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Flying Black Ponies: The Navy's Close Air Support Squadron in Vietnam

Lavell, Kit; Coonts, Stephen [Foreword]

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ISBN 10: 1557505217 / ISBN 13: 9781557505217
Published by Naval Institute Press, 2000
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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Stated first printing. DJ shows light corner wear. Book is very clean and binding is tight. Center b/w photo section. Indexed. 328 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 60327

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Flying Black Ponies: The Navy's Close Air ...

Publisher: Naval Institute Press

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

Foreword by Stephen Coonts. The tragic, the comic, the terrifying, the poignant are all part of the story of the Black Pony pilots who distinguished themselves in the Mekong Delta between 1969 and 1972. Flying their Broncos "down and dirty, low and slow," they destroyed more enemies and saved more allied lives with close-air support than all the other naval squadrons combined during the three years they saw action. Author Kit Lavell was part of this squadron of "black sheep" given a chance to make something of themselves. The U.S. Navy's only land-based attack squadron, Light Attack Squadron Four (VAL-4) flew support missions for the riverine forces, SEALs, and allied units in borrowed, propeller-driven OV-10s. For fixed-wing aircraft they were dangerous, unorthodox missions, a fact readers quickly come to appreciate.

After two years of research, Lavell has been able to match many of the air operations to those on the ground and tell the dramatic story from both perspectives. One of several offered in the book is the bringing together of SEAL Barry Enoch, a Navy Cross recipient, and Black Pony pilot Larry Hone, a Distinguished Flying Cross recipient, whose encounter is stunningly described in chapter 14. Lavell also provides vivid scenes of life and love away from combat and gives a concise history of the squadron along with details of its unique use of the OV-10.

About the Author:

Kit Lavell flew 243 missions with the Black Ponies and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. He is now a screenwriter and playwright, living in California.

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