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Voodoo Warriors: The  Story of the McDonnell Voodoo Fast-jets: The Story of the McDonnell Voodoo Fast-Jets

Voodoo Warriors: The Story of the McDonnell Voodoo Fast-jets: The Story of the McDonnell Voodoo Fast-Jets [Kindle Edition]

Nigel Walpole
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

During the mid-1950s the United States Air Force was given its most powerful single-seat, two-engine fighter to date. The Voodoo would be deployed before the end of that decade in the tactical nuclear bomber and tactical reconnaissance roles world-wide, and in homeland defense with the two-seat, all-weather variant. In December 1957 it took the World Air Speed Record to Mach 1.6 - over one and a half times faster than the sound barrier.

This book looks at the evolution of the original design and its introduction into service. Chapters cover operations in Korea, Vietnam, the Cuban Crisis and in Europe during the Cold War years. Many first-hand accounts from pilots are included and the author's own experiences with the aircraft are given with fascinating insight.

The Voodoo was an elegant, mean-looking fighting machine that epitomized fast flying in the fifties and sixties. It continues to be a revered airplane.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 43733 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pen and Sword Maritime (22 Jan 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,479 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eamonn 10 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great narrative on a fantastic little known aircraft. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on operations in south East Asia. Excellent.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 23 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
good read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on a great airplane! 2 Oct 2007
By Robert Bausch - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is fortunate that Nigel Walpole overcame his initial reluctance to write Voodoo Warriors because he thought himself unqualified, for he has written a great story about a fascinating airplane.

This is not a book about an airplane in the sense of a technical treatise like Aerofax or Crowood would do. But it tells the story of the F-101 beautifully, and with great detail, through the experiences of its pilots, one of whom is the author himself.

The story moves around the world, going to the various operational areas where the F-101 was based. I got a greater knowledge of the role Voodoo nuclear armed fighters would have played in the event of a war in Europe than I ever had before. Their mission would have been most probably a "one-way ticket to hell", and the bravery of their pilots is not difficult to appreciate.

Less space is devoted to the F-101B two-seat interceptor, which is the version that I saw here in the US at various times. Properly, the greater part of the book deals with the photo reconnaissance versions and operations in Southeast Asia, where the Voodoo gained its greatest fame, but at a great cost in good pilot's lives.

The F-101 has been a lesser known "Century" series US fighter, somewhat overshadowed by the F-100, F-104, F-105, and perhaps less so by the F-106. After reading this book, one gets a different perspective on this very interesting aircraft, it really is the "One-O-Wonder"!

I'm looking forward to reading more by Nigel Walpole.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alone, Unarmed, and Unafraid! 16 Jan 2008
By Michael L. Shakespeare - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Two recce Voodoos raced toward the heavily defended Than Hoa Bridge -- Five Thuds had already been lost trying to take it out.

As they put the Bay of Tonkin behind them, worsening weather had driven the pair of RF-101s down from 500 to 200 ft. "Then all hell broke loose, the North Vietnamese opening up with all they had as the Voodoos scythed their way through the weeds at more than 500 knots."

Somehow, both Voodoos escaped without damage and returned to base with photos showing the bridge was still intact.

McDonnell Aircraft Corporation had indeed designed a strong, versatile jet, for the Voodoo had been originally conceived 21 years earlier as a SAC multi-role long-range bomber escort fighter.

The long-lived Voodoo was cast in three distinct missions over its operational life. In 1955, the Air Force recognized that the adaptable Voodoo was perfect for tactical recon. Gun and ammunition boxes were removed and a lengthened nose housing cameras installed -- the RF-101 was born.

The same year, the two-seat F-101 bomber interceptor was conceived. By 1957, the ADC and RCAF F-101Bs, armed with 2 Genie air-to-air rockets and 2 Falcon air-to-air mssiles were defending North America. Incredibly, each Genie rocket had a 1.5 kiloton atomic warhead!

Based in Suffolk County, England, beginning in 1957, the F-101, using its great acceleration, speed, and range, was cast in the tactical low-level nuclear bomber role.

Group Captain Nigel J.R. Walpole, RAF, is the author of "Voodoo Warriors." A jet fighter pilot himself, he took part in the 1960 USAF/RAF exchange tour, flying RF-101s out of Shaw Air Force Base.

Mr. Walpole covers lifestyles, personalities, training, innovations, deployments, evolving tactics and important operations, informing and entertaining the reader in an anecdotal style. The book contains a multitude of photographs, flying stories, interesting characters, funny episodes and humorous predicaments.

