Author(s): Jerry W. Cook
Once a fighter pilot, always a fighter pilot. The old adage epitomizes Jerry Cook, who spent 28 years at the controls of Air Force jets, including some 400 hours flying F-4 Phantoms on combat missions over Vietnam. Here is an unflinching account of his experiences--alternately poignant and side-splitting, always extraordinarily honest and compelling.
Cook gives you a rare insiders glimpse into the world of flyings elite, describing the rigorous training required to become an Air Force fighter pilot and revealing the true nature of men thought of as swaggering, larger-than-life top guns. Youll meet flesh-and-blood human beings who feel all the fears and misgivings you would expect of people facing death almost daily.
Cook also whisks you along on heart-stopping combat missions. Fly with him in Air Force F-4 Phantoms over enemy territory dodging shrapnel, missiles, and other aircraft.
Along the way, youll get an eye-opening look at one of the most tumultous eras in U.S. history--as seen through the eyes of men who risked their lives for a cause that threatened to tear a nation apart.
Brig. Gen. Jerry W. Cook, USAFR, Ret., has been flying for more than thirty-eight years. After ten years in the U.S. Air Force, he left in 1967 to fly for Pan American World Airways. Cook flew for sixteen years with the Arkansas Air National Guard, retiring as a brigadier general in 1986. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is a corporate pilot for Stephens Group, Inc.
Acknowledgments Introduction Kid's Dream Where do I sign? Welcome to the Air Force. Now, forward march! Finally, airplanes God's country The boss's daughter The Honor Code Merry Christmas The Honor Code, again Descend lower Aaa-haaa, San Antoine! Number one? Chase me back to town Jets Timing is everything Mississippi Luftwaffe What about my eyes? Sabre I wonder where in the world we're goin'? Get your kicks on Route 66 Laredo by the sea I'm your instructor: I'm here to learn. Explosure decompression What next? Wanna trade? If you haven't done it yet, you will The great white hunter Time kills? Fear of flying Failure, fun and higher learning The screaming mimi Fine feathered friends? True class Instructor follies Still a mystery One a day in Tampa Bay School days A lifesaver, a killer Receiver ready! There will be no accidents! Ours is not to question why! (Don't bother politicians with facts) Armed Forces Day Mom's max performance club Go get him How many windows do KC-135s have? One tough bird What do you mean you fell out? Air defense of the what? Fighter pilots ain't grown men! Needless nightmare Like a farmer, outstanding in his field Say your type aircraft Missiles are supposed to be deadly! (for the other guy) In the line of duty Almost six Go west, young man, about ten thousand miles Where the sun rises first on America Bombers, bombers, everywhere: Thank goodness, I never had to fly one of the damn things! Welcome to the war Which ones are the bad guys? Sidewinder Seagulls and paper tigers Shot down, by a nurse Number twenty-five Surf's up Through the cracks Jam lucky Parts is parts! Come on baby, we can do it! The Silver Star, posthumously Ladies and gentlemen, on your left... Next time, use the bomb! What tree? The race is on Small world, isn't it? Rank has its problems also I can't do this! Guardian angel? Was it fate? Quit leaving this ____ on my runway! Another day, another way A mind is a terrible thing! Get it out, get it out! The thud, the brunt The longest day Wayne's Waterlook (almost) A most unlikely savior The elephants versus the ants "White Anchor, break left!" Missiles (useless as teats on a boar hog?) Sometimes! Famous, almost (infamous, so close) Politicians and war (a deadly combination) Why me? Lucky number About the author