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General Richard B. Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the critical four years following September 11, 2001, looks back over his career and provides a candid, revealing insider's view of the war on terror and proposing a bold new plan that will prepare America for the diverse national security challenges of the twenty-first century. Growing up in Kansas as the son of hardworking, no-nonsense parents, General Richard Myers, a distinguished Air Force officer for more than forty years, learned early the value of steadfast integrity and selfless service. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2001 to 2005, he bore witness to the critical events that shaped America's defense policy in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In the days, weeks, and months that followed, he worked around the clock, helping to devise innovative, unprecedented strategies for the Bush administration's war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq and advising the president on tough, historic national security decisions. In this captivating memoir, General Myers talks candidly about his career in the military, the unforgettable events of September 11, and the global war on terror. With an insider's perspective, he outlines the mistakes made by the White House, Pentagon leadership, and the intelligence community. Myers believes that America has misidentified its adversary, focusing too narrowly on tactical battles, instead of on a long-range strategy that will overcome a global insurgency fueled by a struggle for control within Islam. The United States must rely not just on the military, but also on intelligence and other instruments of national power and work through extant governments to reverse the depiction of an American-led crusade against Muslims. Rather than identify what Islam should become, we must work with an international community that includes responsible non-Western states to protect against the behaviors we consider universally unacceptable -- especially those that promote violence against the U.S. and its allies or any other country or society affected by the struggle within Islam. Finally, Myers maintains we must integrate our own government agencies so that we can focus a sustained approach to this strategy. Told with unfailing honesty, Eyes on the Horizon is an unforgettable memoir of one of our nation's highest ranking officers and a courageous call for change that will strengthen American national security and defend a democratic way of life.
Very little about the Rwandan genocide is comprehensible. A Hutu elite came to believe that Hutu salvation necessitated Tutsi extermination. The Hutus enacted their conspiracy with startling efficiency. In one hundred days, between April 6 and July 19, 1994, they murdered roughly eight hundred thousand individuals. For the statistically inclined, that works out to 333&1/3 deaths per hour, 5&1/2 deaths per minute. The rate of murder was even greater during the first four weeks, when most of the deaths occurred. The Rwandan genocide, therefore, has the macabre distinction of exceeding the rate of killing attained during the Holocaust.
"The Admiral [Columbus] sailed west-southwest, at the rate of ten miles an hour and occasionally twelve, and at other times seven, running between day and night fifty-nine leagues; he told the men only forty-four. Here the crew could stand it no longer, they complained of the long voyage, but the Admiral encouraged them as best he could, giving them hopes of the profits that they might have. And he added that it was useless to murmur because he had come in search of the Indies, and was going to continue until he found them with God's help." Figures from our history come alive as we read their words and the words of those who were with them. An exciting, fascinating and easy-to-read history.
Osprey's examination of the F-100 Super Sabre Units' participation in the Vietnam War (1955-1975). While the F-105 Thunderchief and F-4 Phantom flew the majority of the fighter-bomber missions over North Vietnam, the Thunderchief's service predecessor, the F-100 Super Sabre stayed on to fight the air war in South Vietnam until June 1971. Although it was designed as an air defence fighter, and was later given nuclear capability as the mainstay of Tactical Air Command's deterrent posture, it was the F-100's toughness, adaptability and reliability that made it ideally suited to the incessant 'taxi-rank' close support and counter-insurgency missions in Vietnam. The jet's four 20 mm cannon and external loads of bombs, rockets and fire-bombs defeated many enemy incursions, with US troops in contact expressing a preference for the accuracy and skill of F-100 pilots to save them in situations where ordnance had to be dropped very close to their own lines. Many courageous deeds were performed, although 242 F-100s and 87aircrew were lost in action. Used at the start of Operation Rolling Thunder in March 1965 as an escort for F-105 strikes, the Super Sabre fought MiGs and one pilot made a credible claim for a MiG-17 destroyed, but the more capable F-4 Phantom II soon replaced it in this role. The air-to-ground war was fought by F-100C/D/F pilots from 21 TAC and Air National Guard squadrons at six bases in South Vietnam and Thailand. From September 1965, a number of two-seat F-100Fs were equipped to detect and pinpoint SA-2 missile sites, and they led F-105s in to destroy them in hazardous missions that founded the suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) techniques developed for F-105F and F-4C 'Wild Weasel' aircraft later in the war. Other F-100Fs replaced fragile piston-engined forward air control (FAC) aircraft, providing more survivable high-speed airborne management of strike missions. Maj George Day, awarded the Medal of Honor in 1973, was the first leader of this 'Misty FAC' unit. The aircraft's strengths and eccentricities will be examined through analysis of its performance and the anecdotes of those who flew and serviced it.
