The Millionaires’ Unit

The Millionaires’ Unit tells the story of several Yale undergraduates in the early 1900s whose foresight helped open the United States Navy up to the utility of aerial operations.  American military aviation was woefully behind that of the European militaries when the US entered World War I. The Yale Unit was one of the critical

Top Gun: An American Story

This is a powerful insider’s account of an important and uniquely American institution, Top Gun, the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School. The author, Captain Dan Pedersen (USN) was the first officer in charge of Top Gun, establishing it with his hand selected eight naval aviators and naval flight officers—the “Bros.” What makes this an American

Fight Fight

This is the third Raven One book the author has written on contemporary international relationship issues facing the United States. Central to the fictional story the author tells is how quickly incidents can spin out of control even with the best intentions by all to contain the incident. People hear and see what they want

Lucky’s Life

Rear Admiral Randall Jacobs sent the telegram at 6:49 PM, 3 January 1944, informing Mr. and Mrs. Olaf Larson Hanks that their son William was missing “in the performance of his duties” in the Pacific. The Chief of Personnel expressed his “sincere sympathy” for their “great anxiety.” He told them, from the reports, that it

Seven at Santa Cruz

This biography follows World War II fighter pilot ace Stanley “Swede” Vejtasa from his Montana home, through numerous World War II aerial battles, to his post war service as the Air Boss on USS Essex (CV-9) and Captain of USS Constellation (CV-64). Vejtasa was known for his exploits against the Japanese in 1942. During the

BOOK REVIEW – The U.S. Naval Institute on Marine Corps Aviation

Thomas J. Cutler, Series Ed., Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2016) Reviewed by: Robert P. Largess The U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings has been a pillar of intelligent discourse on naval science, events, technology and history since its first issue in 1874. Always imaginative, open, thoughtful, Proceedings is a goldmine of high-quality material for the naval

BOOK REVIEW – The Supercarriers: The Forrestal and Kitty Hawk Classes

By Andrew Faltum, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2014) Reviewed by Mark Lardas They were the first aircraft carriers designed from the keel up to operate jet aircraft. When they appeared, they were so big a jump over their World War II predecessors; they were considered not just aircraft carriers, but rather supercarriers. And now

Norman’s Corner: An Airman’s Airman

By Norman Polmar (Editor’s note: This is the 23nd in a series of blogs by Norman Polmar—author, analyst, and consultant specializing in the naval, aviation, and intelligence fields. Follow the full series here.) I knew Don Engen for a very brief period. Still, he had a significant influence on me. Vice Admiral Engen dropped out

BOOK REVIEW – Hero of the Angry Sky: The World War I Diary and Letters of David S. Ingalls, America’s First Naval Ace

Edited by Geoffrey L. Rossano, Ohio University Press, Athens, OH, (2013). Reviewed by Mitchell Yockelson, Ph.D. Hero of the Angry Sky is the unique story of World War I Navy flying ace Lt. David S. Ingalls. Editor Geoffrey L. Rossano dug deep into a number of American and British archival collections and uncovered a wealth

stearman american adventure

BOOK REVIEW – An American Adventure: From Early Aviation Through Three Wars to the White House

By William Lloyd Stearman, Naval Institute Press: Annapolis, MD (2012) Reviewed by Dr. Richard P. Hallion Mention “Stearman” among any group of aviation aficionados and an instant image of one of history’s most influential and appealing aircraft comes to mind. The Stearman biplane occupies a unique place in the pantheon of American aviation, having produced,

P2V-5 Neptune

RADM P.D. Smith Visits Cold War Gallery

On 8 January 2013, RADM P.D. Smith, USN (Ret) visited the Cold War Gallery at the Washington Navy Yard. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the layout of a future Maritime Patrol Aircraft exhibit for the Gallery. RADM Smith generously donated money for the construction of a Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune model, on display

NHF Facilitates Donation of World War II Naval Aviation Records

  The Naval Historical Foundation recently helped to facilitate the donation of unique squadron records and artifacts to the Navy’s premiere naval aviation museum. The donation of materials from World War II fighter squadrons VF-3 and VBF-3 to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida, was made possible by NHF Chairman Admiral Bruce DeMars, USN