Seeing considerable combat in the nearly 50 years since its service introduction, the Skyhawk was involved in the Vietnam War (1955-1975) from the very beginning. Navy and Marine Corps A-4s quickly established a presence in Southeast Asia, flying from aircraft carriers and land bases in South Vietnam in thousands of sorties against the entrenched communist forces from Hanoi to the communist supply lines along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This book includes details of missions including the siege of Khe Sanh, Lam Son and the contentious invasion of Laos and Cambodia in 1971 and gives a fascinating account of the variety of missions pilots were asked to perform. These operations were not without risk, and large numbers of A-4s were shot down and their pilots killed or, like Edward Alvarez, imprisoned as POWs for up to eight years in appalling conditions.
Officially endorsed by the Skyhawk Association and including first-hand accounts from veteran pilots who flew one of the greatest attack aircraft ever, Peter Mersky provides an insightful account of some of the most thrilling aerial combat missions that took place during Vietnam and the pilots who flew them. The first book to focus on the A-4's Vietnam service, this title is supported by previously unpublished colour and black and white photographs with 30 detailed colour profiles.
About the Author
Peter Mersky is a former US Navy commander who won the highest naval award for journalism following the publication of "F-8 Crusader Units of the Vietnam War" and "RF-8 Crusader Units over Korea and Vietnam" (Combat Aircraft 7 amd 12). He was the assistant editor, then editor of "Approach," the Navy and Marine Corps aviation safety magazine, for 16 years and he has also reviewed more than 400 books on military aviation.Peter has now retired from service and is a full time aviation writer. The author lives in Alexandria, VA.
"[This] A-4 titles does more than justice to this most impressive of combat aircraft. Peter Mersky's is a nother of those names whose appearance on a book cover immediately inspires confidence in its contents and this volume is no exception...Mersky has fone a very fine job indeed of documenting the often harrowing story of the A-4 in Vietnam. His exhaustive coverage details both Marine Corps and Navy operations, again using first-hand accounts to lend weight to the account." -Paul Eden, Scale Aircraft Modeling (Vol 4, No 4, June 2008)
"Peter Mersky has put together tons of information of the planes, pilots, deployments, accomplishments and losses...eight chapters of riveting reading, focused on the jet's most intense period of action, from the Gulf of Tonkin confrontation to the final missions in 1973." -CRASH Casey, The Marine Corps Aviation Association (March 2008)
"There were high hopes for the latest in the Osprey Combat Aircraft series... The hopes were met. Peter Mersky wrote an outstanding book that will be on the must-have list of all A-4 fans." -A-4 Skyhawk Association's Quarterly Magazine
"In this endeavor Peter Mersky has produced a superlative and readable volume enlivened by terrific first-person accounts which aptly capture the drama of aerial warfare, especially when it involved deadly opposition from enemy ground fire and surface to air missiles... There is an abundance of courageous Naval Aviators who manned Skyhawks during the protracted hostilities in Southeast Asia. This book constitutes a special salute to them and the A-4s they flew in the line of fire. Strongly recommended!" -Association of Naval Aviation (Fall 2007)
"...brought back a few memories for this reviewer and makes for a 'must have' read; one that I know you will find as engrossing as I did." -Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (May 2007)