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Packin' a Load!
Lens: Pentax-M 50mm f:1.4 Camera: Pentax Spotmatic Photo Location: South China Sea 
Posted By: Dewman, 03-19-2018, 07:18 AM

I was digging through some old Navy photos the other night and they sure brought back a lot of memories. There's not a thrill in life I've ever experienced that comes close to the time I spent on the flight deck as a US Navy photographer. The sounds, the smells, the danger.... nothing on earth compares. The old A-1 Skyraider was one heck of a war horse. It would carry more ordinance than the plane itself weighed. We had the last remaining operational squadron of them aboard my boat.... the USS Ticonderoga, CVA-14. Many of the pilots were older and had flown them in the Korean War. Their mascot was Snoopy and many of them carried a stuffed Snoopy along with them on their sorties. Several of them used to wear scarfs around their neck and would let them flop in the breeze on takeoff. They were quite a salty bunch!

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03-19-2018, 07:50 AM   #2
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First gun air to air victory during the Vietnam war was by two A-1s that shot down a MIG-17 in 1965. Pretty impressive for an aircraft designed as a dive bomber at the end of WWII.
03-19-2018, 08:49 AM   #3
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That's a formidable looking plane. Like the vibration of the plane....adds a sense of action. Great photograph. Do you recall what camera/ lens you were using for this picture ?
03-19-2018, 09:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
That's a formidable looking plane. Like the vibration of the plane....adds a sense of action. Great photograph. Do you recall what camera/ lens you were using for this picture ?

Thanks for the kind words, Les.... and yep, I sure do remember. We had just returned from R&R in Hong Kong where I bought my very FIRST Pentax camera! I bought a Spotmatic along with 35mm, a 50mm f:1.4, a 100mm f:2.8 (a KILLER lens!) and a 135mm. The photo was taken with the 50mm f:1.4 using Tri-X.

03-19-2018, 02:59 PM   #5
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Interesting shot that shows how big the aircraft really is. And being able to carry more than its weight in ordnance is pretty impressive.
03-20-2018, 08:07 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
Interesting shot that shows how big the aircraft really is. And being able to carry more than its weight in ordnance is pretty impressive.

The Skyraider was a lot bigger than many would think. There were several variations, including the one shown here. It was a four-seater configured as a radar jammer or something along those lines. You can get an idea of just how huge this old bird actually was! The sound of the big radial engine was something to behold.
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03-20-2018, 12:11 PM - 1 Like   #7
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They look built to last...and retired 1985...they certainly did.
03-20-2018, 02:44 PM   #8
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Thanks for sharing Dewman, seeing these photos really brings some fond memories. My ship (USS Oriskany, CVA-34) had a fair number of A-1's. I spent a lot of my free time on some of the upper levels watching take-offs and landings.

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