The 'missile with a man in it' was known for its blistering speed and deadliness in air combat. The F-104C flew more than 14,000 combat hours in Vietnam as a bomber escort, a Wild Weasel escort and a close air support aircraft. Though many were sceptical of its ability to carry weapons, the Starfighter gave a fine account of itself in the close air support role. It was also well known that the enemy were especially reluctant to risk their valuable and scarce MiGs when the F-104 was escorting bombers over North Vietnam or flying combat air patrols nearby. The missions were not without risk, and 14 Starfighters were lost during the war over a two-year period. This was not insignificant considering that the USAF only had one wing of these valuable aircraft at the time, and wartime attrition and training accidents also took quite a bite from the inventory.While the F-105 Thunderchief and F-4 Phantom got most of the glory and publicity during the war in Vietnam, the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was not given much chance of surviving in a 'shooting war'. In the event, it did that and much more. Although built in small numbers for the USAF, the F-104C fought and survived for almost three years in Vietnam. Like its predecessor the F-100, the Starfighter was a mainstay of Tactical Air Command and Air Defence Command, with whom it served with distinction as an air superiority fighter and point defence interceptor. This small, tough and very fast fighter, dubbed 'The Missile with a Man in It', was called upon to do things it was not specifically designed for, and did them admirably. Among these were close air support and armed reconnaissance using bombs, rockets and other armaments hung from its tiny wings, as well as its 20 mm Vulcan cannon, firing 6000 rounds per minute. The jet participated in some of the most famous battles of the war, including the legendary Operation Bolo, in which seven North Vietnamese MiGs went down in flames with no US losses. Even as it was fighting in Vietnam, the Starfighter was being adopted by no fewer than six NATO air forces as well as Japan and Nationalist China. It was later procured by Jordan, Turkey and Pakistan. The latter nation took the Starfighter to war with India twice in the 1960s, and it also saw combat with Taiwan. The story of the Starfighter in Vietnam is one of tragedy and of ultimate vindication. For decades the F-104's contribution to the air war in Vietnam was downplayed and its role as a ground attack machine minimised. Only in recent years has that assessment been re-evaluated, and the facts prove the Starfighter to have been able to do its job as well or better than some of the other tactical aircraft sent to the theatre for just that purpose.
USAF Rolling Thunder strike missions tactically assaulted North Vietnamese defenses, overcoming MiG fighter jets and SAM (surface to air) missiles to devastate North Vietnam's industrial base strategically. Despite its "F-for-fighter" designation, the F-105 was designed and purchased to give the USAF an aircraft for delivery of nuclear weapons at very high speed, long range and below-the-radar altitudes. When the Vietnam War began, it was the USAF's best available tactical bomber for a "limited conventional" war as well. From 1964 to 1968 it flew the majority of bombing missions against North Vietnam, performing an effectively "strategic" role in assaulting North Vietnam's industrial and military heartland. Thunderchief crews faced North Vietnamese MiG-17s and MiG-21s more often than any other US flyers. Large formations of F-105s came under frequent attack by MiG pilots, and the F-4 Phantom II escorts that were meant to protect them were not always in the right position to fend off the attackers. F-105 crews would then defend themselves using their internal 20 mm cannon and occasionally AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles. Although their fighters were far larger, heavier and much less manoeuvrable than the adversarial MiGs, the F-105 pilots used speed and skill to down 27.5 MiG-17s - a tally in excess of that scored by USAF F-4 Phantom II crews in the same period between June 1966 and December 1967! In most cases the F-105 pilots concerned also succeeded in dropping their ordnance on targets during the same sorties.
