D.C. Author's "Phantom in the River" Unmasks Unheralded Role of the F-4 Jet in the Vietnam War

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In May 1967, Ev Southwick and Ed Rollins flew their F-4 Phantom jet on a dangerous mission into North Vietnam. They were supposed to return to their aircraft carrier, the USS Kitty Hawk, a few hours later. They never did. "Phantom in the River: The Flight of Linfield Two Zero One" is a story of courage, survival and how one remarkable aircraft nearly changed the course of the Vietnam War.

Hellgate Press (http://www.hellgatepress.com) announces the release of "Phantom in the River: The Flight of Linfield Two Zero One" by Gary Wayne Foster.

In the early afternoon of May 14, 1967, a U.S. Navy F-4B Phanotm II fighter jet, flown by Ev Southwick and Jack Rollins, launched from the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier sailing in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam. As part of a massive aerial attack against the infamous Thanh Hoa Bridge south of Hanoi, Southwick and Rollins flew a flak suppression mission against the bridge's formidable air defenses. Their Phantom came under deadly antiaircraft fire. The two men never returned to their ship.

"It may sound like a cliche, but it truly was a labor of love," said author Gary Wayne Foster who spent more than 9 years of intensive research, personal interviews and multiple trips to Vietnam to complete his book. That included a visit to the site of their crash and capture with the two Navy fliers, whom the author also accompanied to the site of their imprisonment--the infamous Hanoi Hilton.

In addition to the story of Southwick and Rollins, "Phantom" provides a detailed history of the F-4B Phantom II--a powerful and frightening piece of American aviation for which the North Vietnamese had a special name: "Con ma." Includes more than 50 rare photographs.

"Phantom in the River" is published by Hellgate Press, specializing in military history, veteran memoirs and adventure travel, and is available wherever fine books are sold.


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