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From the Gulf of Sidra to the skies over Afghanistan. The complete combat history of the F-14 Tomcat...as told by the pilots who flew it. For more than three decades, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat was the US Navy's premier carrier-based, multi-role fighter jet. From its harrowing combat missions over Libya to its appearance on the silver screen in movies like Top Gun and Executive Decision, the F-14 has become an icon of American air power. Now, for the first time in a single volume, Tomcat Fury explores the illustrious combat history of the F-14: from the Gulf of Sidra...to the Iran-Iraq War...to the skies over Afghanistan in the Global War on Terror.
Book Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat Description/Summary:
So formidable an opponent did the Iraqi airforce consider the F-14 that during the Iran-Iraq war, they ordered their pilots not to engage F-14s and the presence of one in an area was usually enough to empty it of Iraqi aircraft. Officially losses where tiny; only one F-14 was lost in aerial combat (to a MiG-21), one to a control problem and one downed by a ground-to-air missile. This book looks at the F-14's Iranian combat history and includes first hand accounts from the pilots themselves. It will consider key engagements and the central figures involved, illustrating the realities, successes and failures of the Iranian air campaign.
The definitive biography of Harold G. Moore, hero of the Vietnam War and author of the bestselling memoir of the battle at Ia Drang. Hal Moore, one of the most admired American combat leaders of the last fifty years, has until now been best known to the public for being portrayed by Mel Gibson in the movie We Were Soldiers. In this first-ever, fully illustrated biography, we finally learn the full story of one of America’s true military heroes. A 1945 graduate of West Point, Moore’s first combats occurred during the Korean War, where he fought in the battles of Old Baldy, T-Bone, and Pork Chop Hill. At the beginning of the Vietnam War, Moore commanded the 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry in the first full-fledged battle between US and North Vietnamese regulars. Drastically outnumbered and nearly overrun, Moore led from the front, and though losing seventy-nine soldiers, accounted for 1,200 of the enemy before the Communists withdrew. This Battle of Ia Drang pioneered the use of “air mobile infantry”—delivering troops into battle via helicopter—which became the staple of US operations for the remainder of the war. He later wrote of his experiences in the bestselling book We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young. Following his tour in Vietnam, he assumed command of the 7th Infantry Division, forward-stationed in South Korea, and in 1971, he took command of the Army Training Center at Fort Ord, California. In this capacity, he oversaw the US Army’s transition from a conscript-based to an all-volunteer force. He retired as a lieutenant general in 1977. Hal Moore graciously allowed the author interviews and granted full access to his files and collection of letters, documents, and never-before-published photographs.
A riveting account of a modern fighter squadron at war and the exploits, triumphs, and traumas of its pilots. The Black Aces. Their courage, ferocity, and instincts made them legendary in military aviation. Flying F-14 Tomcats, they played as much a part in recent US operations in Kosovo as did any air squadron in the theater, air force or navy, and probably more. Because of its superior performance, sophisticated equipment and the two-man crews who took it upon themselves to do something extra, the Tomcat and its aviators distinguished themselves over and over. Forced to locate Serb fighters operating covertly in a mountainous land much like Afghanistan, with almost no help from ground spotters, VF-14 pilots and backseaters spearheaded new methods for the navy to pinpoint, identify, and destroy enemy troops and weapons. These were tasks that fighter crews had seldom had to do before. The Aces had to break rules and frequently go in harms way in order to be successful. And they performed so well that for the first time in aviation history, a fighter squadron - theirs - was awarded The Wade McClusky Trophy, the navy's premier bombing honor. The award, named for a World War II dive bomber pilot and post-WorldWar II admiral, had been won previously only by bombing squadrons. Robert Wilcox spent two weeks with The Black Aces aboard the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt and here provides a long-awaited, never-before-seen glimpse into the world of a modern navy fighter squadron. Wilcox takes readers into the cockpits as the pilots go out and attack targets while avoiding anti-aircraft weaponry. He takes us into the war room as they plan their strikes and into their cabins as they contemplate the danger they are facing. And the reader can't help but worry for these men as they head off into battle, can't help sitting on the edge of the seat as they try to land at night, in a rainstorm, with waves crashing against the ship, and can't help ducking with them as they dodge missile attacks. And in the end, it is impossible not to feel for these aviators as they question their own courage, or to cheer for them when they finally return safely. Black Aces High is a story of fear and courage, mishap and success, fighting spirit and military innovation. It's a human story that goes behind the smiling, sunglass-wearing facade of aviators flashing a "V", the sterile, slow motion target video that has become a staple of Pentagon briefings, and the rock 'n' roll cowboy image of fighter crews seen in the movies. Instead, it is a story that shows who these aviators really are and what they do beyond what we know, a story which probably will be repeated again and again as our carriers continue to be deployed in the new, 21 century war our nation is fighting.
