Douglas A3D Skywarrior Warpaint Series No. 112

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Charles Stafrace
Other Publication Information
Soft Back, 88 pages w 200+full color images, profile illustrations and Fold-Out Scale Plans
Product / Stock #

Authored by Charles Stafrace and illustrated by Richard J. Caruana, this book covers the development, deployment, service, and retirement of one of the most ubiquitous aircraft flown by the United States Navy, that being the A3D Skywarrior. Aviation historians and modelers, alike, will find this book to be a treasure chest of information.

The written content is well written, in clear and precise language. The content is presented in chronological sequence, as most publications of this type are, beginning with the need for an aircraft to replace the AJ Savage. As the engineering of the “Whale” evolved to meet the strategic needs of the aviation arm of the US Navy, so did the engineering change to match those needs. Variant after variant, the A3D continued to adapt to the environment of the day.

The text that describes each of these variants is accompanied by some 200+ photographs, most of which are in color. A scaled line profile of the A-3, presented by illustrator Richard J. Caruana, can be found toward the end of the book. For the modeler, a chart found on page 88 lists the kits, decals, and accessories that are currently (2017) on the market for those who wish to model the A3.


  • Introduction
  • US strategic nuclear philosophy after 1945
  • First generation shipboard nuclear bombers
  • Quest for a Savage replacement
  • Submission by Douglas Aircraft Company
  • Douglas Aircraft Company
  • A3D-1 Skywarrior construction
  • XA3D-1 flies
  • A3D-1 take shape
  • B-66 Destroyer
  • Skywarrior A3D-1 sub-variants: A3D-1P and A3D-1Q
  • Skywarrior bomber enters service
  • 2nd production variant – A3D-2
  • Skywarrior sub-variants
    • A3D-2P (RA-3B)
    • A3D-2Q (EA-3B)
    • A3D-2T (TA-3B)
  • Modifications from basic models
  • Bombers and Versions
  • ERA-3B
  • A3D-2Z(VA-3B)
  • KA-3B
  • EKA-3B
  • Test Skywarriors
  • The bombing Skywarrior in service – pre-Vietnam War
  • The specialized variants and versions enter service
  • Skywarrior in the Vietnam War
  • Skywarrior’s most important wartime role – aerial tanking
  • EKA-3B in the Vietnam War
  • Electric Whale at war- the EA-3B
  • Skywarrior photo-recce in Vietnam – the RA-3B
  • Post-Vietnam and Skywarrior’s swansong

This book is highly recommended because of the excellent writing style of the author, the thorough coverage of the A3, and the tables and charts that provide helpful information to the historian and modeler. The 1/72nd scale plans are not only useful but impressive. The price is extremely reasonable for a book of such high quality. Thanks to Guideline Publications for providing this book for review by IPMS/USA.


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