Sunday, February 5, 2012

Working on a book

Hello again, I need to update you on what has been keeping me busy and off the streets for the past several weeks. I have been chosen to be the author of an Osprey Publishing aviation book to be titled, USAF and VNAF A-1 Skyraider Units of the Vietnam War.   I flew Skyraiders at the very end of the USAF Skyraider experience, from Oct '71 to Oct '72. All USAF Skyraiders were passed to the VNAF in November 1972. Of course the VNAF continued to use the A-1 until April 1975. This book is to be the next of their Combat Aircraft Series with an anticipated publish date of 2013. That seems like a long way off, but my deadlines are not.

Input for artwork complete. I just completed the first delivery of material on 1 Feb 2012 which provided input to the two artists involved with this book. One of the artists produces original art for the cover. Osprey uses original art work on the covers of their books to depict a scene chosen by the author featuring, in this instance, the Douglas A-1 Skyraider. The scene I have chosen shall remain undisclosed at this time, perhaps later I will reveal it. The other artist produces aircraft profiles showing various markings and ordnance configurations for both the USAF and VNAF Skyraider squadrons. There were 6 USAF units and 7 VNAF units that operated Skyraiders during the Vietnam War between 1960-1975. There will be 30 Skyraider profiles in the book. These are completed and next comes the writing.

Writing and image selection deadline 1 May 2012. I am just getting into the writing part which for any book is the real challenge. I have quite a bit of material for the USAF part, but the VNAF section and the early USAF period will be challenges for me. I have gathered a substantial amount of material in the 15 years that my website, has been in existence. (How that started is a story for another time). My challenge will be to weave the various stories that I have into a coherent, logical way to accurately tell the story of all the units involved.

How you can help?  If any of you were involved with Skyraider operations with the USAF or VNAF between 1960 to 1975, I would love to hear from you. My goal is to provide fresh content, different from that which has been told in books and magazine articles since the end of the Vietnam war. Also, I would like to show all-new, previously unpublished images showing the Skyraider from all units covering all time periods. I am seeking input from flyers, maintainers, and others who worked with or around Skyraiders. If you are willing to contribute, contact me at and we can arrange your participation. TIme is short, if you wish to help, please contact me promptly.

All for now,



  1. Byron: Looking forward to your book. I was a newspaper correspondent in Vietnam in 1968 and flew a mission out of Pleiku with the 6th Air Commando Squardon. The pilot was Randy Smedley and we reacted to a troops in action call and got hit by ground fire. I've been looking for Randy for sometime now and wonder if you've come across him in your reseach.

    Mike Roberts

  2. Good connect Mike. You should already have a reply I sent via email

  3. Byron, great book. Also looking for Randy Smedley. He was in on my rescue on 13 Apr 68 in Laos. I always wondered if he got the Silver Star he was written up for.

    Can you send me his email address? Thanks

    Don Verhees, Petticoat Bravo

  4. Would like to get in contact with pilots or relatives of the pilots of DragonFly 21 and 22 who responded to the surprise attack on Na Khang (Site 36) Laos on the morning of 6 January 1967. I was the survivor on the ground and never got to thank those guys who turned the tide of the battle buy working within 50 yds of our friendly positions. Mike. At. Email