Black Lion One: TOPGUN Trailblazer Capt. John Monroe “Hawk” Smith in Command of VF-213

Schiffer. Aug. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9780764363443. $29.99. MILITARY HISTORY
This military history volume is the sequel to Roger Ball!; together they comprise a biography of Captain John Monroe “Hawk” Smith, a fighter pilot for the U.S. Navy. The author, a light-attack pilot and TOPGUN graduate, is clearly in awe of his subject and presents a strongly favorable view of him. This slim volume covers primarily the period when Smith was in, and later commanding, the TOPGUN school for air warfare. Many tactical innovations arose from the school, which, at the time, was training pilots for combat in the new F-14 Tomcat fighters. The book is replete with acronyms, inside anecdotes, and special language, making it a difficult read for those outside of the carrier aviation world.
VERDICT Narrow readership, but it may have some utility for libraries that own the first volume and serve a naval clientele.
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