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Able Dog, Spad, And Sandy Drivers

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Hey Gruppe

I have never driven or flown in an A1 / AD. I got to touch an AD-5 in a bone yard once. The 2 Marine nasel aereators on my street that flew SPADS out of EL Toro were this or "better". The folks that know me and see me in the economy will tell you this is me also.


The Able Dog Pilot


What was it like to be an Able Dog pilot? Wading through the rivalry between the attack and fighter communities we think Art "Swede" Hedberg, a former fighter pilot, said it best in his description of the men and the plane known as The Able Dogs:


As aristocratic, elegant, and elite fighter pilots, my mates and I always tended to avoid association with Able Dog drivers. For one thing their military appearance and grooming habits were atrocious! Their flights suits were always sodden and black with oil, grease, and other foul smelling liquids. Their aircraft were always spotted back on the aft part of the flight deck in the "cheap seats" where the snipes blew tubes over them on a regular basis and they were always filthy with stack soot and clinkers. Everything they were around soon became grimy and disgusting and their ready room looked and smelled like a garage heap. On top of that they were loathe to bathe and carried their own atmosphere, like a large bubble, around with them wherever they went causing more genteel folk to veer out of their way, their sensibilities deeply offended. What is worse, Able Dog drivers prided themselves in these disgusting habits!


In addition to this they were unfair and unscrupulous in the air. They were fond of grinding around at low altitude and when they saw one of our gallant fighters start to make a run on them they immediately turned on a dime and positioned themselves directly under the heroic fighter pilot who, upon being pulled vertical, directly saw nothing but water in his windshield and was forced to frantically pull out with frazzled nerves, sweating heavily, and with pucker string two-blocked. This maneuver was a killer. And the Able Dog drivers gloried in this un-sportsmanlike conduct!!, gleefully sneering to themselves and applying spit wetted fingers to the insides of canopies to mark up points. It must be known that I still harbor a deep resentment over this ungentlemanly and scandalous behavior.


Despite it's lack of speed the old Able Dog could surely take care of itself and I always marveled at the veritable junkyard of nasty stuff it could haul around to drop on the bad guys.


~ Art Hedberg


Imagine my surprise! :ph34r: CL


Edited by charlielima

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