S u m m a r y
||Osprey Combat Aircraft
US Navy and Marine Corps A-4 Skyhawk Units of the Vietnam
by Peter Mersky
||Soft cover, 112 pages
GB£13.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Good coverage of the type in these theatres; logically and
chronologically laid out
A-4 Skyhawk Units is available online from Squadron.com
US Navy and United States Marine Corps A-4 Skyhawk Units of the Vietnam
War is the latest release from Osprey
Publishing and is number 69 in their Combat Aircraft Series.
paragraph on page 103 of this book goes a long way towards telling the
story of the little A-4 and of the bitter, long, and hard fought Vietnam
conflict. I quote:
“More than 380 Skyhawks were lost in Vietnam – 12
percent of the total production run. Navy losses were 196 in combat and
77 operationally. The Marines lost 70 single seat A-4s in combat and
another 31 operationally. There were three fatalities in TA-4Fs, ten of
which were lost in combat. Of Navy fixed-wing aircraft lost in combat,
36 percent were A-4s. Marine Corps A-4 losses also amounted to 36
percent of all Marine Corps fixed-wing aircraft lost. Of all US
fixed-wing aircraft lost in combat during the war, A-4s accounted for 11
percent. Navy A-4 crew losses were 98 killed in action and 48 PoW,
whilst Marine Corps losses were 29 killed in action and one PoW”
Sobering facts indeed.
book is the fourth authored by Peter Mersky for Osprey Publications.
His other contributions to the Osprey Combat Aircraft Series also deal
with the Vietnam conflict and the US Navy and Marine Corps aviation’s
involvement in it. His other titles -
US Navy A-7 Corsair II Units of the Vietnam War (co-authored
by Norm Birzer),
RF-8 Crusader Units over Cuba and Vietnam , and
F-8 Crusader Units of the Vietnam War were all well
researched, well written and provided the reader with more than just the
“big picture” summary.
pleased to advise that this latest title is equally as good as its
predecessors. It faithfully covers the unit’s flying the A-4 in this
conflict from the initial sorties in August of 1964 right through to the
final missions in January of 1973 and everything in between.
book comprises eight chapters, four appendices and an index. The
Chapter 1 - The War Heats Up
Gulf of Tonkin Confrontation.
Chapter 2 - Steep
Chapter 3 - The War Escalates
The POL Campaign Begins
Saints and Ghostriders
Fire on the ‘O Boat’
Chapter 4 – Heaviest Action and Greatest Losses
The War Heats Up
One Busy Day for the ‘Dragons’
Medal of Honor from Turtle Creek
Tough Little ‘Scooter’
Intense Action Continues
Chapter 5 – A long Year
A long Summer
The Forrestal Fire
The Bridge Campaign
Chapter 6 – Battles and Bombing Halts
New Skyhawk Joins the Battle
Chapter Seven – The Marines
1967 to 1970
The Siege of Khe Sanh
Break for the ‘Playboys’
Back to Khe Sanh
Chapter Eight – A Doubtful Ending
Invasion of Laos
NVA Invades the South
TA-4s in Combat from the Flight Deck
The Marines Return
Final Missions for Navy A-4s
Letting the Numbers Speak
US Navy A-4 Skyhawk Deployments to South East
Asia from 1963 to 1975. A handy reference, its laid out by
squadron, by model, on what ship and the dates on station
United States Marine Corps A-4 Skyhawk
Deployments to South East Asia from 1963 to 1975. In the same
format as above.
Scale drawings by Mark Styling (in 1/96 scale) of
an A-4E ‘humped and non- humped’.
A description of the 27 colour plates.
Captions to the 13 colour photographs.
book also contains twelve pages that hold 33 colour profiles. These
profiles have been beautifully painted by Jim Laurier. Further artwork
appears on the front cover, this time by Mark Postlethwaite.
book is also very well illustrated with both colour (13) and black and
white (94) photographs. Hard bitten fans of US Naval aviation will
recognise some of the photographs but there are also a large number that
have not been seen in print before (at least by me).
book itself has 112 pages printed on glossy paper between thin cardboard
covers and is the same size as the Aircraft of the Aces and Combat
Aircraft series produced by Osprey.
fan of US Naval aviation and of the A-4, I found this to be an excellent
book. It provides a blow by blow account illustrated throughout with
first person narratives of pilot’s experiences of the ‘Attack
Communities air war in Vietnam.
Thoroughly recommended and well and truly worth the price being asked of
Whilst this book is more aimed at the enthusiast than the modeller I did
find it helpful with its explanations of what configurations the A-4
carried in offensive armament against the different targets it flew
Osprey Publishing for the review sample
C-47/R4D Skytrain Units of the Pacific and CBI
Illustrator: Jim Laurier
US Price: $21.95
UK Price: £13.99
Publish Date: May, 2007
Details: 112 pages; ISBN:
Review Copyright © 2007 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 05 June, 2007
24 December, 2007
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