A riveting, personal account and a new standard in the literature of military aviation. HANGAR FLYING is the only history of its kind, describing and evaluating the use of air power, historically and at present, through the lens of a seasoned combat pilot, Air Force official, and former member of the joint chiefs of staff.
General Merrill A. "Tony" McPeak was the 14th chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. HANGAR FLYING is a memoir of his early service in fighter squadrons, a story about military flying in the tumultuous 1960s. The book may be regarded as a primary source for understanding what happened in front-line aviation units when the Berlin Wall went up, during the Bay of Pigs Invasion or the Cuban missile crisis, at the height of our presence in South Vietnam, or just day-to-day during the long facedown with the Soviet Union. Surely only a handful of military officers had a ringside seat for so much of the Cold War, in so many of its settings.
HANGAR FLYING is the first book of a three-volume series. The second title will take General McPeak through the 1970s and 80s, during which he served in a series of increasingly important staff and command positions and rose to four-star rank. The final volume will cover his four-year period as the Air Force's 14th Chief of Staff.
|Publisher:||Lost Wingman Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||7 MB|
About the Author
General Merrill A. (Tony) McPeak entered the Air Force in 1957 as a Distinguished Graduate of the San Diego State College ROTC program. A career fighter pilot, he spent two years with the Air Force's elite aerobatic team, the Thunderbirds, performing before millions of people in nearly 200 official air shows in the US and overseas. He flew 269 combat missions in Vietnam. Senior leadership assignments included command of the 20th Fighter Wing in NATO, the Twelfth Air Force (and concurrently US Southern Command Air Forces), and the Pacific Air Forces. He was Air Force chief during a period of very active US involvement overseas, including Operation Desert Storm. While leading the Air Force, he conceived and executed the most extensive reorganization in its history, creating a service better suited to meet the nation's defense needs. In 1992, San Diego State University honored General McPeak with its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1995, George Washington University gave him its Distinguished Alumni Award, the George. He was among the initial seven inductees to the Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, New York City, and in 2008 was a national co-chairman of Obama for President. In 2010, President Obama appointed General McPeak to the American Battle Monuments Commission. The Commissioners subsequently elected him Chairman.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
General McPeak's "Hangar Flying" is a thrill ride written by a real-life American hero. His bird's eye view of a very young United States Air Force, The Cold War, The Thunderbirds and Vietnam make this first of a trilogy must-reading for the aviator, airman, anyone who has flown, or anyone who ever wanted to fly.
"Hangar Flying" by General Merrill "Tony" McPeak is not a lofty lecture about his days as Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force; nor ISs it a tell all book about higher power military politics in the Pentagon. Rather, the book's title is truth in advertising in its purest form. "Hangar Flying" for the uninitiated is a euphemism aviators use to describe discussions---fueled or non fueled by alcohol---during which pilots or crew members describe memorable experiences in the air. These discussions can be educational, cautionary, inspirational or just plain entertaining depending on your viewpoint. They should not be confused with "war stories" which tend to increase in hyperbole with each telling, often burnishing the image of the teller in the process. There is plenty of hangar flying to go around in the book, mostly of the educational and inspirational kind. "Hangar Flying" is divided into roughly three parts. The first part is mostly auto biographical; where he describes his modest upbringing and his long tortuous journey through the Cold War and Vietnam Conflict to the top of his profession. The writing style in this section, as well as in most of the book, is modest and self deprecating; sometimes pointing to errors in judgment as a young officer that did little to enhance his image as a future Chief of Staff. The second part of the book will appeal to those who watched and admired the skill and precision flying of the Air Force aerial demonstration team, The Thunderbirds. General McPeak flew with the team in 1967 and 1968. In this section he takes care to describe all you ever wanted know about The Thunderbirds---the personality of each team member and how they worked together; the intricacies of each maneuver and how it was performed; and the rigorous training required to keep the team at the top of their game. He also provides ample proof that the flying in the shows not only looked dangerous, but was dangerous. Fascinating stuff, to say the least. The last part of the book describes General McPeak's tour in Vietnam. He arrived at Phu Cat AB, RVN in 1969, and left Vietnam approximately a year later as part of an ongoing force withdrawal; flying over 250 combat missions. At one point, he was the commander of Detachment One, 37th Tactical Fighter Wing, most commonly referred to as the "Mistys" after their call sign in the theater. Misty pilots performed an extremely dangerous mission, flying high speed, low altitude, visual reconnaissance in the two place, F-100F Super Sabre along the Ho Chi Min Trail; identifying and directing air strikes against military traffic found along the road. It was so dangerous that 25% of the crews were shot down performing the mission. In the last few chapters of the book, the author makes an interesting and telling change in his narrative. While moving along the time line of his combat experiences he begins to interweave observations about the application of air power during the war and how it was limited by interference from the highest level of the government; the tangled and ineffective chain of command within and outside the theater; and the lack of up to date weaponry---most specifically smart bombs. After summarizing his thoughts on the war in the final chapter, the book ends rather abruptly with the following quote: "The war was always the South's to win and it couldn't. It was always ours to l
From his less than gung-ho entry into the Air Force through his many missions in Vietnam, Gen. McPeak tells a fascinating story with great insight. Told through a wonderful conversational style, he vacillatess between humor and dead seriousness, egotism and humbleness and frustration mixed with pride while serving his country in what is surely a unique personal journey in the history of air power. Probably the best technical pilot of his generation on Earth, his methodical growth as both a pilot and an officer is meticulously documented and extremely entertaining. I have given "Hangar Flying" as gifts to many veteran friends of mine and have had nothing but great feedback.