Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on May 13, 2021
I served in the VP navy as a young AW in the early 70’s stationed at Moffett NAS. In full disclosure, I joined the Navy to avoid the Draft, the Army, and Viet Nam. I was one of those under-motivated enlisted sailors Spink writes about. Regardless, I did my duty believing the Soviet Union to be an existential threat to my country. When I stumbled on Spink’s book, I thought, given its subtitle, “A History of Patrol Aviation During the Cold War in the Pacific,” that it would provide a broad geopolitical perspective. Instead, it is a rather predicable but messy compendium of “war stories” told exclusively by former officers, some of which I served under. I did learn a few interesting facts I did not know about the tactical rationale behind our missions. Yet at a more personal level, many of these stories confirmed my young, inarticulate intuition at the time about the officer corps. Careerism ran rampant among the “O’s.” It was so entrenched that the contributors to this “Collaboration” cannot even hear how they sound. I also found partially amusing the stories about missions gone wrong. Usually there would be an enlisted crewman fingered as the culprit. We all took a bullet now and then as part of the job. Although I never said it out loud, I thought to my TACCO more than once, “I can’t make miracles with the crummy buoy patterns you give me.” Just like the narrative in Stanley Kubrick’s “Paths to Glory,” these officers protected their career paths at the expense of the enlisted pukes. We were as expendable as Class A sonobuoys. Maybe that could explain our morale. I wonder what the current cohort of officers are like today. I hope this generation’s leadership is better. Despite my criticisms, I do not regret purchasing the book. It has its moments.