A - 4B Skyhawk


Military History

The A-4 Skyhawk was a post Korean War U.S. attack aircraft intended to be operated from aircraft carriers. It was designed by Douglas Aircraft to satisfy the U.S. Navy's need for a jet powered replacement for the A-1 Skyraider. The Skyhawk was successfully used by both the USN and USMC, with the first model entering service in October of 1956.

Skyhawk's were the Navy's primary light bomber during the early years of the Vietnam War. A-4's carried out some of the first U.S. air strikes of the war and a Marine Skyhawk is believed to have dropped the last US bombs on the country. Some of the notable A-4 pilots during the war were Vice Admiral James Stockdale and then LCDR John McCain. The Skyhawk continued in service throughout the war, with a total of 362 being lost.

After Vietnam, the A-4 served as demonstration aircraft for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels from 1973 through 1986. The Skyhawk's agility also made it popular as an adversary training aircraft. The A-4 was the preferred surrogate for the MIG-17 at the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) until 1999. The Skyhawk has been used by other countries in a variety of conflicts, including the Falklands War. It was flown by the Kuwaiti Air Force in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

The aircraft remained in production until 1979. It's U.S. military service ended with formal retirement from the Navy on May 3, 2003. A total of 2,960 A-4's were built.

For more information on the A-4 Skyhawk from the free 'Wikipedia' click here

The Foundation A-4B Skyhawk is currently painted to represent aircraft BuNo 148609, an A-4C flown by LCDR Ted "T.R." Swartz, a member of Squadron VA-76, operating from the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) during the Vietnam War. On May 1, 1967, LCDR Swartz shot down a MIG-17 over North Vietnam with an unguided ZUNI rocket. This was the only air-to-air kill by a Skyhawk during the Vietnam War.

A-4B - Constr #: 11366 - BuNo: 142112 (U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy)

The known history of this aircraft is listed below.

Date Squadron Squadron Name Location
1957 Sep 30 Acceptance   El Segundo, CA
1957 Oct 9 VMA-211 Wake Island Avengers MCAS Edenton, NC
1958 Sep 17 H&MS-14   MCAS Cherry Point, NC
1959 Jan 13 VMA-224 Bengals MCAS Cherry Point, NC
1959 Sep 18 H&MS-14   MCAS Cherry Point, NC
1959 Oct 2 VMA-225 Vagabonds USS Essex (CV-9)
1959 Oct 3 VMA-225 Det A Vagabonds MCAS Cherry Point, NC
1960 Mar 31 VMA-225 Vagabonds MCAS Cherry Point, NC
1960 Jun 29 VMA-533 Hawks MCAS Cherry Point, NC
1960 Nov 3 MARS NWSG-27   MCAS Cherry Point, NC
1961 Aug 9 VMA-242   NAS Roosevelt Roads, PR
1961 Sep 1 NAS   NAS Cecil Field, FL
1961 Nov 30 VA-133 Blue Knights NAS Cecil Field, FL
1962 Jul 6 VA-44 Hornets NAS Jacksonville, FL
1963 Feb 28 VA-44 Hornets NAS Cecil Field, FL
1963 Jun 28 NARTU   NAS Jacksonville, FL
1963 Dec 9 Storage   NAF Litchfield Park, AZ
1966 Dec 18 VSF-3 Chessmen USS Intrepid (CV-11)
1967 Feb 15 VC-7   NAS Miramar, CA
1969 Feb 12 VC-3   NAS North Island, CA
1969 Feb 13 VC-1   NAS Barbers Point, HI
1969 Jun 17 A&T   NAS Alameda, CA
1969 Jul 8 NAS   NAS Los Alamitos, CA
1970 Feb 25 Stricken - Code 4   Completion of Service Life
1970 Feb 26 Unknown    
1980 Sep 30 Decommissioned    
1980 Oct 1 Unknown    
1987 Jan     Combat Jets Flying Museum, Houston, TX
         Recovered from technical school
         Rebuilt - Chino, CA
         First Flight April 12, 1989
         Flew as 148609 / USS Bon Homme Richard
1992 May     EAA Museum - Oshkosh - Displayed as 148609
2007 Dec     Warbird Heritage Foundation
         Restored to flight status
         First Flight December 1, 2009