Saturday, 28 February 2015

Fighter Country - The F-14 Tomcats of NAS Oceana (Motorbooks International) - David Parsons









 Author and former Top Hatters RIO Dave Parsons refers to his book 'Fighter Country' as a 'labour of love'. Published by Motorbooks Int in 1992, it is a superlative tribute to NAS Oceana, Virginia, and its Tomcats. The book features more than 190 full-colour photos of F-14s and other aircraft from all of Oceana's fighter squadrons - on the base and on the boat in action around the world. It takes you through a year in the life of the Tomcat driver or radar intercept officer (RIO): study at the RAG, soaking up the lore of the fighter community in the officers' club, air combat manoeuvring, carrier qualifications, workups, deployment on a cruise, and into combat during Operation Desert Storm.

 Fighter Country is also the first-ever history of Oceana and of each of the fleet fighter squadrons stationed there: the VF-13 Tophatters, VF-32 Swordsmen, VF-33 Starfighters, VF-41 Black Aces, VF-74 De-Devilers, VF-84 Jolly Rogers, VF-102 Diamondbacks, VF-103 Sluggers, VF-142 Ghostriders, and VF-143 Pukin' Dogs. Also included are the VF-101 Grim Reapers (the F-14 RAG), the VF-43 Challengers (Oceana's resident bandits), and the VF-11 Red Rippers and VF-31 Tomcatters (squadrons that transferred to NAS Miramar in early 1992). The base and squadron histories are brought to life by dozens of colour and black-and-white historical photos showing most of the great US Navy fighters of the past in the colourful and unique markings of these squadrons.

If you are a fan of the F-14 this is a great book! It is relatively hard to find, correspondingly expensive but is a great addition to any aviation book collection. Even if don't have a copy of Dave's book you can still enjoy many of his superb photos via his Facebook page




all images Dave Parsons 'shoebox', herewith a tiny taster. Thank you Dave;


"...Sun rising over Gulf of Sidra in 1986 after raid on Libya (known as Eldorado Canyon). I shot this image of our VF-102 wingman as we joined up for a hook check prior to recovery aboard USS America..."



Below; ".. I took this picture in late 1990 during Desert Shield deployment aboard USS John F Kennedy to Red Sea. We had come back through Suez Canal for port call in Turkey and did some intercept training with Brits operating out of Eastern Med. I asked the RAF pilot to join up after one of the intercepts so we could capture the moment so-to-speak..."




"..A gathering of Tomcats: KC-10 flying tanker track inside Iraq during Desert Storm providing fuel for Tomcats on CAP stations blocking Iraqi aircraft from escaping to Iran. This image is unique in capturing Tomcats from multiple carriers operating in both Red Sea (Kennedy) and Persian Gulf (America and Roosevelt)..."


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