Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Review: Those '67 Blues

I typically do not read fiction but B.K. Bryans book gives us a look into a two-week period of flight operations and the heroics of men flying in North Vietnam during the autumn of 1967. The Author based his book on his Vietnam war experiences as an A-6 Intruder Pilot. A very good read with a mix of action and background struggles with family at home. I'm looking forward to reading more of his work; Flying Low and Flight To Redemption.
From the Authors Web Page
Those '67 Blues is an enlightening action novel of U.S. naval aviators aboard an aircraft carrier on Yankee Station during the Vietnam War. Sortie rates and aircraft losses trended strongly upward through the autumn months of 1967.  Daily, the Pentagon sent major multi-aircraft “Alpha” strikes into the “Iron Triangle” delineated by Hanoi, Haiphong, and Nam Dinh.  Navy all-weather A-6s went in low and alone at night.

This is a day-by-day account of those missions and the men who flew them during two weeks of that fiery autumn. Feel the tension build in the cockpit of an A-6 Intruder as it homes in on a well-defended target, and the shivering adrenalin release that comes hours after a harrowing mission. Experience the terror as a SAM surface-to-air missile tracks its target—you. Live the fear of being shot down, hunted, and then tortured by the North Vietnamese.

Meanwhile, the aviator’s wives and children back home live through fears and problems of their own during a war that few people understand and many despise.

Review by the Association of Naval Aviation, published in the  Fall Edition of Wings of Gold  Magazine.

This is a story about the aviators who went in harms way big time. ‘At night,’ writes Bryans, ‘Navy all-weather A-6 Intruders went in low and alone.’    A brief excerpt: ‘The SAM that hit their A-6 right after weapons release knocked out everything electrical, set the port engine on fire, and caused the plane to shake like a dice cup.’   Bryans knows his subject. He flew A-6s during the war earning a Silver Star and DFC, and commanded VA-35 aboard USS Nimitz.

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