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AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operation Desert Storm (Combat Aircraft) Paperback – 20 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey; 1st Edition edition (20 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849084440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849084444
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 0.7 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 258,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"There are plenty of combat reports from the pilots who took part in the campaign. This is enhanced by an excellent choice of photos, most in full color, and the usual center section full of full color profiles. It is a fascinating look into Harrier operations during Desert Shield/Storm and a book that I know you will enjoy reading." -Scott Van Aken, "Modelling Madness ""With an excellent cover illustration by artist Gareth Hector and great color profiles by Jim Laurier, Nordeen's account has an attractive graphics package. These books from this highly prolific British publisher continue to impress and offer great value." -Peter Mersky, "The Hook "(Spring 2012)

About the Author

Lon Nordeen has more than 35 years of aerospace industry and editorial experience. He has been employed on the staff of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, McDonnell-Douglas and Boeing, where he worked in the areas of market research, communications and field marketing. He is also the author of six books and more than 150 articles, and has been highlighted as a historian on multiple History Channel television programmes covering air warfare such as the Dogfight series.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mice Guy TOP 50 REVIEWER on 23 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
The Contents are –
P07: AV-8B and the MAGTF
P14: VMA-311 and MAG-13 (Forward)
P46: VMA-542
P61: VMA-331 and VMA-513
P77: VMA-231
P92: Appendices
P93: Colour Plate Commentary
P96: Index

There are 8 pages of colour plates providing 24 side-views of the aircraft.
The supporting illustrations are primarily colour photographs, along with relevant maps.
The text contains lots of eye-witness narratives of combat events, and even of capture by the enemy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read 5 Nov. 2011
By R. D. Hearney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm

The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 came as a surprise to many but the response was creation of a coalition of nations which sent military forces into the region to deter further aggression. Following the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Iran-Iraq War and naval conflict in the Arabian Gulf, US defense planners had created the Central Command and prepared for operations in the Middle East. The Marine Corps, US Navy and other US forces had trained to deploy to the region to meet contingencies and prepositioned ships were located close to the battle zone with Marine Corps weapons and equipment.

Marine Corps aviation forces were among the first to deploy to the region to help halt Iraqi aggression and included several AV-8B Harrier II squadrons. The Marine Corps has long been a proponent of tight air-ground teamwork and the AV-8B Harrier II was designed to provide close air support for the front line Marines.

Due to its unique V/STOL operational characteristics, more than three AV-8B squadrons operated from King Abdul Aziz Naval air station, an austere airfield in northern Saudi Arabia which was the closest to the battle zone. Another squadron and a third of AV-8Bs flew from the assault ships USS Nassau and USS Tarawa to support the option of an amphibious attack into Kuwait or Iraq.

I was honored to deploy to the region to support Operation Desert Shield as the Deputy Commander, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. From this position I saw firsthand the significant contribution made by the AV-8B squadrons to the military success of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Lon Nordeen has done an excellent job discussing the background to the AV-8B, its role in the Marine air ground team and technical aspects of the Harrier II's V/STOL and attack characteristics. The story of the AV-8B in Desert Shield and Desert Storm is covered in detail, squadron by squadron, including firsthand accounts by the wing commander, squadron commanding officers and many pilots who flew the AV-8B in the conflict. This small volume is a very good analysis of the AV-8B's contribution to the Desert Shield/Desert Storm air campaigns and includes period photography, maps and extensive color and marking details in the color plates.

General Richard D Hearney, USMC (Ret.)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
'In-the-Cockpit' Account of USMC Harriers in Combat! 13 Jan. 2012
By Michael OConnor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Though it will never win a prize for aerodynamic streamlining, the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier is one effective ground-attack aircraft. Marine Corps Harrier squadrons were amongst the first Allied air units to deploy against Iraq in 1990 and ran up an exemplary combat once hostilities broke out. Noted aviation author Lon Nordeen chronicles the Harrier's combat exploits in this 2011 Osprey release, #90 in their 'Osprey Combat Aircraft' series.

Norden follows five USMC Harrier squadrons - VMA-311, -542, -331, -513 and -231 - as they deployed to the war zone from bases around the world, typically scrambling to bring the unit up to strength, prepare their aircraft, etc. The 'Tomcats' of VMA-311 were the first of the gyrene Harrier units to deploy, the other units arriving in the coming weeks. Most flew from land bases; the exceptions being VMA-331 and a det from -513. Once in combat, the five squadrons excelled in CAS. Five USMC Harriers were lost in combat with two pilots KIA.

Thanks to in-depth research and many first-person reminiscences by Marine AV-8B pilots, Nordeen's book gives the reader a vivid 'in-the-cockpit' look at Harrier combat ops. Granted the accounts are top-heavy with acronyms but that's part-and-parcel of an accurate picture of Harrier pilots at war. The many color and b&w photographs and Jim Laurier's nicely-done color profile complete a nicely-done package.

In short, AV-8B HARRIER II UNITS OF OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM is a gripping, authoritative account of the ground-attack war as seen by USMC Harrier drivers. The first of three projected volumes, it certainly sets the bar for the succeeding volumes. Recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Nordeen Scores Another Hit 7 Nov. 2011
By Walter J. Boyne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Lon Nordeen once again establishes his expertise in this excellent book on the often controversial McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II. The Harrier II was a tremendous advance over its predecessor, but still faced the reliability and maintainability issues inherent in its mission. Yet the AV-8B has worked well for the Marines from the start. It suits perfectly the Marine concept of a tightly knit infantry/aviation team, providing the exacting close-air support required. The AV-8B starred in both Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The Marine units operating it were almost immediately in high demand because of their effective work. Nordeen, as always, writes well, backing up his long experience with intensive research. The book is filled with excellent photos, many of them seen for the first time. And as with Nordeen's previous books, this work will be cited as a reference by other authors covering the subject. This, the first of three books on the AV-8B planned by Nordeen, sets the standard for the future.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
On the Mark! 22 Jan. 2014
By Jay A. Stout - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was there as a Hornet pilot and knew/know and flew with many of the gentlemen featured in this excellent book. I feel qualified to say that it reads absolutely true and right. Indeed, the photo of a chart of Kuwait with markings and annotations brought back a rush of recollections.

The text includes a very good combination of history, technical data and personal accounts. The color plates, photographs and diagrams are very well done.

Although it's no secret that I'm not the biggest Harrier fan in the world, I certainly like and admire my comrades who operate and maintain it. And I'm impressed at how the author, Lon Nordeen, got this book right.
Four Stars 27 Dec. 2013
By Harry Strickland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Came promptly and as described.
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