Monday, 22 November 2010

Great books about Vietnam Air War

I highly recomend these tittles to anyone interested in the Air War aver Vietnam.

This classic work, part of the Marine Corps reading list, makes full use of declassified U.S. documents to offer the first comprehensive study of fighter combat over North Vietnam. Marshall Michel s balanced, exhaustive coverage describes and analyzes both Air Force and Navy engagements with North Vietnamese MiGs but also includes discussions of the SAM threat and U.S. countermeasures, laser-guided bombs, and U.S. attempts to counter the MiG threat with a variety of technological equipment. Accessible yet professional, the book is filled with valuable lessons learned that are as valid today as they were in the 1960s and 1970s. Some 15 photos and 45 drawings and maps, including diagrams of both American and North Vietnamese formations and tactics, are included.

Wings & Airpower Magazine, December 2006 “’Once a classic, always a classic,’ and this book is certainly no exception. Originally published in 1969 when the combat experiences of the Vietnam War were still happening in real-time, Thud Ridge tells the frustrating tale of Air Force strike pilots who were thrust into the war in its early stages, and who had to literally ‘write the book’ as they flew each dangerous and hair-raising mission. Jack Broughton is not only a fighter pilot’s fighter pilot, but a gifted write who can put you right into the hot sweaty cockpit of a Republic F-105 Thunderchief flying its payload of 750-lb. bombs right up Route Pack 6 and into the heavily defended piece of real estate that gives this book its name.   “Now enhanced by compelling and candid photographs running chronologically through the narrative, this book not only tells the story of aerial bravery during the early phases of Vietnam, but gives the reader a veritable encyclopedia of information on all the combat hardware employed in the conflict. An appendix showing aircraft flown and equipment used in Southeast Asia offers the kind of detail that really puts this book into proper historical perspective. Whether or not you were captivated by the original, this new release serves as a valuable re-visit to a pivotal era in military history that changed the face of aerial combat as we knew it. There are few people on this earth better suited to tell the story than Col. Jack Broughton.”</DIV> --Wings & Airpower Magazine, December 200 

Ed Rasimus straps the reader into the cockpit of an F-105 Thunderchief fighter-bomber in his engaging account of the Rolling Thunder campaign in the skies over North Vietnam. Between 1965 and 1968, more than 330 F-105s were lost–the highest loss rate in Southeast Asia–and many pilots were killed, captured, and wounded because of the Air Force’s disastrous tactics. The descriptions of Rasimus’s one hundred missions, some of the most dangerous of the conflict, will satisfy anyone addicted to vivid, heart-stopping aerial combat, as will the details of his transformation from a young man paralyzed with self-doubt into a battle-hardened veteran. His unique perspective, candid analysis, and the sheer power of his narrative rank his memoir with the finest, most entertaining of the war.

Picking up where his acclaimed When Thunder Rolled left off, Palace Cobra is the story of Ed Rasimus's return to Vietnam to fight a war that many Americans tried to forget…
When F-105 pilot Ed Rasimus completed his 100 missions over Vietnam, he returned stateside to a normal life: sitting at a desk and teaching student pilots. Two years later, he volunteered to go for a second tour of duty. Determined not to die in a losing cause, and relentlessly searching for that next adrenaline rush, Rasimus and the other F-4 Phantom pilots continued the ferocious air war in the North Vietnam--dodging SAMs and gunning for MiGs--and routinely cheated death.
When America finally got serious about ending the war, Rasimus and the other pilots put it all on the line, pounding Hanoi with everything they had, and flying above POW camps to let the troops know they were not alone. Gripping, earnest, and unforgettable, Rasimus's combat memoir is, in the end, a heartfelt tribute to those who never made it back.
BURRY US UPSIDE DOWN The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail:
This thoroughly readable, absorbing history chronicles the air operations known as Misty (officially called Commando Sabre) along the Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam War. Flying mostly F-100s, the air force pilots acted as FACs (forward air controllers) for strike aircraft, directing them to North Vietnamese supply convoys and other targets along the conduit. Newman, a journalist, and Shepperd, a retired two-star air force general and current CNN commentator, launch their account with the story of Howard K. Williams, a pilot shot down on a Misty mission in 1968 and declared deceased in 1978 (his remains were recovered in 1991). They also bring to life a wide cast of Misty characters, including Williams's long-suffering widow, Monalee, daredevil Jim Fiorelli, hyperconfident pilot Dick Rutan and several airmen who were shot down, captured and tortured. Shepperd, a former Misty pilot, also figures in the story, as does Sen. John McCain, who provides the book's foreword. The courage and skill of the pilots emerges clearly, as does the dubious bureaucratic rationale that subjected their families to nightmarish ordeals. A distinguished addition to Vietnam War aviation literature, the volume raises serious questions about both tactics and politics.
More than half a million copies of Chickenhawk have been sold since it was first published in 1983. Now with a new afterword by the author and photographs taken by him during the conflict, this straight-from-the-shoulder account tells the electrifying truth about the helicopter war in Vietnam. This is Robert Mason’s astounding personal story of men at war. A veteran of more than one thousand combat missions, Mason gives staggering descriptions that cut to the heart of the combat experience: the fear and belligerence, the quiet insights and raging madness, the lasting friendships and sudden death—the extreme emotions of a "chickenhawk" in constant danger.

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