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Once known as the "Last of the Gunfighters", the Vought F-8 Crusader has
since become a legend in the histories of the US and French navies, as well as a
scourge in the skies over North Vietnam in the late 1960s! "Crusader!" is a
vital oral history of one of the most controversial fighter planes in carrier
aviation. A key to the authenticity of this story are the author's personal
interviews with sixteen of the seventeen living Crusader pilots who became MiG
killers in the Vietnam air war. His analysis of their aerial engagements over
North Vietnam from 1965 to 1973 contains some startling surprises, as well as a
validation of many of the tactical lessons learned from World War II and Korea.
"Crusader!" also contains personal accounts by F-8 speed record holders such as
US Marine Corps Major (now Senator) John Glenn and Captains Bob Dose and "Duke"
Windsor. Other aviation records held by the Crusader, (not so enviable) are
told, in anecdotal form, for the first time by the author, an F-8 driver and
participant in some of them! Colorful, and sometimes humorous, accounts of
events involving the F-8 and "Crusader Drivers" abound in this chronicle of
carrier aviation covering the three decades when this remarkable airplane was an
important element of the US Navy's carrier strike forces. Rear Admiral Paul T
Gillcrist commanded a fleet Crusader squadron, then a carrier air wing and
finally, as a flag officer, became wing commander for all Pacific Fleet fighter
squadrons. During his fleet squadron command he completed three carrier
deployments to the Tonkin Gulf and flew 167 combat missions in the Crusader for
which he was awarded seventeen combat decorations.
  • AUTHOR: Gillcrist, P
  • FORMAT: 288pp 200+ col/Bw 280x215 Hb
  • Code: 25428

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