I served at bases in California, Okinawa, Arizona, Korea, the Philippines,
Texas, and what I call
my hardship tour -- 5 years at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu. For my last two years I went
to Scott Air Force base in Illinois. In 1981, I retired and returned to Honolulu. In 1983 I moved
to San Diego and have lived here ever since.
KOREA BLUE is my Vietnam War novel. Despite
volunteering three time, I never was assigned to
Vietham, so my Vietnam novel is set in Korea during 1969. In addition to flying and fighting in
the skies of Vietnam, KOREA BLUE is also a thriller -- a tale of murder and intrigue that takes
to Osan Air Base in Korea. Osan is the largest Air Force base in Korea, and was one of my all
time favorite assignments.
Approximately a third of KOREA BLUE recounts Mike Hunter's exploits as
a fighter pilot flying
the F-105 in combat in Vietnam. Nicknamed "The Thud," the F-105 was the largest single engine
fighter ever built. Below are some depictions of those times.
In the air war the Thud was primarily used as a fighter-bomber against
targets in North
Vietnam. Those were some of the most dangerous missions flown by any combat pilot.
Hunter flies the single seat version during his first tour and completed 100 missions.
Volunteering for a second combat tour, Hunter is assigned to the Wild Weasels,
version of the F-105 that was designed to find and kill SAM missile sites. On his 69th mission
Hunter and his backseater are part of a large attack against Thud Buster Alley, a key mountain
pass on the Ho Chi Minh trail used to bring supplies from the north to enemy troops in the south.
Lined with both Triple-A and SAM missile sites, it is responsible for taking out more F-105s than
any other single target in the war.
Hunter's thud is shot down and his is severely wounded. If not for the
valiant actions of his
backseater and good friend Paul Crandell Hunter would have been captured or killed.
The story opens with Hunter is in a military hospital, recovering from
wounds about six months
after the shoot down. About to be released, he learns Paul Crandell has died in a "mysterious
accident" at Osan Air Base in Korea. Certified to return to duty, but not to flying, Hunter wangles
an assignment to Osan after his released from the hospital. Once there he sets out to learn the truth
about his friend's death. That search takes Hunter on a dark journey that exposes a cabal of corrupt
forces at work at Osan. Along the way, Hunter meets a new friend, a sinister military "spook," and
a woman as maddeningly elusive as she is exquisitely beautiful.
The final violent showdown takes place in the middle of a race riot. Hunter
is pitted against
deadly enemies who command the power of the blue military machine and won't hesitate to use it
to stop his from revealing the truth.
Fan reactions have been gratifying. Many have written to say that they
feel the book is both a good
action yarn and a realistic view at military life that's true to the spirit of the time and place.
just one more F-105 picture -- from the U.S. Air Force Art collection:
Song Begins by
KOREA BLUE is no longer in print.
However used copies are out there. Go to either:
For more information contact me at the e-mail link below
For comments or suggestions/or just tell tales, contact:
WEB MASTER: Tom Utts
Copyright © 1996 Netscape Communications Corporation. Photo © PhotoDisc, Inc.