The F-105 was a supersonic fighter-bomber used by the USAF to great extent during the Vietnam War (1955-1975). Despite pilots' initial apprehensions about the aircraft and a variety of problems with early designs, these planes ultimately became the primary strike bomber over North Vietnam in the early stages of the Vietnam War. This book explores the crucial importance of the Thunderchief, deemed the "Thud" by many of its crews, in the Rolling Thunder campaign; it explains the pioneering suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) methods developed by the F-105 'Wild Weasel' crews. Using first-hand narratives wherever possible, the text captures the essence of flying the "Thud" against heavy AAA, SAM and MiG defences in conditions where constricting Rules of Engagement made the pilots' task virtually impossible at times. The book also documents the other demanding missions flown over Laos and South Vietnam. The author also gives an extensive overview of the aircraft's strengths and difficulties, the development of wartime tactics and the heroic accomplishments of a selection of its aircrew.
Although America entered the Vietnam War with some of the world's most sophisticated combat aircraft, the majority of their missions involved conventional bombing and fighter engagements that employed quite similar tactics to those previously used in the Korean War and World War 2. The real step change in aerial fighting came with the use of air-to-air and ground-to-air missiles. Developing methods of defeating the latter involved the rapid evolution of technology and tactics which, over twenty years later, would enable the USA to win the air war over Iraq in Operation Desert Storm in a matter of hours. During the Vietnam War, the appearance of Russian SA-2 missiles around Hanoi in 1965 alarmed US officials. Initially reluctant to attack the missile sites, the increasing toll of US aircraft and the ways in which the SA-2s inhibited bombing tactics meant that new methods of dealing with the sites had to be developed quickly. Electronic reconnaissance aircraft had some success with jamming of the missiles' guidance systems at long range, but the real solution lay with an aircraft that could detect the radars at closer range, offer itself as a target to the missile sites and attack them before missiles could be launched at US bombers. F-105Fs equipped with new technology quickly became an essential addition to all USAF strike missions over North Vietnam. Using new Shrike and Standard ARM anti-radiation missiles and radar detection equipment developed by the US Navy, the F-105F and its more sophisticated successor, the F-105G, continued their hair-raising battles with North Vietnamese missile batteries throughout the rest of the Vietnam War. Here, author Peter Davies recounts the dramatic contests between these newly outfitted F-105s and the missile sites in Vietnam in a highly illustrated account, drawing on first-hand pilot experiences and technical manuals to present a full history of the technologies and tactics of both sides.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The General Dynamics F-111 was one of the most technically innovative designs among military aircraft, introducing the variable-sweep wing, terrain-following radar, military-rated afterburning turbofan engines and a self-contained escape module among other features. Designed as a cost-saving, multi-role interceptor, naval fighter and strike bomber, its evolution prioritised the latter role and it became the USAF's most effective long-range strike aircraft during three decades of service. Rushed into combat in Vietnam before some of its structural issues were fully understood, the type suffered several early losses and gained an unfairly negative reputation that dogged it for the rest of its career, and restricted funding for more advanced versions of the design. However, in Operation Linebacker in 1972 the F-111 flew 4000 nocturnal under-the-radar missions, delivering, with unprecedented accuracy, many decisive blows that would have resulted in heavy losses for any other attack aircraft. Post-war, F-111E/F variants were concentrated in two USAFE wings in the UK, and one of these was chosen in April 1986 to deliver a punitive strike on Libya in response to a series of terrorist attacks on US targets in Beirut and Europe. The 48th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) flew a 14-hour mission direct from its Lakenheath base, hitting several military targets around Tripoli. Five years later both UK-based wings, including their sophisticated EF-111A defence suppression aircraft, led the attack on the first night of Operation Desert Storm, decimating Iraq's huge military capability. For the rest of the campaign the F-111s were crucial in destroying bridges, airfields and deep-seated command bunkers with pinpoint accuracy using laser-guided munitions.
