And a quote which I want to reproduce in full. Let there be no doubt about it, running along the treetops at knots in a flight of four Fs loaded with high explosive ordinance may be the most exciting thing a man can do with his pants on. You've got the most impressive piece of machinery on the planet strapped to your ass, and it responds to your every wish.
The throttle controls the beast's heartbeat, and the slightest movement of the stick directs your flight path. You're the Lord of Evil perched on your rocket-powered throne, coming to deliver justice. It's exhilarating and thrilling, frightening and almost orgasmic. But it isn't necessarily tactically sound. There's also a lot of good meat here on the air war, and the fractal fuckedupness that was Vietnam.
A policy that no pilot would be forced to fly a second tour until everyone had flown one, meant that Rasimus's hot, mean, and crazy fighting Lieutenants were replaced by Majors who'd last flown transports, or worse a desk at the Pentagon. McNamara's chess game This book explains clearly why the US Military was never given a chance to win. Mar 07, Austin rated it really liked it. Very readable and descriptive in a way that leaves a real impression.
Mar 08, Scott rated it really liked it Shelves: A great read and exciting. I really enjoyed this book and the author has the rare talent to draw the reader into the action and make you part of it. Books on the Vietnam War can be tedious reading. As a professional military officer for over twenty years and as someone who owns a rather extensive library of military history, I've read my fair share of books on Vietnam and have often found that it was only my interest in the subject matter that kept me reading rather than any enjoyment of the writing itself.
Ed Rasimus' excellent book When Thunder Rolled has been a notable exception to that experience. Rasimus' book is a memoir of his experie Books on the Vietnam War can be tedious reading. Rasimus' book is a memoir of his experience flying the F Thunderchief during operation "Rolling Thunder," the first real air campaign over North Vietnam. Beginning with Rasimus' transition training in the F in the spring of , the book focuses on his experiences flying his combat missions over North Vietnam from May to November It is written from a first person perspective and not only details the events Rasimus endured but also presents the way he saw them through the eyes of a "green" lieutenant flying his first fighter and engaging in the bloodiest conflict in which the US has participated since the end of the Second World War.
It was a fast-moving, interesting read that kept me engaged from the beginning to the end and didn't read like it was history at all. After reading When Thunder rolled, I understand that reverence and endearment much better - even all these years later. Now if you're one of the many who has strong political views about the Vietnam War, either pro or con, the good news here is that those views don't really matter when it comes to enjoying the book.
While Rasimus hints at the political frustrations of the war, he focuses, rightly in my opinion, on the human cost of the war from the pilot's perspective. In the final chapter of the of the book he writes: Karl was our only loss, and that was on his second tour. He faults "the colonels and generals" with being more worried about their own careers than doing the right thing and taking care of their people. An opinion I heartily agree with and in fact, a phenomenon that hadn't abated by the time I made the decision to retire from the USAF in If you're looking for a book that puts you inside the cockpit of a fighter and inside the mind of a warrior over North Vietnam, you can't do much better than "When Thunder Rolled.
Mar 21, Eric rated it it was amazing. Imagine waking up every day, hours before dawn, going to a briefing to cover primary and secondary attack plans in case the target is socked-in , going over maps, weather, recon photos, radio frequencies, and call signs of the day.
Getting a g-suit, survival gear, spare radios, and a parachute strapped on you. Mid-air refuel over Laos, and then through holes in monsoon weather to the target area, screaming at knots over the jungle, where the sky is exploding in flak, tracers, and SAMs snake up into the sky on curly white tails of rocket exhaust, with the sole purpose to destroy you. Spot the target, pop up, roll over inverted.
When Thunder Rolled: An F-105 Pilot over North Vietnam
Refueling in mid-air again, and returning home to Thailand. Jun 07, Ben Cook rated it really liked it Shelves: I liked this book, not as much as his second one Palace Cobra but I still recommend it! Raz has a way of writing that makes for easy and interesting reading whether you have never flown an airplane or are a full boar fighter pilot. That's a tough line to walk. He does a good job of showing what it was like as a young Lt going to war trying to balance his fear with the responsibility he has to his brothers in the Thud.
