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qRoger Ball! is a magnificent read about a great and distinguished life well lived. John Monroe Smith is a living legend in Naval aviation: an all-American boy living his dream, a dream of becoming the best fighter pilot and carrier aviator in the Navy. He succeeded in being the best in a way that only one with unbridled passion, fierce commitment, boundless energy, unconditional dedication and relentless resolve can experience.q -Ed Allen, Rear Admiral, USN (Retired) In the wake of the hard lessons of the Vietnam War, a pantheon of committed naval aviators struggled valiantly to modernize fighter aircraft and overhaul tactics. It was a seemingly titanic task marked by political intrigue, doctrinal apoplexy, and sadly, petty politics. This is the personal story of one of those naval aviators, Captain John Monroe qHawkq Smith. It chronicles his growth as a naval officer, his seasoning as a fighter pilot, and his hardening as a commanding officer. It tells of the raw courage of naval aviators and captures the visceral loyalty, unswerving commitment, and the unsinkable camaraderie that is the brotherhood of naval aviation. Roger Ball! is a seven-g, heart-in-the-throat story of the very unforgiving profession of naval aviation.THE ODYSSEY OF JOHN MONROE aquot;HAWKaquot; SMITH NAVY FIGHTER PILOT Donald E. Auten. She steamed over the horizon, out of sight of the Vietnamese leadership but never far from mind. ... an F-14 Tomcat operational test pilot in Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Foura€”qualified him to fly the F-14As assigned to both Fighter Squadron ... the mission brief and were headed to maintenance control to review the aircraft data book for Bullet 205, one of twelve F-14As assigned to VF-2.

Author:Donald E. Auten
Publisher:iUniverse - 2008-10-17


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