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Men Who Flew the F4 Phantom

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Men Who Flew the F4 Phantom

A Critique: Martin W. Bowman, The Men Who Flew the F-4 Phantom.

The first questions to ask of a Bowman production is,  "Who's work is this?"  He has a bad habit of claiming copyright to other writers' work.

Bowman incorporated "verbatim" USAF F-4 combat kills from "Aces and Aerial Victories" into his book with NO attribution.  This chronology of combat events serves as a framework to attach additional information from numerous  sources, again some without attribution. The names of  the USAF historians who compiled A&AV-- Futrell, Greenhalgh, Grubb, Hasselwander, Jakob and Ravenstein-- is purged from their work.

May I critique comments relating to 12 TFW and MacDill AFB operations:

Claim 1: Top of page 40  "...Squadron in Southeast Asia in January 1965 while deployed to UBON RTAFB, Thailand."

Incorrect: Disregard January 1965 claim--no attribution: 45th TFS deployed to Thailand 4 April to 10 August 1965.

Claim 3: Page. 120: Third paragraph down:"F4C 64-0782 in the 559 TFS, 12th TFW at Cam Ranh Bay crewed by Colonel C. Brett...." 

Correction: Should read, crewed by "Colonel Devol Brett..." 

Claim:  "...and Lieutenant Myron F. Smith was shot down near Vinh Linh, five miles north of the DMZ....The aircraft crashed close to the target but Col. Brett survived the ejection and was rescued by an HH-3E..."  is plagiarized from Chris Hobbs, Vietnam Air Losses, page 128.

Clarification:  On his second pass, Brett rippled his bombs on AAA sites southeast of T-Bone Lake when struck by enemy rounds. Trailing smoke and flames he went feet wet (telephone interview). 

 According to SAR reports: " At 0925Z  JG 04 was returning to Quang Tri from SAR orbit when they heard the Mayday. They observed the aircraft on fire and proceeded to the crash scene in the water at 20/11/109, 11 miles northeast of Dong Ha...(approx 10 miles off shore)... JG04 rescued Col. Devol Brett, Vice Commander, 12 TFW, then...located Lt.  Smith’s streamer parachute (floating on the sea) and recovered his body, one mile away.  Aircraft commander and body of pilot recovered by JG and returned to Da Nang."

 For unknown reasons he refuses to provide attribution to original sources. Researchers are forewarned not to reference his material without first verifying the claims. As I said, he has a bad habit of claiming copyright to other writers' work.

Obtain an inter-library loan of the book and judge for yourself; start on page 27 of both books. This unethical behavior is unacceptable in academia and should be unacceptable in the book publishing industry.

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