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US Navy A-7 Corsair II Units of the Vietnam War

US Navy A-7 Corsair II Units of the Vietnam War Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2004 Title US Navy A-7 Corsair II Units of the Vietnam War
Author Tony Holmes Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2004 ISBN 1-84176-731-X
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $19.95


Designed to provide greater range, more weapons capacity and better precision strike capabilities than the A-4 Skyhawk it replaced, the LTV A-7 Corsair II was a highly capable combat aircraft. Nicknamed the 'SLUF' for Short Little Ugly 'Fella', the A-7 incorporated advanced avionics and greater operational flexibility, making it one of the most potent close air support aircraft of the Vietnam War. (So much so that even the Air Force ended up buying the SLUF as well!)

US Navy A-7 Corsair II Units of the Vietnam War

The author walks the reader through the initial deployments of the A-7A through the late-war operations of the A-7E, including a number of personal accounts and operational histories. One interesting sidebar in the book recounts the experiences of an Air Force exchange pilot who flew the A-7E with VA-146. He was nicknamed "Captain Messerschmitt" because he loved the M61 Vulcan cannon and used it every chance he had. The folks to tagged him with that name were the plane captains and maintenance personnel that had to wipe the down the cordite-encrusted underside of his aircraft before it mixed with the salt air and corroded the aircraft.

The table of contents maps out the coverage of this well-illustrated title:

  • The First Combat Tours
  • The Bravo and New Cruises
  • The Echo Checks In
  • 1972 - The A-7 Comes Into Its Own
  • Last Missions and the Cease Fire

The title also provides a chronological table of A-7 squadron deployments to Vietnam as well as combat losses. The title is rounded out with a nice array of color profiles of the various A-7s during the time when US Navy aircraft sported highly colorful markings.

This is a great read for the aviation historian and SLUF lover. Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Motorbooks International for this review sample!