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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.
For the past two years, while the sun was setting on the iconic F-14 Tomcat, aviation photographer and author Erik Hildebrandt has been capturing the final defining moments of the few remaining F-14 squadrons in the US Navy Fighter community. Anytime, Baby! is an unforgettable collection of final-phase Tomcat milestones captured and preserved forever in some of the most detailed and dynamic photographic compositions Hildebrandt has ever attempted. From riding along with VF-211, the last squadron to ever fly the F-14A, to flying with VF-32 on the last deployment of the F-14B in the Arabian Gulf in 2005, Hildebrandt has been witness to the end of an era. Anytime, Baby! is an important historic record as much as it is an artistic and beautiful tribute to the most popular American fighter in history. A true "must-have" addition for the aviation enthusiasts as well as former and current Navy and Marine Corp service personnel.
From Topgun to Squadron Command You’re in the cockpit of the legendary F-14 Tomcat fighter, blazing along at twice the speed of sound seven miles above the ocean and the carrier that hurled you off its deck. You’re practicing dogfighting with “aggressors,” guys on your side flying F-16s. You’re patrolling the tense skies above Iraq, and with the push of a button you can launch the 100-mile Phoenix missile that can blow a foe to scrap before you even see him. You are an expert in fighter tactics and aircraft carrier operations, and it all leads to your command of an F-14 fighter squadron of more than three hundred people. Sounds like a week’s worth of daydreams, but it’s all real-life in the career of Dave “Bio” Baranek, and he shares it with you in the exciting, superbly crafted new book, Tomcat Rio. Dave – callsign “Bio” – pulled his readers into the exciting world of the F-14 and the Navy’s TOPGUN program with his popular books Topgun Days and Before Topgun Days. Now he’s back with the rest of the story, as he reaches the top level of expertise and proves it, not just in graded competitions but also where it counts, where you shoot at them and they shoot at you. Dave also shares the challenges he faced. A deadly foe called complacency. Learning a whole new mission late in his career. The unexpected trials that come with leading a squadron in the dynamic environment of Naval Aviation. This third volume is full of adventures, lessons, and inspiration. If you are a casual reader, you’ll turn the last page as a dedicated Tomcat fan. To make it all even more real, Tomcat Rio includes dozens of Bio’s best and most acclaimed photos. Photographer George Hall hailed one shot as “one of the best Tomcat photos ever taken.” In words and pictures, Bio immerses you in rich detail. He pipes you aboard as a member of an F-14 squadron. You share the camaraderie of Type A personalities. You plan risky missions, going toe-to-toe against America’s most volatile foes. You can almost smell the pungent jet exhaust, almost feel the gut-wrenching G’s of a dogfight, as Tomcat Rio pitches you into the thick of it as only Bio can tell it. Strap in! You’re going for one fantastic ride.
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.
Tornado Boys is the latest in the ever-popular ‘Boys’ series, and differs from earlier titles. With the introduction of female pilots to the RAF in 1994, the Tornado was the first aircraft to be flown by both men and women. This is acknowledged in the book with a chapter written by one female pilot. Another aspect that makes this book different from the rest of the series is that it covers an aircraft which is still in active service, especially as a key player in current Middle East operations. With focus on the GR1/GR4 versions of the Tornado, readers will enjoy fascinating insights on what it is like to operate this bomber/reconnaissance aircraft against the backdrop of modern-day scenarios. The book starts in the 1970s with stories from operators and ground crew of the Tornado as a Cold War nuclear deterrent and with tales of later ‘hot’ wars as seen by operational leaders in both Gulf conflicts and in Kosovo. There are also stories of Scud hunting in Iraq and Red Flag exercises in the US, as well as of a stunning competition victory over the USAF’s Strategic Air Command in their own backyard. The short-lived anti-shipping role is not neglected. With the transformation of the Tornado to the GR4 standard, the book continues with chapters covering active service in support of Britain’s increasingly complex international commitments and the employment of new weaponry and sensors. All in all, through the eyes of men and women who have operated this extraordinary aircraft, the volume presents an entertaining and illuminating series of tales and anecdotes. These light and informative stories come from those who were proud to serve on and loved to operate the impressively versatile Tornado.
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 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.
