Red Eagles by Steve Davies

Troubled by its inability to combat North Vietnamese MiG aircraft throughout the Vietnam War, the United States Air Force launched a top-secret program after the war to train American fighter aircrews on how to do battle with the Russian-manufactured aircraft. This program, based at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, is the subject of Steve Davies’ Red Eagles: America’s Secret MiGs (Osprey Publishing, 352 pp., $25.95).

This new edition of the book, which was first published in 2008, features recently declassified information. Davies, a military and commercial aviation photojournalist, chronicles the story of the Red Eagles, a unit of the Air Force that learned how to, without manuals or instructions, operate MiGs.

Basing much of his work on first-hand accounts, Davies’ book provides illuminating insight into the personalities behind the program and into the challenging, dangerous, and exhilarating work carried out by the members of this top-secret program.

— Dale Sprusansky