Roger Ball!: The Odyssey of John Monroe "Hawk" Smith, Navy Fighter Pilot

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"Roger Ball is a magnificent read about a great and distinguished 'life well lived.' John Monroe Smith is a living legend in Naval Aviation: an all American boy living his dream.a dream of becoming the best fighter pilot and carrier aviator in the Navy. He succeeded in being the best in a way that only one with unbridled passion, fierce commitment, boundless energy, unconditional dedication and relentless resolve can experience. "If you had the honor and privilege of being part of carrier aviation, Roger Ball brings it all back: the thrill of the first cat shot and arrested landing; that special aroma of JP-5, hydraulic fluid, canopy cleaner and grease; the long hours of Alert 5's; the FCLPs; the SDO, IWO and Boat Officer; ACM with many Fox 1s and Fox2; the leadership challenges of dealing with wayward sailors and senior leaders who were the best and worst; the commitment to persevere in spite of all odds at sea and ashore; the sacrifice of family and shipmates; the satisfaction of being part of something much bigger than self; and the many memories of hearing those special words, especially on a dark, rainy night, blue water ops-Roger Ball. "From a shipmate, friend and one who holds Hawk in great admiration, and with respect and gratitude." -Ed Allen, Rear Admiral, USN (Retired) "Bravo, fantastic-the good, the bad and the ugly! Realistic, authentic, no holds bar, detailed, down to earth, true fighter pilot, proud, courageous, and all Navy. Wow!!!!! A winner!" -Herb Pierpan, Colonel, USMC (Retired) "Roger Ball!, the Odyssey of John Monroe 'Hawk' Smith, is a 'must read' for any young man or woman considering a career in Naval Aviation. Donald 'Duck' Auten pulls no punches in telling the story of the life of a Naval Aviator-the good times and the bad times. Reading this book, you'll get to live the life of an extraordinary Navy fighter pilot.You'll experience the training required to become a Naval officer and then on to flight training. "You'll know what it's like to join your first squadron and make your first cruise, the long hard hours at sea away from your loved ones and well deserved liberty. You'll know what it's like to make a carrier landing, day or night-any kind of weather, when the rolling and pitching deck is the only piece of solid ground for hundreds of miles around. Most of all, you'll learn what it takes to be part of a team where your squadron mate's life depend on you and your life on them. You'll share in the camaraderie, the antics, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat that can only be found in these people we call Navy fighter pilots. "Thanks 'Hawk' for sharing your life and thanks 'Duck' for so eloquently getting it down on paper." -Art Martin, F-14 Tomcat Association

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