Alpha Strike Vietnam: The Navy's Air War, 1964 to 1973

J. L. Levinson, Author, Jeffrey L. Levinson, Author Presidio Press $18.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-89141-338-7
Levinson, a freelance writer, has captured the salty lingo, devil-may-care attitude and special flair for combat characterizing the Vietnam-era naval aviator. The kind of tactical-technical detail that appeals to air-war buffs abounds as 22 former U.S. Navy pilots recall missions in the skies over Southeast Asia from the earliest days of the war to the final air evacuation. Several served hard time at the infamous ``Hanoi Hilton'' prisoner-of-war camp and all express pride over the defiance their downed colleagues displayed toward their captors. Most of these men remain ``unreconstructed'' in their resentment at Washington-dictated restrictions that kept them from wreaking even greater destruction against the enemy. Pride, fierceness and technical mastery dominate as the pilots describe bombing runs, flak-suppression missions and other tasks (including the shooting-down of a MIG). Levinson provides a solid background to their testimony, summarizing the strategic aims of the air war, month by month. Photos. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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