Captain Hook: A Pilot's Tragedy and Triumph in the Vietnam War

Captain Hook: A Pilot's Tragedy and Triumph in the Vietnam War

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by Wynn F. Foster
     
 

On 23 July 1966 Wynn Foster was flying his 163rd combat mission of the Vietnam War when antiaircraft artillery hit his A-4 Skyhawk and severed his right arm at the elbow. Bleeding profusely, his still-gloved hand lying on the starboard console, Foster flew his plane out over the Tonkin Gulf and ejected. As recounted for the first time in this book, Foster's story of… See more details below

Overview

On 23 July 1966 Wynn Foster was flying his 163rd combat mission of the Vietnam War when antiaircraft artillery hit his A-4 Skyhawk and severed his right arm at the elbow. Bleeding profusely, his still-gloved hand lying on the starboard console, Foster flew his plane out over the Tonkin Gulf and ejected. As recounted for the first time in this book, Foster's story of his injury and rescue is spellbinding. But Captain Hook is more than a description of an air casualty. It is an honest insider's look at naval aviation during the early Vietnam War years. Foster tells of his experiences in 1965-66 as executive officer and commanding officer of VA-163, stationed aboard the USS Oriskany, including the shoot down of James Stockdale's A-4. Describing the people he worked with and led, he details their frustrations and despair as well as their moments of joy and camaraderie. Foster also provides an incisive evaluation of the medical care he received after his own ordeal, and explains how his aggressive response to his life-altering injury threw him into conflict with his care providers and officers and bureaucrats in the Navy's hierarchy. Confident that he could continue to be of service to the Navy, he embarked on a long legal battle to remain on active duty, finally winning the right to complete his naval career. Promoted to captain and awarded the call sign "Captain Hook," he made two subsequent deployments to the Western Pacific. Foster's case is important because he was willing to test society's preconceptions about the handicapped, and because he was willing to test his own limits. His ultimate success provides an uplifting ending to a fascinating story and stands as a testament to the indomitability of a positive, never-say-die spirit.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781557502568
Publisher:
Naval Institute Press
Publication date:
11/28/1992
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.04(d)

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