Memories of the P2V Neptune
Captain Brian McGuiness USNR (Ret.)
Title: "COFFEE ON THE WING BEAM-Memories of the P2V Neptune" By Capt. Brian McGuiness USNR (Ret.). From Operation Market Time in Vietnam to the latter days of the Cold War, with vignettes of the Pueblo seizure, the earlier Korean War, the Truculent Turtle, and all eight models of the venerable P2V Neptune aircraft. The author recalls the excitement, luck, redeemable stupidity, brilliance and shenanigans that made up the modus operandi of patrol aviation. Knights of the Red Branch Press, P.O. Box 296, Clearlake, WA 98235-0296. 140pp of text, maps and illustrations, and 16pp of photographs. Paperback $11.95 plus $3 shipping/handling. Contact author for Brochure and ordering information at (360)856-4010. [10SEP98]
Memories of the P2V Neptune contains 140 pages of text, maps and illustrations, and 16 pages of photographs.
A general perception might be that patrol aviation is just thousands of hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Actually, it's considerably more than that.
Coffee On The Wing Beam goes beyond the monotonous droning of engines to the excitement, luck, redeemable stupidity, brilliance and shenanigans that make up the real modus operandi of patrol aviation.
Set in the early days of the Vietnam Conflict and culminating in the latter days of the Cold War, the book takes readers on a journey following a skinny city kid delivering newspapers in a snowstorm, to the cockpit command of a venerable P2V Neptune patrol aircraft where "deliveries" meant selecting bombs, torpedoes or rockets.
Along the way are vivid details of carrier landings in a World War II-type prop aircraft, a back-crunching simulated prisoner-of-war camp, and two successful tours in vietnam flying the Neptune aircraft in Operation Market Time, where enemy gun-running trawlers were discovered and destroyed.
Not satisfied to just fly missions in the war zone, the author describes his patrol at sea on board a U.S. Navy Swift boat, where sailors boarded vietnamese sampans with arms drawn to search for possible weapons or contraband.
On an otherwise routine trip from Wake Island to Hawaii, the author relates for readers the ride of his life, wrestling with the controls of the aircraft in extreme turbulence, fighting to keep it in the air, while trying to ignore the brilliant, surreal light show of st. Elmo's fire that completely covered the fuselage and wings.
During the Cold War, patrol crews were more often called upon to keep constant track of Soviet submarines, fishing fleets and intelligence-gathering trawlers. The book takes readers along on a surveillance flight, just off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, out to a Soviet whaling fleet busily cutting up two leviathans and causing the ocean to glisten blood-red in the sun. The flight crew's subsequent actions after discovering a "bad guy" that same day might have been cause for an international incident, but the bad guy didn't complain.
When the USS Pueblo was illegally captured, patrol crews where among the first to respond. curiously, unlike the unarmed patrols in vietnam, the aircraft flying off Korea were always fully loaded with weapons, awaiting a possible signal--that never came--to punish the north for its piracy.
Patrol aviation was anything but somber. There was lots of room for non-lethal goof ups and shenanigans. The text offers many amusing anecdotes and some focused irreverence in telling the true story of how Neptune patrol crews worked and played.
For history buffs, the book recalls the adventure of the most famous Neptune aircraft in the world, the Truculent Turtle, which set a long-standing, non-refueled nonstop distance record of 11,236 miles in 1946.
Coffee On The Wing Beam also offers those tens of thousands of readers in nine countries around the world who flew in or maintained P2V Neptunes with a ready reference of all the Neptune-type models ever built in the thirty-four year production run.
2nd Printing - Larger Format
"...Coffee On The Wing Beam is SOLD OUT. I don't intend to produce a 3rd printing. I am (the author) NOT the seller of used copies of the book as promoted and priced on Amazon.com at over $100 per copy. I hope no one buys any of them..." Contributed by Captain Brian McGuiness [10MAR2010]
NOTICE: "...Please allow two weeks for delivery. If you would like your book autographed by the author - please include TO WHOM, whether or not they are a veteran, and if so - which squadron and/or unit..." [05DEC2001]
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