themselves caught in a political situation--the desire of Mexico to maintain peace with the United States after a victory over the French--commemorated yearly in the festivals of Cinco de Mayo (recalling May 5, 1862) across the southwestern U.S.
Their services refused, Shelby's last review was held in Mexico City, the Rebel Yell last heard amongst the ghosts of the Conquistadores, the Cavalry Guidon lowered, the battle flag having been buried somewhere on the border.
These last Confederates dispersed, many going to colonies of expatriates in foreign lands, from Brazil to China. Many could not reconcile to live under the domination of what they considered a foreign occupation, politely called Reconstruction.
A classic belonging in the library of any Civil War enthusiast.
Quote from *Treasure Island
"Aye...When I'm a richman ...and a riddin to Parliment in my coach,
Don't want of them Sea Lawyers commin round uncalled for,
Like the Devil at Prayers"
VC sappers hit the flight line at Bein Hoa 1965
Teal'c:"Others have noticed you changed your home page Col Isherwood....they say you have some splainnin to do"
Col Isherwood:"Ah for cry out loud ...What?...did I leave the front door unlocked again?...no wait...its that not readin the memo's thing again ...right": )
I'm hooked on it to!
It is fascinating to study the Civil War.
Enjoy Shelby Foote's comments on the war..and his appearences in documentaries.
Went googling on Shelby to see if he had comment on the Iraq war.
Shelby is a Democrat..yet..his comments are intersting.
One theme he marks..that of integrity,clarity.
Symbolism/messages.... is another theme which I have seen running thru history>
Can't remember the Family's name....at the outset of the Civil war...Bull Run I beleive,..this landowner decides he is leaving..taking the family to safer climes.
The war follows him..eventually the last pitch battles occur in his area...the Federals require his home to negotiate the Surrender of General Lee and the Army of Northern Virgina.
Appomatox : )
Ulysses S Grant.
At the outbreak of the Civil War,...Grant was living in Galena Illinois.
Galena....is the Latin word for Lead.
Am a History addict....[ My mom was a Librarian]...collect various History magazines,
Sea Classics,Military History,The Wild West..etc
How bout you?
LOL. I'd put that at negative zero if there is such a thing. ;-)