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Douglas A3D Skywarrior

Douglas A3D Skywarrior Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review November 2017 Title Douglas A3D Skywarrior
Author Charles Stafrace Publisher Guideline Publications
Published 2017 ISBN n/a
Format 88 pages, softbound MSRP (GBP) £19.00


Originally earmarked for carrier-borne nuclear strikes and affectionately dubbed "Whale", A3D/A-3 Skywarriors also performed conventional bombing, in-flight refueling, photo-reconnaissance, electronic warfare, training, and transport roles.

Now Charles Stafrace recaps Douglas' dextrous design in Warpaint's latest monograph.

Number 112 in the popular series, the succinct, 92-page study spans the total tale – descent, design, development, derivatives, and deployment.

Want to navigate versions and modifications of the 283 A3Ds manufactured? Sorting Skywarrior canopy variants? This handy handbook definitely helps.

The copiously illustrated compendium sports 200 color and B&W photos. Richard J Caruana's superb color profiles sample the sumptuous swath of camouflage & markings. And Caruana's 1:72-scale drawings will help fact-check your favorite scale "Whale".

Tables recap acronyms, salient Skywarrior milestones, production, units, BuNos, naval tail codes, variants, carriers, and specifications. Sidebars cover the "1962 Tri-Service uniform aircraft type designation system" for US warplanes and Skywarrior carrier deployments.

Modelers will love the four-page A3D "in detail" section and full page listing of Skywarrior kits, decals, and accessories wrap things up.


"Skywarriors," Stafrace notes, "featured in every ... crisis or incident in which the United States was involved or had an interest to be present" over nearly 40 years. A-3s last saw service during 1991's Operation Desert Storm.

Stafrace certainly shoehorns staggering detail into his solid, four-decade saga. I've made it my main Skywarrior reference.

One gripe: I wish Stafrace had identified FS colors for the "three greys" of VAP-61 and VQ-1's attractive RA-3B camouflage scheme.


My sincere thanks to Guideline Publications for this review sample!