My book is not just a success story; it is a story of patriotism, guts and grit, honor and duty. It is a unique story told from a backseat perspective of the greatest fighter plane in that day, the supersonic, tandem seat Phantom jet. My story is the first of its kind because all others have been by pilots and not the "GIB" (the guy in back). After I earned my wings, I was transferred into the oldest and most decorated squadron in the Marine Corps, the VMFA-232 Red Devils.
That squadron was commissioned in 1925. It will have its 94th anniversary later this year and today flies the F-18 Hornet aircraft. I was in this squadron in 1968 and 69 and most of the photos on my website were taken by me. These photos depict the J model of the Phantom jet that we flew at that time and in combat. They were equipped with two J79-10 General Electric engines for added thrust, H-7 Martin-Baker ejection seats for added safety and a superlative radar system-the AWG 10 Westinghouse pulse-doppler radar system. These added features enhanced the awesomeness of this aircraft and increased its capabilities as a platform of weapons delivery.
In combat, extreme highs and lows, tragedies and triumphs took a stressful toll on our psyche in spite of dark humor and other attempts at levity. Flying a variety of missions during 24/7 operations added fatigue factors. Coping was tantamount in order to maintain our life saving air support efforts for ground combatants in dire need. It was nerve wracking at times and rewarding at others but occasionally it was harrowing and extremely scary.
The book was released on March 15, 2019 in hardback and ebook, and can be ordered on line at UNT Press or other book sellers.