Flight Lieutenant Walpole successfully completed his first high level photo mission over the Nevada Test Range. After checking his photos, the intelligence staff ordered a round of beers to celebrate the coming end of Walpole's succssful visit. "In fact it ended almost immediately when a senior person from Nellis, invited to view the results of the mission, was aghast to see that it had been flown by a 'foreigner' without the necessary clearances to fly over a most secret area." Flight Lieutenant Walpole was "ordered back to Shaw forthwith..."

On the more serious side, the author relates how many good men were lost flying the Voodoo.

Part One, "Cold War Contingencies," beginning with the 1958 deployment of cold war Voodoos, covers overseas operations in North Africa, Europe, Taiwan, and Japan. These chapters follow the refining of the Voodoos' mission, joint training of crews, and building NATO experience by executing overseas deployments with other air forces.

Later, in Part Two, "Conflict," the battle-ready Voodoo squadrons take part in the tense RF-101 photo reconnaissance operations during the Cuban missile crisis.

The "mother lode" of the book are the eight chapters dedicated to all aspects of the escalating and evolving Voodoo operations in South East Asia during the Vietnam War, including special coverage of the "Hanoi Hilton" prison camp.

In Part Three, "Commitment," the author salutes the valuable support crews of recce squadrons stationed in South East Asia that tirelessly processed the film, and maintained the aircraft.

Mr. Walpole pays tribute to the veteran Voodoo crews by sharing photos of various unit reunions as well as pictures of retired Voodoo aircraft on public display, in Part Four, "Commemoration."
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten history brought back to life....but not the entire story of the F-101. 4 April 2012
By J. boyle - Published on
The author, a RAF exchange pilot, tells stories of the F-101 Voodoo.
Since he flew RF-101s and most of the book is anecdotal..stories of his and his friends experiences.
If something happened that wasn't in his circle of friends, it's not likely to be included in the book.
As an example. He spends a great deal of time on RF-101 ops in SEA, but a friend of mine who won a Silver Star flying RF-101s in SEA isn't mentioned at all.
Again, a reader gets the idea that if it didn't happen within his circle of friends, something didn't happen.
I do wish he'd spent more time doing research to make a more complete history of Vietnam 101 operations.

However, he tells for the first time (that I've been able to find) the story of F-101A/C operations in Europe. Covering the period between 1957-65 (and F-84F and F-4 operations), the 81st TFW flying out of Bentwaters and Woodbridge in England, provided NATO with tactical nuclear bomber capability. It was a demanding mission, thankfully never carried out in wartime.

The biggest fault of the book is he covers USAF F-101B/F Air Defense Command interceptor operations, in a mere 6 pages.
Since most of the F-101s built were interceptors (480 out of 807 total production), this omission is particularly bad for a book that is subtitled: "The story of the McDonnell Voodoo Fast Jets"
However he then spends 20 pages on Canadian VooDoo ops. That's fine if you want know about the CAF (a neglected subject) but his lack of research doesn't begin to dojustice to the nearly 30 year career of F-101B operations by US Air Force and Air National Guard units.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Century Series Fighters 10 May 2014
By Woodrow R. Mosher - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not enough is written about the early Century series fighters. For instance, this is the 1st book I have read about the F-101. There is plenty to read about the F-100 but the F-101, F-102, F-104 and F-106 is sadly lacking. Anyway, back to the book. I think is was a good mix of short stories. The stories about different AF bases and how the Squadrons were run in those days was very interesting. I was an F-100 mechanic across Lambert Field from McDonnell Douglas in those days and will never forget the 1st time I saw a Voodoo take off. It was a Happy Hooligan Voodoo that had stopped at our Air Guard Base for fuel and I was used to watching F-100's take off and use our whole runway and this F-101 takes off and has to pull the throttles back on take off too keep from over speeding the landing gear. Pretty impressive to say the least. Anyway, a excellent book and I would like to see more books on these older jets.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Voodoo Warriors 11 Jun 2014
By william r hansel Sr. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I give it 5 stars. Fascinating story. The men who flew this aircraft were truly heroes. Flying into harms way unarmed has to take nerves of steel and a very active brain. Doing all this at low level and high speed takes a lot of guts. I'm glad to see the author also men behind the scenes too. Recommend to anyone with an interest in military aircraft.
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