Book: My Secret War

My Secret War by Richard S. Drury is his personal account of flying combat missions over Laos during the Vietnam War piloting the A-1 Skyraider. This book is an especially timely read because of the recent release of the 1:32 scale kit of the A-1 Skyraider by Zoukei-Mura.

If you are a modeler who likes to have inspiration to go along with your builds, then this book is a great companion to building an A-1 Skyraider…though the bigger the kit the better, after all the Skyraider is a big plane and packs a big load.

In a time when most pilots preferred the latest of complex jet aircraft as their mount of choice, Richard Drury and others who wanted to experience “Real Flying” opted for the least appealing…the Skyraider. Jump forward a couple of decades and you’ll find a parallel of those who picked the A-10 Thunderbolt over those all electric jets, a simple aircraft which still is serving today. Like the A-10, the Skyraider was planned to be phased out but instead put into service to fight and serve in a role which only it was  perfect to do…Search and Rescue!

I won’t give away the whole story line, but Richard Drury flew every mission possible assigned the A-1 Skyraider. He flew some 230 mission during his tour which ended with his last on May 6, 1970. The battles were not only fought in the air, but also on the ground…Richard’s secret war.

This book is special for two reasons. First it was a gift from a friend who knows Richard and got the book from him which also included a personalize message to me and autographed. Thanks Greg! Second, my father was station at the same base as Richard, Nakhon Phanom aka NKP. Richard’s tour ended two years before my father arrived. It is always interesting for me to read what others thought and how they lived at bases he was stationed.

My thanks to Richard Drury for his book as well as his service!

Published by St Martin’s Press

Copyright 1979/1986

ISBN: 0-312-90503-3  Canada ISBN: 0-312-90527-0



  1. Sounds like a “must have” for an A-1 nut, like me. Thanks for the heads up. Any idea what the new kit is like?

  2. I got my A-1 last week. I opened the box and was amazed to find each tree individually bagged. There are a lot of parts in this kit. you had better have space for this kit. It’s huge. I test fitted the fuselage and rear fuselage together and forund that there is a gap that needs tof filled. If you plan on doing an air force version it had better be early in the Vietnam Conflict as this kit is a Navy version A-1H and not the Air Force A-1J. The markings are for VA-176 off the USS Intrepid. But at first glance This kit is a jewel.

  3. I was in the Royal Navy and served from 1957-60 on HMS Eagle when we had Skyraiders on board as well as Sea Vixens,Seahawks and Gannets,we also had the very last squadren of Wyverns

  4. And if I remember correctly either Mr. Drury or a fellow pilot mentioned in the book builds plastic models between ops to relax.

  5. I flew helicopters in Viet Nam from 71-72. The VNAF pilots were masters at dropping bombs from their Skyraiders. If I were a ground commander and needed close air support, the Skyraider would be me choice.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge