I have read the book “Fight of the Intruder” It was a good read. The author has another book about flying a Stearman around the USA. The name escapes at this time. That was also an excellent book!
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Flight of the Intruder
Jake felt the engines spooling up and saw the catapult officer twirling his fingers in the “full power” signal, the crewmen scurrying from under his machine, and the bow of the ship slowly rising and falling to the rhythm of the sea. He anticipated the tremendous thrill when the cat would accelerate his plane to flying speed in two and a half seconds.
Jake howled in exultation as the Intruder swept down the catapult into the clean salt air, a banshee wail on the ICS that caused Virgil Cole to examine him with a critical eye when they were airborne. Jake made a slight turn to the left to clear the bow, then nursed the laden bomber up to 500 feet where it wallowed slightly as the flaps and slats retracted.
He kept the Intruder at 500 feet – as specified by the visual flight rules (VFR) departure procedure – until the TAG AN indicated seven miles from the ship; then he soared left and threaded his way upward.
– from Flight of the Intruder (1986) by Stephen Coonts
Author info (from Wikipedia ): Stephen Coonts grew up in Buckhannon, West Virginia, a small coal-mining town, and earned a B.A. degree in political science at West Virginia University in 1968.
He entered the Navy the following year and flew an A-6 Intruder medium attack plane during the Vietnam War, where he served on two combat cruises aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65).
He accumulated 1600 hours in the A-6 Intruder and earned a number of Navy commendations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Photo info “VA-65 A-6A Intruder NL-403” VA-65 Tigers A-6A Intruder NL-403 being readied for launch from the USS Constellation, 22 February 1966. Photographer unknown. Source – G. Verver, www.flickr.com/photos/skyhawkpc/
Flight of the Intruder is available from Amazon here: goo.gl/7Pbnlk
I first read this novel, in hardcover form, on the aircraft carrier USS Lexington (AVT-16) in 1988. While at sea, I would venture up to the port side of the superstructure on occasion and watch Grumman A-6 Intruders trap and launch. I’ll never forget the sights and sounds, especially during night operations. The Navy retired the A-6, in service since 1963, in 1997.
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