The Subic Bay Douglas Skyraider wreck is in remarkable condition, considering the length of time it has been underwater, with only the engine and aft cockpit shrouds missing. The Philippines Skyraider aircraft wreck was reportedly located by Johan De Sadeleir from Johans dive center.
History of the Skyraider
Towards the end of War World 2 the US military desperately required a long range, carrier based, high performance, dive-bomber with a tremendous ordnance payload. The Douglas Aircraft Company produced prototype models before being awarded the contract to produce the “Skyraider”. The aircraft were turned out at a rate of up to two a day at Douglas’s El Segundo power plant in Southern California. The Douglas Skyraider first hit the skies in March 1945 but didn’t see wartime service until the Korean War in 1950. The aircraft soon became the backbone of US Naval operations throughout the Korean War. The Skyraider was built in almost 40 different configurations. The first wide body variant flew in August 1951 and was intended to carry additional crew, electronic equipment and weapons for anti-submarine warfare.
Douglas A-1 Skyraider AD-5N Aircraft Specifications
- Manufacturers Serial No: 10088
- Bureau No: 135011
- This is an AD-5N wide body, night attack and radio countermeasures variant, capable of operating from carrier or land bases, of which 239 were built. They were redesignated to A-1G in September 1962.
- Flash cones were fitted to the 20 mm cannons to reduce the chances of the pilot being blinded while shooting at night.
- Although the AD-5 was commonly a four seater, it was also referred to as the “12-in-1” because of its configurability.
- This particular aircraft is a three seater which incorporates a side-by-side seating for an assistant pilot with a radar operator located on the left side aft of the pilot. The crew and all special tactical equipment are located within a unified cockpit to permit interchange of crew positions and maintenance of electronic equipment in flight.
- Power Plant: Wright R-3350-26-WA Duplex Cyclone 18 cylinder radial engine, 2,700 HP.
- AD-5N Development: First Flight August 1952, Service Use March 1954.
- This aircraft was attached to Squadron VAW-13, based at Cubi Point Naval Air Station, Subic Bay.
On April 27th 1964 it ditched into the sea following an engine failure on takeoff. There were no recorded fatalities and the condition of the wreck would testify to this as it is in a remarkable condition with only the engine and rear canopy panels missing. The forward bubble canopies are in the slid-back position.
The wreck is extremely impressive and is home to Sweet Lips, Banded Coral Shrimp, Hinge Beak Shrimp and Juvenile Jack Fish.
Below is video footage from our dive on the wreck in August 2015