Raz's books seem to be more about the lifestyle than the events, which I thi I liked this book, not as much as his second one Palace Cobra but I still recommend it! Raz's books seem to be more about the lifestyle than the events, which I think is a fresh take on war books that I like very much. He mentions several times the difference between fighter pilots and people who fly fighters- I've been saying this for years and didn't know I was copying Raz! Mar 25, Kyle Hajek rated it really liked it. Not quite as good as Palace Cobra, partly because it's his first book and he's much less polished as a writer.
The tension is much, much higher here, though, given the insane loss rates of F pilots. Quite a few people die very real deaths here, which makes the pictures halfway through the book a real punch in the gut, when you can put faces to the names of the people whose deaths you just read about. The missions are explained well, as is the day-to-day living aspect around the base, but the Not quite as good as Palace Cobra, partly because it's his first book and he's much less polished as a writer.
The missions are explained well, as is the day-to-day living aspect around the base, but the sense of time is a bit shaky and it feels like there's pretty big jumps from time to time, with a month vanishing without notice, or a week or three sneaking away. One thing's for sure, though, F's ain't got nothin' on F-4's. That's just a fact. This is basically a more eloquent version of 'Thud Ridge'. The differences being besides writing styles is that 'Thud Ridge' was written in real time, as everything was happening, with transcripts from recordings, making it a lot more visceral and immediate.
That in no way detracts from the book. In fact, I'm of the opinion that both should be read in order to really get a feel for what the Thud drivers went through. Both persp This is basically a more eloquent version of 'Thud Ridge'. View freely available titles: Book titles OR Journal titles. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.
Project MUSE - When Thunder Rolled: An F Pilot over North Vietnam (review)
Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. My father was stationed at McConnell when F training was at its peak and it was a good tie in to that. Surprised that the author was less than impressed with the McConnell gang. I can remember some losses right here in Kansas at that time. To me, this book and "Phantom pilot over Vietnam" by Trotti are the best of the crowd.
As an airplane mechanic myself, good to see some folks appreciating all our hard work too! An honest autobiography of a young man who worked and sacfriced to be a fighter pilot for a nation that happened to be at peace. During flight training the Vietnam War broke out.
- When Thunder Rolled: An F-105 Pilot over North Vietnam by Ed Rasimus.
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Uncerrtain of his ability to carry out the assignment he worked so hard to earn, he honorably placed one foot in front of the other as he traveled to South East Asia, confronting the fear of his own mortality. You will feel like you are in the cockpit as the author describes how he grew into a combat veteran while fighting to protect those with whom he flew. This inspiring story describes what it was like to fly combat missions to those of us who are earth bound and safe at home.
I've read it three times and heartily give this book five stars. These are five star reads as well. Raz has done a fine job in telling the story of his missions tour in Vietnam in with the incredible F Thunderchief. He brings you along the ride from the US to SEA, how he gets a rather quick introduction into combat flying and then thrown into flying dangerous missions over North Vietnam.
You are taken along many missions and feel right there in the cockpit with him, flying the dive-bombing while evading AAA and SAMs. This is a vivid description and a fine fighter pilot memoir, written in a casual and catchy way, so you will probably have some trouble putting it down once you started! Sadly, he also tells us the story about sending the wrong airplane with sometimes ill prepared pilots into an unknown battlefield, which explains at least in part the many losses the F faced in SEA.
If there is one thing I am missing is more, this book is over way too soon.
I would have liked to hear more details and stories, but probably the long time between his deployment and the writing of the book resulted in many details lost forever. Both volumes should be seen as one, although they can be read separately. Overall, an enjoyable read that I can fully recommend. And if you want to know about the mustache, you will have to read the book!
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