Launch the intruders: a naval attack squadron in the Vietnam War, 1972

Front Cover
University Press of Kansas, 2005 - History - 419 pages
2 Reviews
Each pilot and bombardier/navigator sat side by side in an all-weather jet built for low-level bombing runs, precision targeting, and night strikes. Their success-and their very lives-depended on teamwork in flying their versatile A-6 Intruders. And when the North Vietnamese mounted a major offensive in 1972, they answered the call. Carol Reardon chronicles the operations of Attack Squadron 75, the "Sunday Punchers," and their high-risk bombing runs launched off the U.S.S. "Saratoga during the famous LINEBACKER campaigns. Based on unparalleled across to crew members and their families, her book blends military and social history to offer a unique look at the air war in Southeast Asia, as well as a moving testament to the close-knit world of naval aviators. Theirs was one of the toughest jobs in the military: launching off the carrier in rough seas as well as calm, flying solo and in formation, dodging dense flak and surface-to-air missiles, delivering ordnance on target, and recovering aboard safely. Celebrating the men who climbed into the cockpits as well as those who kept them flying, Reardon takes readers inside the squadron's ready room and onto the flight decks to await the call, "Launch the Intruders!" Readers share the adrenaline-pumping excitement of each mission-as well as those heart-stopping moments when a downed aircrafts brought home to all, in flight and no board, that every aspect of their lives was constantly shadowed by danger and potential death. More than a mere combat narrative, "Launch the Intruders interweaves human drama with familial concerns, domestic politics, and international diplomacy: Fliers share personal feelings about killing strangers from a distancewhile navy wives tell what it's like to feel like a stranger at home. And as the war rages on, headlines like Jane Fonda's visit to Hanoi and the Paris Peace Accords are all viewed through the lens of this heavily tasked, har

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

"The heart of all-weather attack is two aviators in a single aircraft going to bad places on dark nights." That quote on the last page of the narrative is as good a high concept summation of this book ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Excellent book, I was aboard Saratoga (VAW-123) at the time. Very accurate accounts with only 1 or 2 minor flaws, so good I read it twice!


Temporary Additional Duty
Would You Believe?
A Piece of Cake

9 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Carol Reardon is associate professor of history at Pennsylvania State University.