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From F-4 Phantom to A-10 Warthog (Hardback)

Memoirs of a Cold War Fighter Pilot

Aviation Memoirs Cold War

By Col Steven K Ladd
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 320
Illustrations: 32
ISBN: 9781526761248
Published: 30th September 2020

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Fighter pilots! Images of Baron Manfred von Richthofen and Eddie Rickenbacker in the Great War, Johnnie Johnson, Robert Stanford Tuck and Richard Bong in the Second World War, or Robin Olds in Vietnam, all spring to mind. Volumes have been written about them, past and present. Understandably, most of these revolve around the skill, cunning and bravery that characterizes this distinctive band of brothers, but there are other dimensions to those who take to the skies to do battle that have not been given the emphasis they deserve – until now.

You do not have to be an aviation aficionado to enjoy Colonel Steve Ladd’s fascinating personal tale, woven around his 28-year career as a fighter pilot. This extremely engaging account follows a young man from basic pilot training to senior command through the narratives that define a unique ethos. From the United States to Southeast Asia; Europe to the Middle East; linking the amusing and tongue-in-cheek to the deadly serious and poignant, this is the lifelong journey of a fighter pilot.

The anecdotes provided are absorbing, providing an insight into life as an Air Force pilot, but, in this book, as Colonel Ladd stresses, the focus is not on fireworks or stirring tales of derring-do. Instead, this is an articulate and absorbing account of what life is really like among a rare breed of arrogant, cocky, boisterous and fun-loving young men who readily transform into steely professionals at the controls of a fighter aircraft.

Phantom to Warthog is a terrific read: the legacy of a fighter pilot.

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About Col Steven K Ladd

Colonel STEVE LADD, DFC, MSc, BSc was a career USAF officer fighter pilot and commander for 28 years. During his career, he amassed over 4,400 hours’ flying time, equally split between the F-4 Phantom and the A-10 Warthog. His Phantom credential includes over 400 hours (204 missions) of combat experience over North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Since retirement from the USAF he has been employed as a CAA Aerodrome Inspector, Operations Director of Cardiff International Airport, Fast Jet Curriculum Development Lead for Ascent Flight Training, Ltd., and adjunct Professor of Aviation Science and Management at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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