For thirty-five years of active naval service, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat was the foremost air superiority fighter of the Cold War, with continuing service as a fighter-bomber in the Gulf Wars. Two hundred thousand sailors, both pilots and "ground" crew, served in F-14 squadrons with the Tomcat over its decades of flight.This book is a grand remembrance of this great aircraft by those who flew it. Hundreds of pilots have included their favorite stories of the missions and planes that brought them home. Two hundred exceptional color photographs show the F-14 on the deck, in the air, and over the sea.
The true story of World War 2’s legendary Hell’s Angels—the 8th Air Force’s 303rd Bomb Group. Although the United States declared war against Germany in December 1941, a successful assault on Nazi-occupied Europe could not happen until Germany’s industrial and military might were crippled. The first target was the Luftwaffe—the most powerful and battle-hardened air force in the world. The United States Army Air Forces joined with Great Britain’s already-engaged Royal Air Force to launch a strategic air campaign that ultimately brought the Luftwaffe to its knees. One of the standout units of this campaign was the legendary 303rd Bomb Group—Hell’s Angels. This is the 303rd’s story, as told by the men who made it what it was. Taking their name from their B-17 of the same name, they became one of the most distinguished and important air combat units in history. The dramatic and terrible air battles they fought against Germany ultimately changed the course of the war. INCLUDES PHOTOS
NATIONAL BESTSELLER "If you loved the movie, you will love the real story in the book." -- Fox & Friends On the 50th anniversary of the creation of the "Topgun" Navy Fighter School, its founder shares the remarkable inside story of how he and eight other risk-takers revolutionized the art of aerial combat. When American fighter jets were being downed at an unprecedented rate during the Vietnam War, the U.S. Navy turned to a young lieutenant commander, Dan Pedersen, to figure out a way to reverse their dark fortune. On a shoestring budget and with little support, Pedersen picked eight of the finest pilots to help train a new generation to bend jets like the F-4 Phantom to their will and learn how to dogfight all over again. What resulted was nothing short of a revolution -- one that took young American pilots from the crucible of combat training in the California desert to the blistering skies of Vietnam, in the process raising America's Navy combat kill ratio from two enemy planes downed for every American plane lost to more than 22 to 1. Topgun emerged not only as an icon of America's military dominance immortalized by Hollywood but as a vital institution that would shape the nation's military strategy for generations to come. Pedersen takes readers on a colorful and thrilling ride -- from Miramar to Area 51 to the decks of aircraft carriers in war and peace-through a historic moment in air warfare. He helped establish a legacy that was built by him and his "Original Eight" -- the best of the best -- and carried on for six decades by some of America's greatest leaders. Topgun is a heartfelt and personal testimony to patriotism, sacrifice, and American innovation and daring.
An F-14 aviator takes his readers into the cockpits, ready-rooms, and bunkrooms of today's Navy to show what it's like to fight in a time of so-called peace. From the opening chapter where a Tomcat fighter squadron's commanding officer botches an intercept of a hostile Iranian F-4 to the final uplifting scene, his novel reveals the inner workings of the military as only an insider can. It is a thriller without an airshow groupie's pretense, a fighter pilot's story as honest as it is riveting. The action is gripping and authentic, yet it punctuates rather than drives the plot. Seldom has fiction been so real. Punk's War is part adventure tale, part introspective commentary. Adopting the tone of the quixotic lieutenants who populate its pages, the novel helps us understand the pressures on this new generation of warfighters. Along the way we are introduced to an engaging cast of characters: a self-centered careerist squadron commander hell-bent on fixing his tainted professional reputation; a reluctant air-wing commander more suited for life within the walls of the Pentagon than on a flight deck at sea; a battle-group commander reared in the art of driving ships, but thrust into the snap decision matrix of supersonic jets; and a host of junior officers. Seeking only the ideals they were promised, these technology-savvy aviators are products of pop culture, unimpressed by rank for its own sake and unresponsive to petitions in the name of the profession's lofty mottos. Unlike other books about the business of flying from aircraft carriers, this novel provides serious food for thought about leadership and retention--what motivates young people to keep doing what they do despite the dangers, disappointments, and personal sacrifices. Best-selling novelist Stephen Coonts describes the author as Tom Clancy crossed with Joseph Heller, his book as a refreshing twist on the military thriller.
