When Thunder Rolled
An F-105 Pilot over North Vietnam
By Ed Rasimus
(Presidio Press, Mass Market Paperback, 9780891418542, 304pp.)
Publication Date: September 28, 2004
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“YOU CAN ALMOST SMELL THE JET FUEL AND GUNPOWDER. You attack the world’s fiercest defenses at 500 knots and share the ultimate thrill of hurling yourself against almost impossible odds–and winning.
–JACK BROUGHTON, author of Thud Ridge
Ed Rasimus straps the reader into the cockpit of an F-105 Thunderchief fighter-bomber in his engaging account of the Rolling Thunder campaign in the skies over North Vietnam. Between 1965 and 1968, more than 330 F-105s were lost–the highest loss rate in Southeast Asia–and many pilots were killed, captured, and wounded because of the Air Force’s disastrous tactics. The descriptions of Rasimus’s one hundred missions, some of the most dangerous of the conflict, will satisfy anyone addicted to vivid, heart-stopping aerial combat, as will the details of his transformation from a young man paralyzed with self-doubt into a battle-hardened veteran. His unique perspective, candid analysis, and the sheer power of his narrative rank his memoir with the finest, most entertaining of the war.
“A story that reflects the bravery of the men who flew over enemy territory in a perilous time.”
–The Baltimore Chronicle
“[A] MODERN-DAY RED BADGE OF COURAGE .”
–JOHN DARRELL SHERWOOD, author of Fast Movers: Jet Pilots and the Vietnam Experience
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Ed Rasimus flew more than 250 combat missions during the Vietnam War in F-105s and F-4s, receiving the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross five times, and numerous Air Medals. He writes and teaches political science in Colorado.