During the final years of the 20th century, the most significant break-through in military weaponry was the concept of Stealth technology, and the first mass-produced weapon to utilize this to perfection was the F-117 Nighthawk. Originally delivered in 1982, its existence was officially denied until the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, when it entered the public spotlight over the skies of Baghdad. Illustrated with stunning color photographs of the F-117 above Iraq, and complemented by numerous personal accounts from the pilots themselves, this book explores the history and combat experience of one of the most secretive planes ever built.
The legendary F-14 Tomcat was the weapon of choice to strike hard and fast against the enemies of the United States in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Determined to hit the al-Qaeda bases within Afghanistan, US plans were hampered by the reluctance of neighboring countries to allow US military aircraft to operate from their land bases. This meant that carrier-based F-14s were forced to fly several hundred miles a day to reach their targets, flying thousands of missions involving precision bombing strikes on al-Qaeda and Taliban positions. A fascinating exploration of modern air warfare, this book details the actions of the F-14 pilots and aircraft involved in Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-present) with eye-opening insights into the tactical approach and wider strategic aims exclusively provided by senior officers from a number of the air wings involved. Written by a leading Tomcat expert with exclusive access to mission reports, combat diaries, first-hand accounts and accompanied by photographs from the author's private collection and fantastic full-color artwork, this reveals the battle experiences of the most famous modern fast jet.
From difficult weather conditions to unreliable missile armament to unequal rules of engagement, this book tells the story of the challenges faced by the F-4 and MiG-21 pilots. Using first-hand accounts wherever possible the author draws us into the dangerous world experienced by American and North Vietnamese pilots. Influential leaders and tacticians will be profiled to provide a comparative evaluation of their contrasting skills. This book will also reveal the technical specifications of each jet with an analysis of the weaponry, avionics and survival devices of the Phantom and MiG-21. The fighters' strengths and weaknesses will be compared also, including turn radius, performance at altitude, range and structural integrity. This was an intense and deadly duel between vastly different rivals. In the Phantom, a second crewmember and good radar compensated for the difficulty of providing command and control at long distances from the targets. However, the F-4's smoky engines and considerable bulk made it visible at much further distances than the small, clean MiG-21 and Phantoms were often hit by unseen MiG attacks. On the other hand, the F-4s eight-missile armament compared favorably with the two-missile provision of the MiG. Often pilot skill, if not luck, would be the determining factor between the smaller, faster MiG and bigger, better-gunned Phantom. First-person extracts will reflect on the dangers of these aerial duels while graphics based on records of engagement and technical manuals will illustrate the experience of air combat as they struggled to overcome their shortcomings and survive their deadly duels.
Osprey's study of the role played by F-8 Crusader Units in the Vietnam War (1955-1975). Known to its pilots as the 'last of the gunfighters' due to its quartet of Colt-Browning Mk 12 20 mm cannon, the F-8 Crusader was numerically the most populous fighter in the US Navy at the start of America's involvement in the Vietnam conflict in 1964 - some 482 F-8C/D/Es equipped 17 frontline units. It enjoyed great success against North Vietnamese Mig-17s and Mig-21s during the Rolling Thunder campaign of 1965-68, officially downing 18 jets, which represented 53 per cent of all Mig claims lodged by Navy squadrons during this period.
This book covers the actions fought between two of the best known fighters of the Vietnam War, in action over the North during the early years of the conflict.Revered by Naval Aviators as the "last of the gunfighters" due to its quartet of Colt-Browning Mk 12 20 mm cannon (its great naval rival, the F-4 Phantom II, was exclusively armed with missiles), the F-8 Crusader enjoyed great success against VPAF MiG-17s during the Rolling Thunder campaign of 1966-68. The fighter was credited with 18 kills, 14 of which were MiG-17s. Things did not go all the Crusader's way, however, as VPAF pilots used the MiG-17's unequalled low-speed manoeuvrability, small size and powerful cannon armament to take the fight to their gun- and missile-equipped foes. The North Vietnamese pilots claimed ten F-8s and one unarmed photo-recce RF-8 shot down, although only four of these successes could be matched with known US Navy losses. Nevertheless, the duels fought between these two aircraft were some of the hardest of the war, as the Crusader pilots did their level best to defend vulnerable carrier-based attack aircraft striking at targets deep in North Vietnam.
