The book Alone, Unarmed and Unafraid, reprinted and available with new material and pictures, explores and reveals a previously unheralded and unchronicled segment of the war in Southeast Asia—aerial reconnaissance. Author Taylor Eubank is the ultimate source of information for this tale: in the thick of things, he was there, he did it, and he tells a scintillating story–now available. History buffs, aviation buffs, and those thirsty for a good story should rejoice. Taylor's synopsis follows:
U.S. Seventh Air Force, Saigon orders American aviators to fly unarmed photo reconnaissance missions over Laos and North Vietnam: airspace defended by the most concentrated and sophisticated enemy air defenses ever faced by U.S. airmen. MiGs, radar guided anti-aircraft guns, surface-to-air missiles—in concert, these are the paving blocks of harm’s way.
The aircrews fly airplanes without weapons (unarmed) or armed escorts (alone) against these lethal defenses: alone, unarmed and unafraid—O.K., there was an occasional icicle of fear.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at Dayton OH opened its commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam Conflict and the contributions of unarmed reconnaissance to it by inviting Taylor Eubank to discuss his combat reconnaissance memoir, Alone, Unarmed, and Unafraid. The presentation was part of the Museum's continuing lecture series, Of Wings and Things.
“Alone, Unarmed, and Unafraid is much more than a ‘yank-and-bank flyer's’ remembrance. There is an account of the 94th running of the Kentucky Derby—reported from under a hooch during a mortar attack on Da Nang Air Base; acts of cowardice and acts of bravery committed by aviators while in the pressure cooker of harm's way; hijinks and low lights from each day's twenty non-flying hours of idleness; and reconnaissance missions: high level, low level, nighttime (flying inside an inkwell), photographing North Vietnam transportation venues populated by one 37-57 millimeter anti-aircraft gun every eight linear feet. As with Macheath's cement bag, the AAA guns were there for no good purpose.”
As McFarland & Company commented, “The fullness and freshness of the…work earn it a unique position in the body of Vietnam War literature.”
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