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MILITARY BOOKS

Jay A. Stout

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Lieutenant Colonel Jay A. Stout, USMC (ret.), now a senior analyst in the defense industry, spent twenty years as a U.S. Marine Corps fighter pilot flying F-4s and F/A-18s. During the Gulf War, he flew thirty-seven combat missions.  Jay A. Stout is the author of To Be a U.S. Naval Aviator; Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers; Fortress Ploesti: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil; Hammer from Above: Marine Air Combat Over Iraq; and, Hornets over Kuwait.  Jay Stout is also a coauthor of The First Hellcat Ace.

 

According to the book description of To Be a U.S. Naval Aviator, “For anyone with the will to become a U.S. naval aviator, the future begins now. Marine fighter pilot and combat veteran Jay Stout shows us just what it takes to be a U.S. naval aviator in the twenty-first century, conducting us through every step of training as these dedicated, everyday heroes prepare for tomorrow’s threats while taking the fight to the enemy today. Throughout, Stout offers behind-the-scenes perspectives on the community of naval aviators, with profiles of the men and women who fly naval aircraft, of celebrated naval aviators, and of important figures in the history of naval aviation.”

 

According to the book description of Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers, Texas lost many volunteers during its hard-won fight for independence from Mexico, but one harrowing episode stands out. Following a one-sided battle on the prairie near Coleto Creek, 250 mostly American prisoners were marched back to the presidio at Goliad where they were joined by more than 200 others. Subsequently, on orders from President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, they were brutally slaughtered on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836. The loss of so many fighting men in a single day was, at the time, one of the largest in U.S. history. The reaction in Texas was one of horror, fear, and, for some, a lust for revenge. The revulsion felt throughout the United States turned American sympathies against Mexico and its efforts to preserve its territorial integrity. Based on extensive research, this book offers a powerful description of what happened and an astute analysis of why it happened. For historical background, it also presents an overview of Texas and Mexican history and the factors that led to the massacre.

As a career military officer, author Jay Stout offers insights not grasped by other writers on the subject. He pays particular attention to the leadership on both sides during the revolution and discusses why the massacre has been largely ignored in the years since. Stout deglamorizes the fight against Santa Anna and his army, while at the same time acknowledging the Mexican perspective and the motivations of Mexico's leaders. The author's dynamic writing style, combined with the compelling subject matter, makes this book attractive to everyone interested in the military, Texas, and American history.”

 

According to the book description of Fortress Ploesti: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil, “Unlike previous books on Ploesti, Jay Stout goes well beyond the famous big and bloody raid of August 1943 and depicts the entire 1944 strategic campaign of twenty-plus missions that all but knocked Ploesti out of the war and denied the German war machine the fuel and lubricants it so desperately needed.

 

While Fortress Ploesti is the narrative history of the entire air campaign to deny the Ploesti oil complex to the Axis powers, it is also a launching point for the author's inquiries into many aspects of the American strategic bombing effort in World War II. It delivers across the board.

 

Stout, who served as a Marine F/A-18 pilot in the First Gulf War, asks questions about aviation combat history and technique that any modern combat pilot would be dying to ask. He carries the ball far beyond the goal post set by all other Ploesti historians. He has gone out of his way to describe the defenses throughout the campaign, and he brings in the voices of Ploesti's defenders to complement the tales of Allied airmen who brought Ploesti to ruin. He describes the role of the bombers, that of the fighters, the ant-aircraft defenses, even the technique of obscuring the Ploesti complex with smoke.

 

In the end, Stout's narrative describes the entire Ploesti effort for the very first time in print, and, by proxy, guides the reader through the intricacies of the entire Allied strategic bombing campaign in Europe, and all the weapons and techniques the Axis powers used to parry it. His lucid presentation of complex issues at the tactical and strategic levels is impressive.”

