An A-4 Skyhawk Pilot in Vietnam
By Stephen R. Gray
One of the best accounts of the transition from civilian to professional warrior of my reading experience. As a former A4 pilot I can vouch for its accuracy. As a maven of war stories, I will attest to its high level of pure excitement made all the more gripping because this is not fiction. It is a compelling chronicle for laymen and veteran pilot alike. Do not miss it.
Admiral James L. Holloway III, USN (Ret.); author ofAircraft Carriers at War: Personal Retrospective of Korea, Vietnam, and the Soviet Confrontation; member of Light Attack Squadron 212’s “Rampant Raiders,” A-4 pilot Stephen R. Gray writes about his experiences flying combat sorties from the deck of an aircraft carrier during one of the most intense periods of aerial combat in U.S. history. From the perspective of a junior naval aviator, Gray reveals the lessons he learned first at the Naval Aviation Training Command and then in actual combat flying the Skyhawk from USS Bon Homme Richard in Vietnam. Readers will discover how circumstances created heroes—heroes who managed to overcome their personal fears for a greater cause—and how, despite the lack of public support for the war, the men remained committed to one another.
The A-4 pilots were the backbone of Rolling Thunder. As a JO, Steve Gray was in the thick of it and tells his story as only someone who experienced the terrible thrill and heart-dropping fear can.
Rampant Raider is the first insider’s look at the Skyhawk’s war. A must read for all Vietnam-era aviators and for anyone with even a passing interest in the naval air war in Vietnam. This is how it was…”
Commander Peter B. Mersky, USNR (Ret) author of US Navy and Marine Corps A-4 Skyhawk Units of the Vietnam War
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