The entry of the United State's premier jet interceptor into the Korean War was triggered by the ever-increasing presence of the Soviet-built MiG-15 south of the Yalu River. The possibility of the USAF losing air supremacy over the Korean Peninsula was unacceptable. The 4th Fighter Wing got the call for combat in Korea. They were made up of a combination of new pilots right out of jet training and the older combat veterans of World War II vintage. This combination of pilot types wrote and re-wrote the text books on jet warfare. Of the 40 jet aces that the war produced, the 4th Wing boasted 24 of them. They also were the dominating MiG killer outfit with the USAF.
The 51st Fighter Wing initially flew the F-80C in the Korean War, but in 1951, the 51st brought in high-scoring World War 2 ace Colonel Francis Gabreski to assume command when it converted from the F-80 over to the newly arrived F-86E. His recruits included his elite 4th Wing pilots, and by the end of the war, the 51st had two pilots who achieved the status of "Double Ace" as well as the highest scoring ace of the war, Joe McConnell. This book describes the 51st Wing's tenure with the Sabre that led to their high scoring sprees of 1953.
As the routed North Korean People's Army (NKPA) withdrew into the mountainous reaches of their country and the People's Republic of China (PRC) funneled in its massive infantry formations in preparation for a momentous counter-offensive in the last months of 1950, both lacked adequate air power to challenge US and UN air supremacy over both the battlefields and the logistics channels from China into North Korea. Reluctantly, Josef Stalin agreed to provide the requisite air cover, introducing the superior swept-wing MiG-15 to counter the American's straight-wing F-80 jets and to repel the United States Air Force (USAF) B-29 bomber formations that were interdicting the PRC's flow of troops and supplies into North Korea. This in turn prompted the USAF, against its conventional wisdom of retaining its first-line air-defence fighters to face Soviet air forces across the 'Iron Curtain' in Europe, to deploy its very best - the F-86A Sabre - to counter this threat. Thus began a two-and-a-half-year struggle in the skies over a corner of North Korea known as "MiG Alley."In this period, the unrelenting campaign for aerial superiority witnessed the introduction of successive models of these two revolutionary jets - the MiG-15bis, the F-86E, and eventually the F-86F - into combat. It also saw the transition of operational leadership on the communist side from the Soviet "volunteers" to the newly formed Chinese PLAAF air divisions, and witnessed the re-introduction of the NKPAF, with its "just trained" MiG-15 units, into the air-combat arena. This meticulously researched study not only provides technical descriptions of the two types and their improved variants, complete with a "fighter pilot's assessment" of these aircraft, but also chronicles the entire scope of their aerial duel in "MiG Alley" by employing the recollections of the surviving combatants - including Russian, Chinese, and North Korean pilots - who participated.
The first VF-2 was a prewar unit that had been dubbed the 'hottest outfit afloat' due to the skill of their non-commissioned pilots. This first unit only saw combat at the Battle of the Coral Sea, but VF-2 pilots flying Grumman F4F Wildcats were able to rack up 17 claims there during the bitter 48-hour period of fighting. The second 'Fighting Two' was armed with the new Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat fighter. Arriving in Hawaii in October 1943, the squadron so impressed Cdr Edward H 'Butch' O'Hare, the Medal of Honor winning first US Navy ace of World War 2, that he requested the squadron replace VF-6 in his Carrier Air Group 6 aboard USS Enterprise. No other US Navy unit created as many aces as VF-2, whose pilots went into action over the Carolines, Marianas, Guam, Iwo Jima and the Battle of the Philippines Sea. Using exquisite photographs and first-hand accounts from the elite fliers themselves, this volume tells the story of the ace pilots who comprised the original VF-2 and the second.
