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Atlantic Tomcat

Atlantic Tomcat Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2023 Title Atlantic Tomcat
Author James Geer Publisher Scramble 4 Productions
Published 2023 ISBN 9798985799712
Format 144 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $45.95

Review

One of the most popular fighter aircraft from the cold war was Grumman's F-14 Tomcat. While it had a shaky start in its early days, the Tomcat evolved into the most potent aircraft in the skies until it was retired. From the F-14A through the F-14D, the Tomcat continued its evolution by adding and replacing subsystems and weapons to outclass anything the Navy could put on carrier flight decks. In ths second volume, the author covers the squadrons and air wings for the Atlantic Ocean operations (the Pacific Coast entities were covered in volume one).

The author examines the F-14 in operational service from the beginning, which started in the Pacific Fleet. VF-14 and VF-32 were the first squadrons to take the Tomcat to sea aboard the USS John F. Kennedy as part of Carrier Air Wing One. Coverage continues as other squadrons were assigned to other Pacific Air Wings up through 2006, when VF-31 and VF-213 flew the F-14D Tomcat and operated the final Tomcat cruise aboard Theodore Roosevelt.

Coverage of this title includes:

  • VF-14 and VF-32 - Air Wing One
  • VF-14 and VF-32 - Air Wing Six
  • VF-14 and VF-32 - Air Wing Three
  • VF-142 and VF-143 - Air Wing Six
  • VF-142, VF-143, and VF-11 - Air Wing Seven
  • VF-41, VF-84, and VF-14 - Air Wing Eight
  • VF-11 and VF-31 - Air Wing Three
  • VF-11 and VF-31 - Air Wing Six
  • VF-33 and VF-1o2 - Air Wing One
  • VF-74 and VF-103 - Air Wing Seventeen
  • VF-211 - Air Wing One
  • VF-213 and VF-31 - Air Wing Eight
  • VF-101 - Commander Fighter Wing One
  • VF-101 and VF-202 -Reserve Air Wing Twenty

In each section, the author describes the time periods, aircraft carrier assignment(s), the date ranges for each cruise, and the notable events/assignments within each cruise. In addition, the author has compiled an impressive array of large format color photographs of aircraft assigned to each squadron/wing with excellent coverage of colors and markings carried by these aircraft over the timeframe described in each section. In total, there are over 200 photographs that came from private collections that depict each aircraft wearing pristine paint as fresh out of the paint booth, not the weary end-of-cruise touch-up Tomcats.

Historians and hobbyists will love it. Whether you want to find an early block F-14A that is still in the process of getting its sea legs or a late block F-14D 'Bombcat' (or something in-between), this is the title that will help you with the camouflage and markings of the Tomcat on any Atlantic-based squadron.

Highly recommended!

With thanks to the author for the review copy.