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 The first book to focus on the A-4's Vietnam service, this title is supported by previously unpublished colour and black and white photographs with 30 detailed colour profiles.
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.