The proposition that innovation is critical in the cost-effective design and development of successful military aircraft is still subject to some debate. RAND research indicates that innovation is promoted by intense competition among three or more industry competitors. Given the critical policy importance of this issue in the current environment of drastic consolidation of the aerospace defense industry, the authors here examine the history of the major prime contractors in developing jet fighters since World War II. They make use of an extensive RAND database that includes nearly all jet fighters, fighter-attack aircraft, and bombers developed and flown by U.S. industry since 1945, as well as all related prototypes, modifications, upgrades, etc. The report concludes that (1) experience matters, because of the tendency to specialize and thus to develop system-specific expertise; (2) yet the most dramatic innovations and breakthroughs came from secondary or marginal players trying to compete with the industry leaders; and (3) dedicated military R&D conducted or directly funded by the U.S. government has been critical in the development of new higher-performance fighters and bombers.
Book The Air Force and the Great Engine War Description/Summary:
Examines the 1984 "war" that pitted Pratt and Whitney against GE in head-to-head competition for multi billion dollar defense contracts to provide high performance engines for front line fighter aircraft. The circumstances surrounding the lengthy battle led to the Air Force decision to split future engine sales between the two. Attempts to cut through emotional opinions of the "combatants," to report reality, and to identify lessons learned. Helps the reader to understand the government-to-contractor personality issues; to understand management styles, business expectations and communication skills of key participants.
The acclaimed author of Brute recounts the life of the veteran U.S. Air Force pilot and innovative military strategist in this biography. John Boyd was arguably the greatest fighter pilot in American history. From the proving ground of the Korean War, he went on to win renown as the instructor who defeated—in less than forty seconds—every pilot who challenged him. But what made Boyd a man for the ages was what happened after he left the cockpit. A fighter on the ground as well as in the air, Boyd was relentless, brilliant, stubborn, and virtually always right. He managed to transform almost single-handedly the way military aircraft, particularly the F-15 and F-16, were designed. He then dedicated many lonely years to a radical theory of conflict that at the time was mostly ignored but now informs military activity around the globe and is acclaimed as the most influential thinking about conflict since Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Praise for Boyd “Boyd could not be more welcome. . . . It should be required reading for every American citizen.” —Washington Post Book World “This engrossing biography should definitely be on the bedside table of all our current military leadership.” —Andrew Cockburn, Los Angeles Times Book Review “A stunning biography . . . Coram traces how Boyd’s ideas percolated into key centers of civilian and military decision making and led to a swift and decisive victory in Operation Desert Storm, and how his maneuverist doctrine foretold the type of terrorist tactics used on September 11.” —Martin Edwin Andersen, Insight
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The definitive history of combat aviation and fighter aircraft, from World War I to present INCLUDES 32 PAGES OF PHOTOGRAPHS AND 12 MAPS Lords of the Sky is the “dramatic, fast-paced, and definitive" (Michael Korda) history of fighter pilots and aircraft and their extraordinary influence on modern warfare, masterfully written by "one of the most decorated pilots in Air Force history” (New York Post). A twenty-year USAF veteran who flew more than 150 combat missions and received multiple Distinguished Flying Crosses, Lt. Colonel Dan Hampton draws on his singular firsthand knowledge, as well as groundbreaking research in aviation archives and rare personal interviews with little-known heroes, including veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Hampton (the New York Times bestselling author of Viper Pilot) reveals the stories behind history's most iconic aircraft and the aviators who piloted them: from the Sopwith Camel and Fokker Triplane to the Mitsubishi Zero, Supermarine Spitfire, German Bf 109, P-51 Mustang, Grumman Hellcat, F-4 Phantom, F-105 Thunderchief, F-16 Falcon, F/A-18 Super Hornet, and beyond. In a seamless, sweeping narrative, Lords of the Sky is an extraordinary account of the most famous fighter planes and the brave and daring heroes who made them legend.
They are America's best fighter pilots -- from the Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Heroes who push the envelope with their machines, their bodies, and the will to fight and win on their... WINGS OF FURY Here, these airborne warriors reveal themselves as never before. Ride shotgun with TOPGUN pilot Dale "Snort" Snodgrass as he becomes the first student pilot ever to land an F-14 Tomcat on an aircraft carrier. Silver Star winner Rob Graeter recalls a Cold War close call as he flew his F-15 Eagle over Soviet waters -- almost triggering World War III. Feel the adrenaline as Brian "Rocky" Fitzpatrick remembers test-flying the F/A-18 Hornet when it suddenly went haywire, leaving him with a crippled plane, a faulty parachute -- and a very long way down.... From the training grounds of Miramar to combat in Vietnam and Desert Storm, these are the stories of those who defend our skies -- and the dramatic evolution of modern air warfare.