According to one review of The First Hellcat Ace, “Professional writer Jay Stout and WWII air ace extraordinaire, CDR Hamilton McWhorter III (USN Ret) have captured a great piece of personal history in their non-fictional book, "The First Hellcat Ace." This is truly one of the all time greatest stories of U.S. Naval aviation history. The authors take us along as we follow a young Hamilton go through his training (During the time of Pearl Harbor) and off on his battles over North Africa against the Vichy French and in the Pacific against the Japanese.

 

This is not just a story of how one man becomes the first air ace in a Hellcat Fighter but it deals with accounts of other men from "Fighting Squadron 9." These were America's best young men who fought in the skies above the likes of Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Tarawa Atoll among other places. They risked their lives daily in air to air combat and from hostile ground and ship fire.

 

There is much depth to the story telling as we get to look at McWhorter's experiences as he reflects back on those days during the war. It is told as if it had just recently happened. The writing style is easy to read and follow and creates great excitement. It also gives us a more personal view of the men and what their lives were like. This book is suitable for most all readers.

 

If you enjoy aviation, or naval war stories, history, or just like to read about heroes, then this is the book for you. This is an important book that needs to be discovered by young Americans looking for old fashioned heroes. Commander McWhorter is the real McCoy and it would be good to honor him and others like himself before the Greatest Generation becomes just a memory. But when they do, I hope that this book will still be there casting long shadows over future generations.”


To Be a U.S. Naval Aviator (To Be A)
Jay A. Stout  More Info

Slaughter at Goliad: The Mexican Massacre of 400 Texas Volunteers
Jay A. Stout  More Info

The First Hellcat Ace
Hamilton, III McWhorter  More Info

Fortress Ploesti: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil
Jay A. Stout  More Info

Hammer from Above: Marine Air Combat Over Iraq
Jay Stout  More Info

Hornets over Kuwait
Jay A. Stout  More Info

Publisher’s Weekly said of Hammer from Above: Marine Air Combat Over Iraq, “Former Marine Corps fighter pilot Stout (Hornets Over Kuwait, etc.) offers an in-depth account of the role that Marine aircraft played in the launching of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Stout relies primarily on first-person testimony from dozens of Marines whom he interviewed shortly after they returned from the war. These men flew and crewed in all manner of Marine Corps aircraft: attack helicopters, jet fighters and different types of support and transport planes. Employing a writing style that includes plenty of military acronyms and technological details, Stout focuses on the human element: tales of combat told by the men in the cockpits. He shows that, while the war was a nearly unqualified success, it still contained, as all wars do, mistakes along the chain of command, weather conditions that were unpredictable and, of course, enemy fighters aiming to kill. All of these factors led to American casualties, accounts of which Stout includes. In the main, though, Stout concentrates on successful, often heroic missions that create a solid image of Marine prowess

 

A reviewer of Hornets over Kuwait, “Don't turn to Hornets Over Kuwait for enlightenment on the "grand strategy" of the Gulf War; none is forthcoming--nor should it be. This is a first-person memoir of the war from the cockpit and the author's perspective is only as wide as his FA-18's windscreen. It's a lively narrative history told in the patois of the fighter pilot. The author, a USMC Captain at the time of the war, is not a dispassionate observer. Rather, he brings genuine enthusiasm to his story; enthusiasm for the Hornet, for Marine Corps aviation, and for his comrades-in-arms. He does, however, display the junior officer's typically irreverent attitude toward superiors and "the system." In the midst of his tale, he makes brief "detours" to take pot shots at the Navy, the Air Force, two-seat FA-18s, Harriers, women in the military, and assorted "boobs and doofs." His ebullience for the Hornet is understandable--like a cowboy's love of his horse--but his analysis of the Hornet's efficacy in delivering "dumb" bombs accurately in a modern high-threat environment should be balanced with less passionate opinion. The author can be forgiven his bursts of enthusiasm for as Winston Churchill once said "There is nothing so exhilarating in life as to be shot at without effect." Turn to other books for strategic analysis of the Gulf War air campaign, but read this one to get the view from the cockpit.”

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