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From the Publisher
"The author flew the F-4 Phantom II fighter plane on numerous missions during the Vietnam War and he here retrospectively narrates the most significant events he experienced during the war (almost all combat missions), the stereotypical jet pilots bravado perhaps tempered a bit by time. Occasional thoughts about the wider context of the war intrude from time to time and he differs from many of his military colleagues in now believing that the US failed to recognize the limits of its power in Vietnam and that the war could not have been won even if the military had been able to fight the war with no limitations."
Reference & Research Book News
"Mike McCarthy's Phantom Reflections: The Education of an American Fighter Pilot in Vietnam is a well-written memoir that centers on the author's 1968-69 tour of duty with the USAF's 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron (aka Satan's Angels) flying out of Ubon Royal Thai Air Base….He also shows well how his thoughts about the Vietnam War changed."
The VVA Veteran
"[A] welcome addition to any aviation buff's bookshelf….The memoir includes many humorous and serious accounts of what life was like during this turbulent yet transformational period in Air Force history….What makes this account stand out from other Vietnam there I was…-type memoirs, is its jargon free, easy-to-understand explanations of air combat techniques, strategies, and formations….There is a welcome absence of combat glamorization that gives the book an aura of integrity. Pre-mission feelings of fear and anxiety are accurately portrayed, and the gripping narrative includes the retelling of a close call with an enemy surface-to-air missile that exploded mere meters away from McCarthy's aircraft….[I]t is addictively engrossing and a must read for anyone interested in a close-up view of the Vietnam air war."
Air Power History