Thud Pilot! The author Victor Vizcarra flew his F-105 Thunderchief during the early days of the Vietnam war when air combat started to become more intensive. The F-105 Thunderchief (Thud) was a fighter bomber and was the most important bomber of the USAF in the first years of the war with North Vietnam.
Its primary role was to bomb strategic targets at low level like bridges, railroads used by the enemy’s and SAM sites. First hand we follow the missions of pilot Vizcarra with its successes and failures and the many narrow escapes he encountered. In that period the squadrons had to develop their own tactics how the best way was to attack and destroy targets and due to the insane ROE’s directed by the United States politicians the missions became very dangerous and ended often disastrous.
As reader we share his emotions during the preparations, the missions itself, the refueling sequence and the many narrow escapes that often developed. He describes his fears and his thoughts during the deployments and we are with him during the SAM attacks and the heavy triple-A fire he endures. Many times he returns with a heavily damaged plane and several times emergency diversions were necessary due to damage or malfunctions that arose. One time he had to bail out over enemy territory which resulted in a hairraising rescue operation.
It is all firsthand story telling of a jet pilot that fought in the most dangerous period of the Vietnam war and the stories are highlighted with route maps of his missions. The books contains also many black and white photos most of them from the author with pictures of fellow pilots, battle damage and maps of the battle ground.
He is using pilots language and despite that it is nice and thrilling reading when we accompany him on his missions. One small word of critics however: I am missing the list with the explanation of the abbreviations used in the military air force which is normally published in the end of the book. But his story telling of his flight adventures makes purchasing this book worth your money.