Cover image for Scream of eagles : the creation of Top Gun and the U.S. air victory in Vietnam
Scream of eagles : the creation of Top Gun and the U.S. air victory in Vietnam
Wilcox, Robert K.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : J. Wiley, [1990]

Physical Description:
viii, 295 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
VG94.5.N65 W55 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
VG94.5.N65 W55 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
VG94.5.N65 W55 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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We had the best planes, the most sophisticated weapons technology, and by far, the heftiest military budget in the free world. They had a "peasant airforce" equipped mainly with inferior Russian MiGs. So why weren"t we winning the air war over Vietnam? The first true account of the Navy"s fighter pilots in Vietnam and how the creation of Top Gun changed the course of the Vietnam air war.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This readable popular aviation volume covers the origins and history of the U.S. Navy's Top Gun air-to-air combat school, made famous by the movie of the same name. The school was founded during the Vietnam War in light of unsatisfactory scores in air-to-air combat. Since then it has been the backbone of the navy's training in this field. With its well-told anecdotes, this is a useful history and a feast for fighter buffs. ~--Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

Wilcox's gripping narrative describes how a handful of Navy fighter pilots established a special school called Top Gun at the Miramar Air Station in California in 1968 and virtually revolutionized air combat training. Top Gun doctrine was fully validated when Randy Cunningham and his radar interceptor officer, William Driscoll, became the first American aces of the Vietnam war. By the time of the U.S. pullout in 1973, Top Gun's kill ratio was 12 to 1, compared with the Air Force's ``dismal'' 2 to 1. Wilcox ( The Shroud ) contends that Top Gun training forged the only clear-cut victory America won during the 1965-1973 war. The book features breathtaking accounts of aerial duels--Wilcox is very good at describing the three-dimensional world of dogfighting. His account of the school's ad hoc origins and the effort to develop ways of meeting the MiG challenge in Vietnam is equally exciting. Screaming Eagles ranks with the best of the books about air combat. Photos. Military Book Club dual main selection. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The F-4 Navy Fighter Weapons School (nicknamed ``Top Gun'') was founded in March 1969 to train Phantom jet pilots to better fight Soviet-supplied MiG-17s in Vietnam. While no book can match the electrifying big-screen flight sequences of Top Gun the movie, this account capably describes the creation of the school at Miramar Air Station, California, and the combat tactics taught there. It shows soldiers undergoing dangerous training for a deadly game, with a pilot a month killed, often in a ball of fire. Much of the narrative depicts gripping combat action over the skies of Vietnam, where pilots seeking to push to ``the edge of the envelope'' were frustrated by rules of engagement. Recommended.-- Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.