The first production version to roll out of the Douglas factory was designated the AD-1. Twelve years and seven versions later, over 3200 Skyraiders had been produced.
Among those, the AD-6 version, also known as "Able Dog Six", was produced in the greatest numbers. The next and final version of the Skyraider, the AD-7, was extremely identical to the AD-6, but it had reinforced wing spars and wing fittings, as well as the strongest landing gear of all the variants. The AD-7 housed the new wright R-3350-26WB engine, which enabled a top speed of 285 knots. Due to a directive to standardize the designation of Navy and Air Force aircraft, AD-6 and AD-7 became known as A-1H and A-1J respectively.
In 1965, when U.S. air operations in Vietnam became more aggressive, literally hundreds of Skyraiders, including the A-1J, were deployed to the 14th and 56th Special Operations Wings (SOW). Armed with Mk.82 and Mk.117 bombs, 20mm wing-mounted cannons, and rocket launchers, the Skyraiders were used in a wide variety of combat missions.