From Coral Sea to Midway to Guadalcanal and Santa Cruz, these fighters battled for air supremacy over the Pacific in World War II. The Grumman F4F Wildcat and the Mitsubishi A6M Zero-sen were contemporaries, although designed to very different requirements. Ruggedly built so as to survive the rigors of carrier operations, the Wildcat was the best carrier fighter the US Navy had available when the USA entered World War II, and it remained the principal fighter for the US Navy and the US Marine Corps until the more capable F6F Hellcat and F4U Corsair entered service in 1942-43. Designed to meet a seemingly impossible requirement from the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) for an aeroplane with a speed greater than 300mph, exceptional maneuverability, long range, and an impressive armament - for the time - of two 7.7mm machine guns and two 20mm cannon, the Zero-sen could out-perform any Allied fighter in 1941-42.In one-on-one combat the Zero-sen was clearly superior to the rugged Grumman F4F Wildcat in speed, climb, maneuverability, and service ceiling. The Wildcat, in turn, had better firepower and structural strength but was some 2,600lb heavier than its Japanese opponent, with only 250 additional horsepower; even so, the Wildcat pilots had no alternative but to take on their more capable Japanese opponents until superior American aircraft could be put into production. The battles between the Wildcat and the Zero-sen during 1942 represent a classic duel in which pilots flying a nominally inferior fighter successfully developed air combat tactics that negated the strengths of their opponent.
The definitive account of F-4 Corsair Units deployed in the Korean War (1950-1953), this book tells the story of the 26 US Navy Squadrons, most of which were carrier based, and the 6 Marine Corps F-4 squadrons that flew combat missions against the North Koreans.Drawing from a vast repository of personal interviews with F-4 pilots, the author paints a harrowing picture of the deadly combat of this often forgotten air war. Included in this volume is the story of Lt Guy Bordelon, the US Navy's sole ace of the Korean War, who flew an F4U-5N night-fighter against the night raiders sent up by the Korean Air force. Backing up the text is a vast number of previously unpublished private photographs that bring the stories of these pilots to life. Finally the book contains extensive appendices that detail every unit deployment by carrier, air group, Corsair model and tail code. Also included is a detailed list noting every Corsair lost in the war, with tail number, pilot, date of loss and the unit.
After Pearl Harbor, the US Navy's VF-9 carrier fighter group formed, seeing action in North Africa, The Marshalls, Kwajelein, Truk, the Marianas Turkey Shoot and on to Tokyo and Okinawa.VF-9 was activated in March 1942 as part of Carrier Air Group (CAG) 9, one of the many air groups the US Navy was hurriedly forming in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Equipped with Grumman F4F Wildcats, VF-9 first saw combat during the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942, where the squadron engaged Vichy French fighters over Morocco. Returning to the United States, VF-9 became one of the first squadrons to receive the Grumman F6F Hellcat and to deploy on the USS Essex, the first of its class of fleet carriers that would form the backbone of the US Navy's Fast Carrier Task Force. VF-9, the Hellcat, and the Essex all entered combat in the fall of 1943. In the hands of the squadron's pilots, and with other Navy fighter squadrons, the Hellcat proved superior to the Imperial Japanese Navy's A6M Zero, which had heretofore been the world's premier carrier fighter plane. During its second combat tour, beginning in August 1943, VF-9 participated in the initial stages of the US Navy's successful island-hopping campaign across the Pacific. Flying strikes against Marcus Island, Wake Island, Rabaul, the invasions of Tarawa and Kwajalein, and the attack on Truk, VF-9 helped prove the Hellcat as a fighter and supported CAG-9 in its relentless attacks on Japanese forces, helping to validate the concept of the multi-carrier task force and the new carrier doctrine that led to the US Navy's complete defeat of the Imperial Japanese Navy. During its second combat tour VF-9 claimed 120 Japanese aircraft and produced the first Hellcat ace in Lt(jg) Hamilton McWhorter and nine additional aces. VF-9 began its third combat tour in February 1945 aboard the USS Lexington, shifting to the USS Yorktown a month later. The squadron participated in the February strikes against Tokyo and played a significant role in the Okinawa Campaign from March to June 1945. Now equipped with the F6F-5 Hellcat, the squadron claimed 130 Japanese aircraft shot down. Ten VF-9 pilots became aces during the campaign, most notably Lt Eugene Valencia, who ended the war as the second highest scoring Hellcat ace and tied with Lt Cecil Harris as the US Navy's second highest scoring ace overall with 23 victories. Valencia's division became famous as the most successful fighter team in the US Navy during World War 2, claiming a combined total of 43 Japanese aircraft. In addition VF-9 had one of the US Navy's few nightfighter aces in Lt(jg) John Orth, who flew an F6F-5N Hellcat.
