Aircraft at a Glance
The EA-1F was the electronic countemeasures version of Douglas Aircraft Company's famous AD/A-1 Skyraider attack aircraft.
The airplane flew combat missions during the Vietnam War during 1965-1968, supporting air strikes by jamming North Vietnamese radar.
The museum's example served between 1954 and 1971.
With the success of the AD Skyraider in the attack role, the Navy and Douglas Aircraft Company adapted the platform to other missions. One of them was electronic countermeasures (ECM), which with the advances in radar for the detection of incoming aircraft and later the guidance of surface-to-air missiles proved increasingly important. The first ECM version, designated AD-2Q, was delivered in 1948–1949. A two-seat design, it was followed by the AD-3Q and the AD-5Q, the latter version modified from an AD-5N four-seat night attack airplane that featured a searchlight and radar pod underneath the wings. Eventually, 53 additional AD-5Ns were modified, the airplanes redesignated EA-1Fs in 1962. During 1966, to bolster the inventory because of combat requirements in Vietnam, six EA-1Es were converted to the EA-1F configuration, the removal of outdated wiring systems during this process making them lighter.
The aircraft retained provisions for a wing armament of 20mm cannon and installation of bomb racks, though it was the equipment they carried to detect and jam enemy radar that was the aircraft’s greatest offensive weapon. This included an APS-31 ground-mapping radar and provision for the APS-19 radar for intercepting airborne targets. Pods carrying jamming equipment and chaff dispensers were part of the mission load as well.
During the Vietnam War, EA-1F detachments operated from a small number of carriers in the Tonkin Gulf. Typical missions involved a pair of aircraft launching ahead of a strike and flying to a position off the coast to monitor for enemy radar. Once a site was discovered, the aircraft, used jamming equipment and dispensed chaff to prevent it from locking on to incoming strike aircraft. The last EA-1F combat flight occurred on 27 December 1968, with VAQ-33 operating from the carrier Intrepid (CVS 11). A VAQ-33 detachment also logged the EA-1Fs final carrier deployment aboard the flattop John F. Kennedy (CVA 67), making the final launched from the carrier on 20 December 1969.
The museum’s example of the EA-1F Skyraider (Bureau Number 135018) entered service in 1954, and served in Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadrons (VAW) 11, 13, and 33 at Naval Air Stations (NAS) North Island, California; Alameda, California; Quonset Point, Rhode Island; and Jacksonville, Florida. In 1967, the aircraft joined Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 33 and two years later was assigned to the Flight Test Division at the Naval Air Test Center (NATC) at Patuxent River, Maryland. The airplane retired from active service in 1971 and was acquired by the museum the following year.
Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
Dimensions: Length: 40 ft.; Span: 50 ft.; Height: 15 ft., 8 in.
Weights: Empty: 12,097 lb.; Gross: 25,000 lb.
Power Plant: One 2,700 horsepower Wright R-3350-26-WA 2,700 engine
Performance: Maximum Speed: 290 M.P.H. at 17,200 ft.; Service ceiling: 23,100 ft.; Range: 1,358 miles
Crew: Pilot, navigator, and two ECM operators