Book Review: Legends of Warfare; A-6 Intruder by David F. Brown

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Summary:                     Details:
Title and ISBN:            Legends of Warfare Series
                                        A-6 Intruder
                                        Schiffer Military, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
                                        ISBN: 978-0-7643-6276-7
Contents and Media: Print Format; Hard Cover Print; 128 pages.
Price:                             Print editions; $19.99
Review Type:               First Read
Advantages:                 Well written and high quality color and black & white photography,
Conclusion:                  Recommended for its style, historical reference, and high quality photography.
How to Order:             www.schifferbooks.com; Amazon, Target, and signed copies direct from the author at; moab149@gmail.com

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The Grumman A-6 Intruder played a key role as the Navy and Marine Corps’ Night and All-Weather Attack aircraft serving from 1963 until its retirement on 28 February 1997 when VA-75, the first and last Intruder squadron, was retired at NAS Oceana, VA, completing 38 years of service. The Intruder, a veteran of the Vietnam to the Gulf Wars, was a victim of changing US Navy requirements, advancing technologies and the need to reduce the different aircraft assets within a carrier air wing (CVW). Its history is remarkable in its daring missions behind enemy lines, often as a single ship, to attack key military targets. The Intruder’s chapter in Naval Aviation History is now closed, but the Intruder story is well captured in author David F. Brown’s new book from Schiffer Books, Legends of Warfare series.

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The book covers the origin of the A-6 from the initial Department of Defense (DOD) request for a new carrier based night, all weather attack aircraft as a replacement for the US Navy’s aging piston engine AD Skyraider. Author Brown follows with the resulting YA2F-1 prototype, its development program and is well-illustrated with images of the prototype Intruders. He continues through the life of the A-6 with each subsequent chapter dedicated to the next model change and upgrade that evolved during its nearly four decades long history, ending with the last model, the A-6F, of which only 5 were built. That program was canceled before production could begin in favor of the proposed A-12 program, it too being cancelled.

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Following the many model changes of the A-6, Brown adds a nicely detailed section featuring each Intruder squadron beginning with NATC at NAS Patuxent River and continuing with all the attack squadrons. Each squadron is well illustrated with color images during various time periods.

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Chapter 9, Combat Operations, naturally begins with the Vietnam War, when VA-75 “Sunday Punchers” was the first Intruders to begin combat operations from the deck of the USS Independence (CVA-62) off the coast of South Vietnam during the summer of 1965. Brown covers the deployment of additional Intruder squadrons as they entered the war and integrates period squadron patches among the many images illustrating this chapter. Brown continues with the Gulf Wars, highlighting the numerous operations that followed, and is well-illustrated with images of Intruders that participated in these combat operations some showing the missions marks applied to the Intruder’s fuselage, a proud Navy tradition dating back to World War 2. These being an indication not only of the number of missions flown, but also as a reminder to the dangers the air crew experienced in the prolonged combat One forgets how important the Intruder was and the many combat operations that it participated in during its long and distinguished career.

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I think the reader will enjoy this as a historical reference enhanced by the high quality images and recommend it for both the aviation enthusiast and model builder and think it will be a welcome addition to your library.

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