Commander Peter B. Mersky, USNR (Ret),
is the author of The Grim Reapers: Fighting Squadron Ten in WW II and U.S. Marine Corps Aviation 1912 to the Present.
He is the editor of From the Flight Deck: An Anthology of the Best Writing on Carrier Warfare;
and, a co-author of The Naval Air War in Vietnam; Amphibious Warfare: An Illustrated History; and, Corsairs to
Panthers: U.S. Marine Aviation in Korea.
According to the book description of
From the Flight Deck: An Anthology of the Best Writing on Carrier Warfare, ““Prepare
to launch aircraft!” One can almost hear the order booming from the island’s loudspeaker. In From the Flight
Deck, the exhilarating and always dangerous world of aircraft carrier aviation is covered in thirty-two excerpts of the best
fiction and nonfiction writing on the subject. Beginning with the first success in 1910 by American aviator Eugene Ely, the
anthology then covers British operations during World War I and the unique contributions to carrier warfare made by the U.S
and British navies during the 1920s and 1930s. World War II and the Korean War are also well represented—with excerpts
from such American classics as Walter Lord’s Day of Infamy, Ted Lawson’s Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, and James
A. Michener’s The Bridges of Toko Ri—as the period during which carriers and their crews matured into the indispensable
weapon systems we nearly take for granted today.
Experiments with larger and more
capable aircraft as well as advances in a vast array of carrier-related technology bring the reader to the present day, with
selections by such noted authors as Norman Polmar (Aircraft Carriers) and George Wilson (Supercarrier). The diverse experiences
of U.S. and foreign naval aviators in the Suez Operation in 1956, the French and American wars in Vietnam, the Falklands War,
the Persian Gulf War, and the Allied air campaign in Bosnia are all covered, often through eyewitness accounts. For example,
in Peter B. Mersky’s book, RF-8 Crusader Units Over Cuba and Vietnam, he relates a chilling first-person account of
the fire on board the U.S.S. Oriskany in 1966. In She's Just Another Navy Pilot, Laurie Hirschman describes the major
social changes caused by the arrival of women fighter pilots in the Navy.
From its primitive start during the earliest years of flight, through its numerous tests in the
crucible of war, and to the high-tech operations of recent missions, all the thrills and risks of nearly a century of carrier
aviation are captured in From the Flight Deck.”