This is the autobiography of an outstanding fighter pilot during his twenty year career with the Royal Air Force. Tony Doyle first flew when in the CCF where he complted a glider course and then a highly-prized Flying Scholarship. This opened the way to joining the RAF and becoming an all-weather tactical fighter pilot flying de Havilland Vampires and Gloster Meteors. At this he excelled and was posted as a flying instructor and then Staff Instructor. This was the age when the Jet Provost was the standard training aircraft. During 1962 he was selected to fly with the newly formed Red Pelicans aerobatic display team and honed his skills as a display pilot. Tony moved to RAF Valley as the new Folland Gnat was being introduced in the training role. This diminutive aircraft was somewhat of a breakthrough and after ironing out several design problems it proved a superb aircraft, being fast and agile. The general public were eager to see this new RAF addition and Tony became its display pilot, flying at open days throughout the UK and Europe. In 1964 Tony converted to the English Electric Lightning, Britains one and only supersonic fighter, with a top speed in excess of Mach 2 and a ceiling of 50,000 feet. He was posted to Treble One Squadron at Wattisham in October 1964 as part of the Quick Reaction Alert force against potential Russian bomber attacks. Once again he became the Lightnings chosen low-level display pilot and demonstrated it at the 1965 Paris Air Show. Shortly after this he was forced to eject over the North Cornish coast after an engine explosion cause the loss of elevator control. This fascinating account of front-line and display flying goes into considerable detail of the aerodynamic qualities of the types flown, their dangers and advantages. There are many life-threatening incidents and successes that will educate anyone who is interested in flying at the very edge.
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 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.
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.
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.
While most books about the Gulf War have been written by military leaders, politicians, or journalists, this lively memoir comes from a Marine F/A-18 pilot who flew 37 sorties against the Iraqis during Desert Storm. Jay Stout describes his own aerial actions and those of his comrades and also writes about the mundane issues of being at war. His no-holds-barred look at modern air warfare is eminently readable, decidedly personal, and highly informative. 20 photos.
Recounted here are nine of the earliest wars involving jet aircraft. From the Korean War and beyond, it comprises a wealth of gripping insight. Many of the jet-to-jet dogfights that spanned these jet-powered wars are enlivened to thrilling effect, including those engaged in during the two Indo-Pak Wars of 1965 and 1971. Operation Musketeer (1956), mounted when RAF and French Air Force bombers and fighter-bombers attacked airfields and other targets in Egypt (after President Nasser had nationalised the Suez Canal), is also covered in this gripping narrative. The Falklands Campaign is also covered, as is the Vietnam War. In another chapter, QRA operations around the British Isles are put under the microscope as RAF Phantoms, Lightnings, Tornadoes and Typhoon Eurofighters on Quick Reaction Alert are described, patrolling international air space and maintaining a constant vigil as Soviet Bears continued to test NATO defences. All in all, this is a compelling, well-researched and highly informative study of a particularly dynamic era in aviation history.
From Israel to Afghanistan. The definitive combat history of the F-15 Eagle and Strike Eagle...as told by the pilots who flew them. For more than forty years, the McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Eagle has been the US Air Force's premier multi-role fighter jet. Made popular by its ubiquity during the Persian Gulf War, the F-15 has become one of the most recognized and revered fighter jets in the world today. Throughout its illustrious combat history, the F-15 has earned more than 100 air-to-air victories...with zero losses. Wings of Fire is the definitive combat history of the F-15 Eagle and Strike Eagle: from the skies over Israel...to the frontlines in Afghanistan.
Following the end of the Korean War, the prevailing myth in the West was that of the absolute supremacy of US Air Force pilots and aircraft over their Soviet-supplied opponents. The claims of the 10:1 victory-loss ratio achieved by the US Air Force fighter pilots flying the North American F-86 Sabre against their communist adversaries, among other such fabrications, went unchallenged until the end of the Cold War, when Soviet records of the conflict were finally opened. Packed with first-hand accounts and covering the full range of US Air Force activities over Korea, MiG Alley brings the war vividly to life and the record is finally set straight on a number of popular fabrications. Thomas McKelvey Cleaver expertly threads together US and Russian sources to reveal the complete story of this bitter struggle in the Eastern skies.
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.