A main selection of the Military Book Club and a selection of the History Book Club With his parting words, “I shall return,” General Douglas MacArthur sealed the fate of the last American forces on Bataan. Yet one young Army Captain named Russell Volckmann refused to surrender. He disappeared into the jungles of north Luzon where he raised a Filipino army of more than 22,000 men. For the next three years he led a guerrilla war against the Japanese, killing more than 50,000 enemy soldiers. At the same time he established radio contact with MacArthur’s headquarters in Australia and directed Allied forces to key enemy positions. When General Yamashita finally surrendered, he made his initial overtures not to MacArthur, but to Volckmann. This book establishes how Volckmann’s leadership was critical to the outcome of the war in the Philippines. His ability to synthesize the realities and potential of guerrilla warfare led to a campaign that rendered Yamashita’s forces incapable of repelling the Allied invasion. Had it not been for Volckmann, the Americans would have gone in “blind” during their counter-invasion, reducing their efforts to a trial-and-error campaign that would undoubtedly have cost more lives, materiel, and potentially stalled the pace of the entire Pacific War. Second, this book establishes Volckmann as the progenitor of modern counterinsurgency doctrine and the true “Father” of Army Special Forces—a title that history has erroneously awarded to Colonel Aaron Bank of the European Theater of Operations. In 1950, Volckmann wrote two army field manuals: Operations Against Guerrilla Forces and Organization and Conduct of Guerrilla Warfare, though today few realize he was their author. Together, they became the US Army’s first handbooks outlining the precepts for both special warfare and counter-guerrilla operations. Taking his argument directly to the army chief of staff, Volckmann outlined the concept for Army Special Forces. At a time when US military doctrine was conventional in outlook, he marketed the ideas of guerrilla warfare as a critical force multiplier for any future conflict, ultimately securing the establishment of the Army’s first special operations unit—the 10th Special Forces Group. Volckmann himself remains a shadowy figure in modern military history, his name absent from every major biography on MacArthur, and in much of the Army Special Forces literature. Yet as modest, even secretive, as Volckmann was during his career, it is difficult to imagine a man whose heroic initiative had more impact on World War II. This long overdue book not only chronicles the dramatic military exploits of Russell Volckmann, but analyzes how his leadership paved the way for modern special warfare doctrine. Mike Guardia, currently an officer in the US 1st Armored Division is also author of Shadow Commander, about the career of Donald Blackburn, and an upcoming biography of Hal Moore.
Learn how to be a leader in your own life and career with expert advice from one of the Navy's elite TOPGUN instructors. During a twenty-year career in uniform, Guy Snodgrass became one of the most skilled fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy, commanding combat jets over some of the most dangerous war zones in the world -- and he did it all using the lessons he learned at the Navy's Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). The real-life inspiration for the blockbuster films Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick, the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School trains the top one percent of our nation's fighter pilots. Over the course of twelve weeks, these pilots are drilled on aerial tactics, combat, and skills required to win in any organization. Ordinary people are transformed into world-class leaders. Pilots, like Commander Snodgrass, who remain on staff as TOPGUN instructors, are held to even higher and more demanding standards. In TOPGUN's Top 10, Commander Snodgrass distills some of the most important lessons he's learned and taught over the course of his career into a taut, engaging book for readers of all ages and experience levels. It's the perfect gift for anyone looking to change careers, excel in the workplace, or find their way in the world after college graduation. Smart, practical, and direct, Snodgrass's account of real TOPGUN experience will inspire a new generation of leaders.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING MEMOIR OF 21ST-CENTURY AIR COMBAT, BY "ONE OF THE DECORATED PILOTS IN AIR FORCE HISTORY" (NEW YORK POST) 151 combat missions 21 hard kills on surface -to -air missile sites 4 Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor 1 Purple Heart First into a war zone, flying behind enemy lines to purposely draw fire, the wild weasels are elite fighter squadrons with the most dangerous job in the Air Force One of the greatest aviation memoirs ever written, Viper Pilot is an Air Force legend's thrilling eyewitness account of modern air warfare. For twenty years, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Hampton was a leading member of the Wild Weasels, logging 608 combat hours in the world's most iconic fighter jet: the F-16 "Fighting Falcon," or "Viper." He spearheaded the 2003 invasion of Iraq, leading the first flight of fighters over the border en route to strike Baghdad. Earlier, on 9/11, Hampton's father was inside the Pentagon when it was attacked; with his dad's fate unknown, Hampton was scrambled into American skies and given the unprecedented orders to shoot down any unidentified aircraft. Viper Pilot is an unforgettable look into the closed world of fighter pilots and modern air combat.
The all-color history of the best fleet defense interceptor ever built. Over 100 pages of color photos and paintings by the author augment several drawings and diagrams from the flight manual which describe systems. The text contains the developmental and operational history of the most iconic of fourth generation fighters which starred in the movie "Top Gun". The print version of this book contains interviews with the test pilots who first flew the Tomcat and with the high-time Tomcat pilot who developed the precision strike capabilities of the F-14.