Instantaneous firepower of a light cruiser.

My dad was Combat Aircrew on Douglas AD-4 and AD-5 Skyraiders in and after Korea. When I was a kid (long after he’d been commissioned and gotten a berth as the Communications Officer on USS Oklahoma City – see that antenna on the bow? That was his antenna :wink: – and Navy “Spads” had been retired), he use to tell me that the Skyraider had “the instantaneous firepower of a light cruiser”. That is, he said it could put out as much ordnance at one time as a CL (or CLG).

Now, I had a model of a Skyraider; and it did indeed carry a formidable array of armaments. Bombs, rockets, guns… I’d hate to be on the receiving end. But to have a “one-time broadside” of a surface vessel? :dubious:

You can see the three six-inch, 47 caliber guns on the forward turret, and the two 5"/38 antiaircraft guns behind it. It also carried Talos surface-to-air missiles. I don’t know what else she carried after her conversion to a CLG; but before then she sported twelve 6"/47, twelve 5"/38AA, twenty-eight 40mm, and ten 20mm guns.

By comparison, the AD-1 Skyraider carried four 20mm cannon and 12 underwing hardpoints to which high-explosive rockets or bombs would be attached.

So we have a guided-missile light cruiser that at a single moment could release three 6" shells, two 5" shells and two SAMs; and maybe some other fire, though I don’t know what else she had. And we have an airplane that can release four bursts from 20mm cannons, and 25,000 of ordnance.

Did the “Spad” actually have “the instantaneous firepower of a light cruiser”?

Oh, hell yes! I’ve seen movies of a fully-loaded Skyraider doing attack runs. The 25,000 of ordinance can cause a world of hurt, much more than 5 naval shells and a couple of Tomahawks. Plus, you get much more wide-spread carnage with a Skyraider. :smiley:

One thing to recall is that the comparison probably dates to the pre-Talos cruisers. A (pre-Talos) Cleveland class broadside included 12 6" rounds (at 105 lbs per round) and 8 5" rounds (54 - 55 lbs per gun, depending on use or 63.3 lbs. for a special bombardment round). This gives a maximum broadside of 1,700 lbs.

The Skyraider carried 8,000 lbs of bombs.

This would give a loaded Skyraider roughly the same firepower as a light cruiser firing for just under one minute (assuming five rounds per minute for the major armament).

That 8,000 lbs. of ordnance seemed a bit high, so I continued looking. With the exception of a plane with a short range that carried 4,500 lbs. of bombs instead of the typical long loiter fuel load, most of the Skyraiders were rated at about 2,000 lbs. of bombs–very close to the 1,700 lbs. of a single salvo from a Cleveland broadside.

(I suspect that the 25,000 lbs from earlier posts was takeoff weight, not ordnance.)

Unless, of course, the Tomahawk was a nuke.

You are correct. That is the gross weight.

As long as I’m at it, dad flew in AD-4W and AD-5W aircraft. That was the AEW variant.

Your link doesn’t work.

Funny, it worked yesterday. Try this one. The photo I linked was the third one down under “OKLAHOMA CITY As Converted Into Guided Missile Cruiser CLG-5 (1960 - 1979)”.

That, I think, was understood. Besides, if you don’t insist on getting the plane back, I’m sure you could configure the hardpoints on a Skyraider to carry one or two of these.