In the key Pacific War battles of the Marianas Turkey Shoot, Leyte Gulf, and in and around Japan itself (from late 1943 through to VJ-Day) the principal fighters involved were the F6F Hellcat and the A6M5/7 Zero-sen. The former was Grumman's successor to the pugnacious Wildcat, and its creation was shaped by the combat experiences of Naval Aviators flying the F4F against the A6M2/3 Zero-sen from late 1941. Blooded in combat against the Japanese in August 1943, the Hellcat went on to serve as the principal US Navy fighter on board carrier decks until war's end. Despite its lethality in the air when ranged against the best Japanese fighters, the Hellcat still retained docile handling qualities around the carrier deck. Naval Aviators flying the Hellcat claimed in excess of 5,000 kills in the Pacific, and more than 300 pilots achieved ace status on the type. The majority of these victories took the form of A6M5 Zero-sens, the most-produced model of the final Mitsubishi fighter - some 6000 were built from late 1943 through to war's end. The A6M5 reached front-line units just as the Hellcat was making its combat debut, the new version of the Zero-sen being based on the previous A6M3 model but with modified flaps and ailerons and thickened wing skinning. It was only meant to be an interim design pending the arrival of the A7M Reppu and J2M Raiden. However, terminal development problems with the former and technical issues with the latter meant that the A6M5, and re-engined limited run A6M7 (150 built), had to hold the line through to September 1945. By now badly outclassed by the Hellcat, literally thousands of Zero-sens fell victim to US Navy fighter squadrons in the final years of the war.
In 1948 the USAF, Marine Corps and US Navy were concentrating on converting over to an all-jet force. When the Korean War started in June 1950, the USAF had built up a sizable jet force in the Far East, while the US Navy was in the early stages of getting F9F Panthers operational as replacements for its piston-engined F8F Bearcats. At about this time, the Marine Corps had also begun using the Panthers in limited numbers. Operating from aircraft carriers off the Korean coast, F9Fs helped stop the North Korean invasion within two weeks of the communists crossing the 38th Parallel. The Panthers, escorting carrier-based AD Skyraiders and F4U Corsairs, penetrated as far north as Pyongyang, where they bombed and strafed targets that the North Koreans thought were out of range. The Panthers also took the battle all the way to the Yalu River, long before the MiG-15s became a threat. The F9F's basic tasking was aerial supremacy and combat air patrols, but they also excelled in bombing and strafing attacks. The Marine Corps, with its two Panther squadrons, was also involved in close air support and interdiction near the frontlines. There were a total of 32 Panther squadron deployments during the war, along with several special detachments that operated the F9F-2/5P unarmed photo-reconnaissance versions.
From the inside flap An allegorical story of World War I set in the trenches in France and dealing ostensibly with a mutiny in a French regiment.
This novel won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1955. An allegorical story of World War I, set in the trenches in France and dealing ostensibly with a mutiny in a French regiment, it was originally considered a sharp departure for Faulkner. Recently it has come to be recognized as one of his major works and an essential part of the Faulkner oeuvre. Faulkner himself fought in the war, and his descriptions of it "rise to magnificence," according to The New York Times, and include, in Malcolm Cowley's words, "some of the most powerful scenes he ever conceived." From the Paperback edition.