"These airmen were instrumental in 'changing the game' in America's approach to air combat."--General T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley, USAF Chief of Staff 2005-2008
Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) August 10, 2012
From 1977-1988, the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron of the United Stated Air Force had the distinction of being the only American unit flying Soviet-built MiG aircraft. Based in a remote custom-built airfield in the Nevada desert, the squadron re-built and eventually learned to fly damaged MiGs purloined from America’s Cold War allies. The planes were used to train USAF and Navy pilots.
In this new memoir, America’s Secret MiG Squadron, the squadron’s co-founder, Col Gail "Evil" Peck, discusses the thrills and challenges of setting up a top-secret air base, assembling the crews and pilots, and designing their training programs.
Based on dozens of interviews and the author’s own recollections of the events, America’s Secret MiG Squadron fills-in the historical record of “Constant Peg”—the military’s code name for the program. For example, Peck supplies important background on the air force’s earlier acquisitions of MiGs and their limited use in testing and evaluation. These aircraft would eventually come into the possession of the 4477th. He also reveals how Constant Peg grew up at the same time that the air force and Lockheed were beginning to test their new ultra-secret “stealth” bomber, the F-117, code named “Have Blue.” Peck discusses the security issues involved with having two top-secret aircraft based at the same Nevada airfield.
The story of Constant Peg and the Red Eagles was declassified by the Air Force in November 2006. Until that time, a complete gag order was enforced on all personnel involved with the mission. It is believed that most of the records of the 4477th were housed in the area of the Pentagon that was destroyed by American Airlines Flight 77 on 9/11. The first commander of the squadron, Glenn Frick, passed away prior to the declassification, and hence there is no known written record of his reflections about the program. For Gail Peck, who will turn 72 in October, “this project has been the most important contribution of my life to my country and to the air force.” This is likely to be the most comprehensive look at the program we are ever to get.
About the Author
Colonel Gaillard “Evil” Peck, Jr. is a veteran of the Vietnam War with over 163 combat missions. His father served in WWII as a bomber flight instructor and worked on General MacArthur’s staff in Japan after the war. Consequently, Col Peck grew up on US Air Force bases in Japan, Alaska, and the continental United States, experiencing and sharing a love of aircraft with his father from an early age. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in 1962 and went on to graduate first in his class from pilot training in 1963. In 1968 he earned a Silver Star for his courageous dive bombing of Vietnamese anti-aircraft guns in defense of an American bomber. Prior to his co-founding of Constant Peg, he served at the Pentagon on Maj General Vandenburg’s staff.
About the publisher
Osprey Publishing is the world’s largest publisher of illustrated military history reference. Based in Oxford, England, and New York, it has over 1500 titles in print in 15 series, including “Aircraft of the Aces,” “Warrior,” “Campaign,” and its flagship uniformology series, “Men-at-Arms,” which this year will publish its 484th volume. Visit us online at http://www.ospreypublishing.com.