Book Review
Thud Pilot
Thud Pilot: A Pilotís Account of Early F-105 Combat in Vietnam
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by: Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]

  • Forward
  • From the authors sons
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction; Fighter pilot talk 101
  • 1 - First deployment to Southeast Asia
  • 2 - First real combat mission
  • 3 - Mid-Air refueling
  • 4 - Operation Spring high
  • 5 - First combat damage
  • 6 - Going way up north
  • 7 - Mayday, Mayday, Mayday
  • 8 - Third deployment
  • 9 - Clipper Two is down
  • 10 - Three in a row
  • 11 - Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing
  • 12 - The home front
  • Epilogue
  • Appendix; F-105 Combat statistics

In the book
This paperback book measures 234 x 156 mm, and comprises of 160 pages with 71 black-and-white photographs spaced about the contents of the book.
The cover has a photo of the author looking rather shocked and stunned after his rescue by the US Navy after his Thud went down.
The book is broken down into manageable chapters, each with its own story about a particular mission or deployment.
Each chapter has a nice feel to it, with any missions dealt with without to many acronyms or going way to in-depth. Black and white pictures as well as maps showing the mission routes from take-off to refuelling orbits, the target, and return.
Funny anecdotes and tales from other pilots are interspersed in each chapter. A nice touching part is the authors wife's letter she wrote to him after he was shot down.
The F-105 combat statistics gives you the numbers of how many were built, and how many were lost each year in Vietnam to ground fire, SAMs, MiGs and accidents.
The last few pages of the book, is an assorted mix of the various damage the Thud took and got their pilots home safe.

A quick summary of the chapters -
1 - First deployment to Southeast Asia
This chapter tells how the 80th Tactical Fighter Squadron first went into combat in October 30th 1964 at Korat air base in Thailand.
The author also states how the Thai Government wouldn't let any pre-planned bombing missions operate out of Thailand, with aircraft having to load up at Da Nang airbase in Vietnam.

2 - First real combat mission
This is about the second deployment the author had, which was at the Takhli Royal Thailand Air Base in July 1965, and covers the authors first real combat experience.

3 - Mid-Air refueling
This is how the famous artwork of "Pussy Galore" started and how it was received by personal of the U.S armed forces.

4 - Operation Spring high
This tells of the missions of targeting the Vietnamese SAM sites, and has a brief part of the Governments debate in how too deal with this threat.

5 - First combat damage
The author tells the story of being targeted by flak and his first taste of battle damage.

6 - Going way up north
Bombing runs and Combat Air Patrols regarding a downed RF-101 pilot.

7 - Mayday, Mayday, Mayday
During his second tour the author had a weeks deployment to Osan air base in South Korea for nuclear alert commitments.

8 - Third deployment
Victors third deployment too Vietnam in September 1966, and his flights to suppress SAM's in the Iron Hand missions.

9 - Clipper Two is down
The story of the front cover, of how the author ended up being rescued after coming down in Vietnam.

10 - Three in a row
Deals with Victors determination to stay and fight after he could have rotated home.

11 - Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing
Being regarded as an "old hand" the author is given the task of Squadron Instructor pilot, with a quite funny story involving one of the new pilots.

12 - The home front
How the authors wife, Glenda, coped with being married to a pilot with the US Air Force. This chapter also has the letter Glenda sent to Victor after he was shot down.

The author
Victor Vizcarra was commissioned in 1960, completed pilot training in 1961, and was assigned to F-100s before transitioning to the F-105. While serving in Japan, he deployed three times to Southeast Asia and flew fifty-nine combat missions in the F-105D.
During his third deployment, Vizcarra ejected from his disabled F-105D over North Vietnam and was rescued. He later returned to fly 120 combat missions in the F-100D/F.
Promoted to Colonel in 1981, his final assignment was as the Deputy Commander of Maintenance where he flew the F-4E.
Author info from Fonthill Media

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: A very good and interesting read with some great photos.
Lows: No colour photos.
Verdict: An interesting book on the pilots story of his tours of Vietnam, and some of the missions he undertook. Although this doesn't go into minute detail of the ops, its still a fascinating read.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 978-1-78155-645-0
  Suggested Retail: £15.29
  Related Link: Thud Pilot
  PUBLISHED: Jan 12, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Fonthill Media!
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About Andy Brazier (betheyn)

I started modelling in the 70's with my Dad building Airfix aircraft kits. The memory of my Dad and I building and painting a Avro Lancaster on the kitchen table will always be with me. I then found a friend who enjoyed building models, and between us I think we built the entire range of 1/72 Airfi...

Copyright ©2021 text by Andy Brazier [ BETHEYN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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