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Clashes: Air Combat over North Vietnam, 1965-1972
Clashes: Air Combat over North Vietnam, 1965-1972
by Marshall L. Michel III
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.30
23 used & new from $15.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Sounded like a chain saw, January 5, 2016
Air Force fighter pilots were required to have visual confirmation of their air-to-air target before engaging. Soooo ... by the time they got close enough to identify the target, they were too close to use a missile, so they had to use the 20mm gun. BUT, you only needed a couple of hits to do serious damage to the target.

And if they were on a bombing mission, then what were they supposed to do? Basically the Air Force fighter pilots were screwed.

A couple of the F-105 pilots described to me how they were chasing a MiG-21 and the thing literally swapped ends and came back right through them. Crazy stuff.

By coincidence, later on I was at a gunnery range on a design project site visit and also visiting a friend when F-4s with 20mm came into the ground target. A one second burst and the ground exploded. Sounded like a chain saw. Amazing.

The Hunter Killers: The Extraordinary Story of the First Wild Weasels, the Band of Maverick Aviators Who Flew the Most Dangerous Missions of the Vietnam War
The Hunter Killers: The Extraordinary Story of the First Wild Weasels, the Band of Maverick Aviators Who Flew the Most Dangerous Missions of the Vietnam War
by Dan Hampton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.86
97 used & new from $5.42

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and extraordinary!, December 20, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was at Korat during the time period when the QRC-160 jamming pods were introduced. As Dan discusses in a quote from then Colonel Chairsell, those pods made a HUGE difference.

We were losing a plane a day prior to those QRC-160 pods. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Afterwards, we went six weeks without a loss, as I recall.

The QRC concept was interesting. One of my friends was in charge of administering that program. Quick Response Contract. A contractor would be called in and they would discuss a project. They discussion went up on a "white board". The terms were photographed with a Polaroid camera. THAT was the actual contract! And the contractor had to deliver the hardware in 30 days! It was very successful. Recently I viewed a video of an Army colonel who discussed the current program and the contract discussions could drag out for THREE YEARS! Maybe there is still a 30-day QRC program "out there", but I don't know. My friend died a couple of years ago.

Anyway, this book took me back to the bad old days; I really relived what was going on back then.

This book is outstanding and extraordinary!

Please buy this book; it explains everything. And bring with you a LOT of those little stickies to mark places of special significance to you.

I will come back and write more when I get a chance.

I apologize for writing so much, but I could not deal with our senior officials deliberately sabotaging the war effort.

The other day I got a Christmas card in which I was notified that one of my former work-mates from Korat had died. So, I wanted to get this in before I fade away. He had been at both Korat and at NKP.

One of my hootch-mates was tasked with filming a SAM actually killing an American fighter plane. He hitched rides in the back seat of any plane that could accommodate him, that had not yet been equipped with Wild Weasel equipment. He got the footage which became part of the film "There Is A Way". [There was a sort of play on words ... as in "there is no way" to survive this.] I saw it when I returned to the States. Afterwards I bought a copy of the film, but they had deleted my friend's footage. Recently, I saw a post from a fellow who said that it was his father who was the photographer. So I guess he survived the war. [I found "There Is A Way" on YouTube ... and the poster who said his dad did most of the filming was named Tarpley ... so check it out.]

If you get interested in the role of the F-105's in the Vietnam War, please read books by Billy Sparks and Ed Rasimus. Both men survived the war, but died young ... probably from the acute stress they experienced. You can visit YouTube and view Ed's burial service at Arlington which includes many many insights; we were the same age within three months.

There was also a serious "disconnect" from reality ... when both enlisted men and officers arrived and demanded that we use stateside peacetime training rules in a combat situation. In fact, when I was seriously pushed to do make-work I told them that if they could find the rules, I would do it and it turned out that even under peacetime rules, it was optional. I was working 18-hours a day, 7 days a week, and these REMF's were working 9-5. There was one bizarre day when a very senior full colonel [he had his eagles embroidered on his 1505 collars] picked me out arbitrarily and said I would be reporting to the Wing Commander [Col. Sams]; I had no idea who he was because I was at the bottom of the food chain. So, I reported as ordered to the "5-oclock standup" ... seemed like 400 pilots in stadium seating ... and witnessed the daily results of that day's flying. It was all Top Secret. And I was blown away by our losses. And it went on and on and on, very bad day after very bad day, week after week. So, when I worked to get things done quickly and ran afoul of the state-side mentality, I felt as if I had one foot on the dock and the other on the boat. One fellow brought charges against me; in the end, the IG arranged for him to be sent home on the first plane out the next day.

Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara ... [the "S" stood for "Strange" ... check it out] ... apparently was totally confused as to why we did not win and the North Vietnamese did not quit after six months. He had planned on the war ending quickly. To ease his confusion, he ordered a review of all capital projects. So I had to visit a special office that was set up in Bangkok. Windows were covered over and the clerk-typist was a Major. So I spent a week writing up summaries. When I returned to Korat, I found that a newly arrived person had thrown out all of the Air Force Manuals that I needed to design projects because ... "you are not allowed to have a personal copy of Air Force Manuals". He had NO IDEA of what our mission was. I assigned a junior airman to play tennis with him on a daily basis. If I ever encountered any of these people back in the States, I might have brought treason charges against them.

A couple of years ago, in a hallway conversation, some retired GS-99 bureaucrat heard I had been at Korat and told me that the reason we lost the war was that our pilots used automobile names as call signs. I was incredulous and informed him that we also used the same take off times every day - 7am and 1pm - flew the same course, and altitude and airspeed - every day and often hit the same target - every day. He blanched; lost all his color; he had NO IDEA. Waboa. [Often, if a plane returned from the early strike with a good engine, they would pull off the tail and lay it on the ground, pull the engine and run it over to another 105 that was bombed up but had no engine and slap it in, and good to go.... ] I suspect that the NVA gunners didn't even need to aim; our times and refueling tracks were so consistent that all they had to do was point and shoot. They even had time for breakfast and lunch.

Same seminar. Standing around in a hallway waiting for the next session. Retired four-star USMC general. Asked him if he knew anything about what a former FAC described as Notams on a bulletin board announcing the targets for the next day's B-52 strikes. Yes, check the internet for Purple Dragon. I checked and sure enough; declassified; heavily redacted, but very readable.

Secretary McNamara sort of denied there even WAS a "Ho Chi Minh Trail" ... no, really ... so he ordered movies made of it. Seriously. Read SOG by John Plaster for details.

Toward the end of the book, the author discusses the proposed mining of Haiphong harbor. Well, some years ago, I shared an office with a Navy A-1 Skyraider pilot who had had the task of planning that exact operation. My friend stated flatly that if the U.S. had simply sown naval mines in Haiphong harbor, then the Vietnam War would have ended within 30 days because the Soviet/North Vietnamese supply of weapons and munitions would have run out. Freedom and Liberty would have triumphed. Instead, the U.S. continued to attack bridges made of 2x4's using hundred plane raids. We lost hundreds of planes and pilots and thousands of ground troops because our President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, insisted on inflicting tiny pinprick attacks with no net effect on the course of the war. President Johnson does not emerge from this looking like a leader, but rather looks like someone being led around by his nose. [Eventually President Nixon applied the mining of the harbor tactic, and it worked. Although Henry Kissinger gave away the store with his dancing backwards negotiating "strategy".] If you read "Three Sticks" by Bernard Fipps who flew A-4's for a written assessment.

Read also "The Eleven Days of Christmas".

Visit YouTube and look up "First In ... Last Out". Billy Sparks appears and there are discussions of the ridiculous rules of engagement ... you could fly over a NVA fighter base while the MiG's were taxiing out, but you couldn't attack them. You could see them unloading hundreds of SAM's from a ship in Haiphong harbor, but you couldn't attack ... you had to wait and take them one at a time in the air.

Dan Hampton included an aerial photo of Korat Air Base in the book. On east end, there is a new aircraft ramp under construction. That was for parking EC-121 elint airplanes ... old Connies rigged out to collect data from sensors dropped on the Ho Chi Minh trail. Of course, the NVA collected the sensors and relocated them. And a lot of the Connies crashed from age. But look up "BatCat" and they have a great Web site with plenty of photos of not only their areas but also of the F-105 activity. Igloo White.

The F-105 was designed to deliver nuclear weapons in Europe. It had a bomb bay. And it had four places on the wing to carry extra fuel tanks. Very fast airplane. NOT designed to carry regular bombs or missiles or to dog fight. But it was all we had. So they modified it. They put a fuel tank in the bomb bay. And installed a "hard point" under the fuselage to carry a rack that held a bunch of bombs. They put more racks on the four hard points under the wings. But there were only four hard points.

So they decided to put an air-to air-missile ... a "Sidewinder" ... on one of the hard points in case they had to dog fight. But they invented a rule of engagement ... you could not fight an enemy plane unless it attacked you first. No, really. [Oh, yeah, and you needed to make visual confirmation before engaging. Seriously. So you were too close to use a missile and had to use the gun.]

Then they invented the QRC-160 jammer pod to defeat enemy missile radar. That took another hard point.

And then Secretary of Defense McNamara demanded movie film of each mission to see where each bomb ended up. No, really. That took another hard point. AND we had to build a special laboratory to process the film.

Despite all the rules of engagement, our guys did manage to shoot down some enemy planes.

President Johnson said he did not want us shooting down any enemy planes. See Peter Davies' three books on the F-105.

And we could not attack them on the ground.

One pilot explained to me that Route Package Six which included the most heavily defended targets was so difficult that when you went there in a flight of four F-105's, one of you was guaranteed to be shot down. 25% attrition in one single mission. And you had to complete 100 missions. All four of you might be shot down, but at least one of you was not coming home.

