This is it, the last gunship Huey was just shot down moments ago. The medevac choppers can’t get you out and the waves of enemies are getting closer. It is only a matter of time before the ammo runs out. Suddenly you hear something, could it be? Ever more is the sound of enemy gunfire being drained out by the fearsome sound in the world.
* SOME FOLKS ARE BORN, MADE TO WAVE THE FLAG, OoOh THEY’RE RED, WHITE AND BLUEEEE!
BUT IT AIN’T ME, IT AIN’T MEEEE, I AIN’T NO SENATOR’S SON NAAAH NAAAAH…..*
The explosions are everywhere, and as the body parts are flying in all directions you start to wonder whether you just died and arrived in the 7th circle of hell. But as the enemies are retreating, you are suddenly being dragged into the last Huey lifting off over the battlefield, you start to grasp what has just occured… The sky had been raided…
I hope you liked the intro a bit. This was in fact the first A-1 Skyraider skin I had completed, but Lieutenant America was so cool that I released that one first. Anyway, now you can Sock it to them pesky cold war tanks and show ’em who’s really the boss! YOU!
If you are truly ready to wield such awesome power, then step forward and click that download button. Now you will be able to do all you ever wanted in 4K & 2K DDS as well as in original TGA format.
Provided here is A-1J s/n 52-142029. First build and delivered as an AD-7 for the US Navy, it carried the build number 142029. Like many Skyraiders, it served amongst many units, used with VA-216 (as ND-402) from 1957 (or even earlier) till 1962, it was then attributed to VA-122 as NJ-225 and later to VA-25. In 1966 the aircraft could be found as NAS Kisarazu, from where it was put into storage at AMARC, more known as ‘the boneyard’. Here it was struck off charge on the 8th of August, 1967 and transferred to the USAF as 52-142029 (52 referring to the year the aircraft was constructed).
By July 1968, the aircraft had been refurbished at McClelland AFB in California and transferred via Cam Ranh Bay to Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, ready to be assigned to the USAF 56th SOW, 602nd SOS. It was here where it received its ‘Sock it to ’em’ nickname and nose art.
The aircraft was assigned to George Marrett (pilot) and Joe Toback (crewchief), as they both had been long enough in Southeast Asia to receive a personal aircraft. George decided to call the aircraft ‘Sock it to ’em’, after the popular 1960’s NBC tv show, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. A one off show that had proved to popular that it became a series which ran for 140 episodes from January 22, 1968, to March 12, 1973. It remained their personal aircraft until both service members returned back to the US.
Sadly however, the aircraft was less fortunate. Less than three weeks after Joe and Goerge had left, the aircraft was shot down by ground fire on the 26th of April, 1969 near the Plain of Jars in the Xiangkhoang Provice of Loas, with its pilot J. B. East KiA.
George went on to become a test pilot for the Hughes Aircraft Company and author of various aviation books and articles. In his book, Cheating death, he wrote his time as a “Sandy’ rescue pilot at the Udorn and Nakhon Phanom bases, among which his time with his personal aircraft. In total he completed 188 combat missions with over 600 combat hours and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters. He was also awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for several flight tests with experimental aircraft at Edwards AFB.
Over the decades, Joe and George had lost touch with each other. But 41 years after leaving Vietnam, they had found each other again via the internet and met for a flight in George’s 1945 Stinson L-5E Sentinel nicknamed, you guessed it, “Sock-it-to-Em.”
The A-1J Skyraider with the USAF and Vietnam War
The A-1 is an American Aviation Icon. Missing the action in World War II by just a few months the piston-powered, propeller-driven single-seat attack plane saw service smack in the middle of the jet age. It was one of the few aircraft that saw service during both the lukewarm episodes of the Cold War conflict, the Korean and Vietnam war. When the latter war began, the A-1 Skyraider was still used as a main assest within many carrier air wings. During the war two North Vietnamese MiG-17 were shot down by US Navy A-1’s. The second kill, performed on the 9 October 1966 by LTJG William T. Patton of VA-176, was the first gun kill of the Vietnam War. As the Skyraiders were released from U.S. Navy service, the aircraft were introduced into the Republic of Vietnam Air Force (RVNAF) and U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command for search and rescue air cover. While proving it’s ruggedness throughout the war, the USAF lost 201 aircraft to all causes, with Navy suffering 65 lost. Of these, five were shot down by SAM’s and three in air-to-air combat (two scored by MiG-17’s). After November 1972, all remaining Skyraiders in U.S. service within Southeast Asia were transferred to the RVNAF.