J. D. Wetterling 

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In 1968-69 J.D. Wetterling flew 268 combat missions in an F-100 in Vietnam and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, fourteen Air Medals, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He was Top Gun in every fighter squadron in which he served in the USAF.

Phantom base in Vietnam

J.D.Wetterling - Phantom base in Vietnam
J.D.Wetterling snapped this picture over his base in Vietnam. It's interesting from a flight simmer's point of view - the terrain is dead flat and the coastline is straight. If we saw this in a sim we'd complain about the lack of realism!
Image used by permission of J. D. Wetterling.

J. D. Wetterling's web site

About the F-100 Super Sabre: For an extensive history of this century series plane visit this site: Tacair press

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Title About Image
Son of Thunder

P.C. reported :

"As soon as I picked up this book I was impressed. The front cover bears a picture of an F100 Super Sabre taken by the author J.D.Wetterling during his tour of Vietnam in 1969.

As we all know you can't judge a book by the cover. Well in this case I'm glad to say that first impressions were right, I enjoyed this book. The story is set in the late 1960's during the Vietnam War and follows First Lieutenant John D. Ellsworth's tour of duty with the 629th Tactical Fighter Squadron, based out of Tuy Hoa.

Ellsworth, a 25-year-old "top gun", and his F100 Super Sabre are thrown straight into the action with his baptism of fire on a "road interdiction" mission. J.D. Wetterling gives us a good insight into the emotions experienced, there aren't any 'Rambo' types here - just real people surviving in difficult circumstances.

The descriptions of their emotions, the highs and lows and even romance all add to the story. For those who like details, one of the many highlights was the two and a half page description of a scramble, starting from the ring of the phone in the alert shack to take off.

"John came off the toe brakes and began to roll. He moved the throttle outboard into afterburner, the eyelids on the tail pipe opened, and there it was again - that orgasmic boot in the butt-and like sex, it was new every time."

This book is full of goodies; the author's first hand experience flying in that war is evident throughout. Aviator enthusiasts will love this book for the detail, others just for the good story.

Without reservation I recommend "Son of Thunder".

J. D. Wetterling: Son of Thunder
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