Colors & Markings of the A-6 Intruder in US Marine Corps Service and Navy Test and Evaluation Squadrons

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Rock Roszak and Mike Keideman
ISBN
979-8-8708270-1-8
MSRP
$25.99
Company: Detail & Scale, Inc. - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Detail & Scale, Inc. - Website: Visit Site
Front Cover

My love affair with the A-6 began one summer day when I was a boy. Two A-6 Intruders came screaming up the Connecticut coastline while we were at the beach. I suppose they were on a training flight out of the Grumman factory a short distance across Long Island Sound in Calverton NY. Fast forward a few years to 1973 and I had recently arrived at my new duty station of MCAS Cherry Point NC. There on the flight line were A-6’s, lots of them!! Although my squadron were flying TA-4Js Skyhawks, the Intruders next door fascinated me. The bomb loads were staggering and the all-weather capabilities unmatched. Marine A-6’s are the things of legend and to a young Marine the group I was assigned to, MAG-14 had a nice range of aircraft assigned, including the A-6.

This book from our friends at Detail and Scale highlights Marine Corps A-6 operators and Naval Test and Evaluation squadrons on 126 pages with over 300 high quality photos and text. Laid out in the typical Detail and Scale design the book contains many rare and previously unpublished photos. Seven Marine squadrons are covered that includes VFMT (AW) 202 a training squadron, the Double Eagles, a training squadron. Front line units are all VMA (AW) which stands for V fixed wing, M Marine, A Attack (AW) All Weather 121- Green Knights, 224 - Bengals, 225 - Vikings, 242 - Batmen or Bats, 332 - Moonlighters, 533- Hawks. Naval Test, Eval and Training Squadrons are broken down into East and West Coast units.

The third section of the book will be welcomed by modelers everywhere!! It contains detailed information on placement of all maintenance and service markings carried by most A-6s. Now we can see exactly where all those small aircraft stencils and No Step markings that are included with most aftermarket decal sets. are placed, which will enhance any A-6 model. I particularly like this section and find it to be a logical addition to this type of book.

The covered squadrons section begins with a short squadron history, and culminates with the guest of honor, the A-6. During it’s lifetime the Intruder wore a few different paint schemes starting with the standard Light Gull Gray (36440) over White (17875) and finishing with the tactical gray scheme that was seen during Desert Storm. Each is covered in pictures. What’s interesting is the differing radome nose colors which appear on various aircraft. This fact suggests looking at photos of the aircraft you’re modeling to get it right!! Another fact in evidence is book showcases each squadrons markings evolution over time. A case in point is VMA (AW) 332. When I reported to Cherry Point in 1972 the squadron was known as the Polka Dots and carried red dots, a straw hat with white hat band with red dots, and a cane. Sometime during 1976 they transitioned to the Moonlighters as a nod to the night capabilities of the Intruder and changed the tail graphics in a corresponding move. They retained the EA tailcode, which is assigned by the department of the Navy.

The East coast Naval operators include the Grumman Test Facility in the previously mentioned Calverton NY facility. Naval Air Test Center (NATC) in Pax River MD, and the Naval Air Engineering Center (NAEC) at NAS Lakehurst NJ. The west coast operators include the Naval Missile Center (NMC) at Point Mugu CA, the Naval Weapons Center NAS China Lake CA, VX-5 at China Lake CA, and the Naval Weapons Evaluation Facility at Kirtland AFB NM. These users have interesting markings, and some contain some high vis orange panels and other one-of schemes. Some of these users have little photo evidence available to the general public and having them included is a real treat!!

Completing the book is the section that highlights where all the maintenance markings, safety warnings and other airframe stencils are located on the Intruder. There are quite a few marks, and this section will make it easier to place them when building an A-6. I really like this feature and wish it becomes a standard feature in books of this sort. It’s extremely helpful and well done.

I really like this book on a number of levels. It fills a void in Marine Corps aviation literature and does so in a fine manner. The book is laid out logically and in an easy-to-follow format. The text is well written and concise, and the photos are very high quality. Besides the fact the subject is, for me anyway, like visiting old friends!!I’m happy this book is being offered by Detail and Scale, and highly recommend it to any modeler, Marine Aviator, or anyone with an interest in the A-6 Intruder. To see more of the Detail and Scale line of books go to www.detailandscale.com. My thanks to Detail and Scale Publishing and IPMS/USA for providing this sample for review.

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