One pilot pulled out of a dive bomb run on a "bridge" [a few 2x4's] and as he pulled out, he saw a SAM site right in front of him. He couldn't resist, so he switched to guns and hosed it down with 20mm. The whole site exploded with unprotected SAM's snaking around on the ground. BUT, HOWEVER, it was NOT an approved target, so his court-martial papers were waiting for him when he returned to base. He flew another mission the next day and apparently did not survive.

Rules of engagement apparently also included the rule that you were not permitted to attack a SAM site unless it attacked you first.

Which is how the Wild Weasels came about. Trolling for and enticing those SAM sites to turn on their radars.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2016 10:34 AM PST

Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet
Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet
by Alex J. Epstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: $5.50
31 used & new from $4.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Important read. But the type face and page size is/are just too darn small., October 26, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I like Mr. Epstein's message.

BUT the type face is just waayyy too small. And the page size is 5x8.

Very difficult to read.

And I like to put yellow stickies where there are important points.

But just can't do that on these tiny pages with tiny print.

I apologize for being harsh.

But I hope the author reads this and arranges for bigger pages and bigger print.

One Year After
One Year After
Offered by Audible, Inc. (US)

5.0 out of 5 stars Very realistic, but scary!!, October 20, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Excellent book!

Well written.

Great read!

Very realistic, but scary.

We need to take action to harden our electrical structure against EMP.

And, I am looking forward to when Mr. Forschen writes "Two Years After".

The F-101 Voodoo: An Illustrated History of McDonnell's Heavyweight Fighter
The F-101 Voodoo: An Illustrated History of McDonnell's Heavyweight Fighter
by Ronald Easley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $40.86
60 used & new from $38.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding high-quality description of the F-101, October 16, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love the format ... with many detailed lengthy "essays".

Outstanding photos, sketches, and high printing quality.

I'm hoping someone will treat the F-102 / F-106 the same way.

Being Nixon: A Man Divided
Being Nixon: A Man Divided
by Evan Thomas
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.42
90 used & new from $13.58

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The left has HATED Richard Nixon since he defeated both Alger Hiss and ..., August 30, 2015
The left has HATED Richard Nixon since he defeated both Alger Hiss and Helen Gahagen Douglas.

Hiss was arguably the second most important Soviet Mole in Washington [only second to Harry Dexter White].

Douglas was one of Lyndon Johnson's mistresses and possibly had close links to the Soviet Union.

Look these people up with the binocular of how much damage they wrought to the United States of America and how Nixon disrupted their plans.

Adios, America
Adios, America
by Ann Coulter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.79
117 used & new from $8.87

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is a war on women. And Coulter, in this book, describes it in great detail., August 3, 2015
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This review is from: Adios, America (Hardcover)
There is a war on women.

And Coulter, in this book, describes it in great detail.

My suggestion is to start reading this book on page 278 and then read forward ... toward the front of the book.

She is very graphic in her descriptions.

The book is not only divided into chapters, but also each chapter is divided into short sections. So reading toward the front is very easy.

In addition, periodically, when you take a break, jump into the notes.

Have a bunch of yellow stickies with you.

Her writing is very graphic and I can only take a small amount at a time.

Recommend this book highly.

Very intense.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 4, 2015 8:09 AM PDT

Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America
Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America
by Dana Loesch
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.93
93 used & new from $3.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dana Loesch's book, "Hands Off My Gun ...", is an example of the clearest writing I have ever seen., July 20, 2015
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Dana Loesch's book, "Hands Off My Gun ...", is an example of the clearest writing I have ever seen. It is excellent. And well researched, with the information presented in a way that readers can access easily for discussion purposes.

Make sure you have a large supply of yellow stickies so you can mark the passages that are of most interest to you.

Outstanding book!

No more back lifting Heavy Gas Can / Battery (4 AA) Power Fuel Transfer Pump w/ Non-Spill Auto-Stop Nozzle and Flexible Intake Hose
No more back lifting Heavy Gas Can / Battery (4 AA) Power Fuel Transfer Pump w/ Non-Spill Auto-Stop Nozzle and Flexible Intake Hose
Offered by SOJITEK
Price: $60.99
2 used & new from $59.99

5.0 out of 5 stars VERY easy to use!, June 17, 2015
VERY easy to use!

No lifting. 5 ft tall wife loves it.

Made in Korea. NOT made in China.

Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs
Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs
by Michelle Malkin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.91
138 used & new from $0.99

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roads, railroads, and canals were privately built. Mr. Obama has no clue., May 30, 2015
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Outstanding chapter about Tesla!

Before there were roads, there were railroads ... built by loggers and miners.

The highways were built by farmers. And then there were toll roads.

Before highways and railroads, there were canals ... built by private subscription.

Both Obama and Elizabeth Warren were wrong.

Those two have no clue.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 2, 2015 4:00 AM PDT

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