Written by a pilot who flew near-daily combat missions, this engrossing book is the story of one man, his colleagues and his machine, the mighty F-4 Phantom II, at war.

Sherman Lead
is the gripping story of a year flying the F-4 in combat during the Vietnam War, told through the eyes of a fighter pilot. Operating out of Ubon Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand in 1968–69, Gail Peck and his squadronmates in the 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing were tasked with flying combat missions into North Vietnam and Laos at this time as part of Operations Rolling Thunder and Steel Tiger.

The F-4 was heavily involved in the air-to-ground mission at this time, with targets being well defended by enemy anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles. Gail Peck's arrival in-theatre coincided with the beginning of electro-optical and laser guided 'smart' bomb combat operations. There were periods of fierce combat interspersed with lulls, and the fighting was intense and unforgettable to those who participated.

Some men lived through it, and others died without a clear understanding of why.

Table of Contents


1. So how did we get mixed up in Vietnam?
2. Getting into fighters
3. Ubon Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, the 433rd TFS and a Taste of Combat with Electro-Optically Guided Bombs
4. Party Suits and Howdy Hats
5. Dumb Bomb Combat Almost Every Day
6. Snakes and Lizards and Golf
7. Night Combat with Brian McMahan and Norm 'Phenius' Fogg
8. Christmas Day 1968 – a Combat Mission and then Christmas Dinner with the Grays
9. Laser-Guided Bombs
10. A Bad Night – Sherman Lead is Down
11. The Club, R&R and LBFMs
12. Silver Star Mission
13, Plain de Jars and the area known as Barrel Roll
14. Jeb Stewart is Down
15. Paul Bannon and Peter Pike – Down
16. 'Poppa Wolf', Ray Battle, Brings One Home
17. Men on the Moon
18. A Broken Jaw, a Cancelled Assignment and a 'Dear John' Letter
19. Sherman Lead Repatriated

At Last

Product details

Published Mar 21 2019
Format Ebook (PDF)
Edition 1st
Extent 288
ISBN 9781472829399
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 32pp plate section in colour
Series General Aviation
Short code GNA
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Gaillard R. Peck, Jr

Col. (Ret.) Gaillard R. Peck, Jr was a career offi…


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