On the President’s Vietnam Mission by Richard Osborn and Barbara Osborn

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Richard Osborn, who was born and raised in England, is a veteran of the British Army Royal Artillery as well as the United States Air Force. He is a licensed pilot and is well-qualified to write novels dealing with the military and flying.

He and his wife Barbara Osborn are the authors of a series of novels about Ian Black, who served six years in the British Army Intelligence Corps, resigned his commission, and moved to the United States where he managed to secure a reserve commission as a captain in the U.S. Air Force.

In the third novel in the series, On the President’s Vietnam Mission, (Britannia-American Books, 368 pp., $16.50, paper), Ian Black is indoctrinated at Maxwell AFB, then sent to Vietnam to work on intelligence-gathering missions.

He is given the task of trying to determine how developed the North Vietnamese Integrated Air Defense System is and to figure out how to prevent the increasing loss of American planes shot down by missiles and antiaircraft guns.

To obtain a tally of the North Vietnamese military weapons, Ian Black must fly over North Vietnam in an F-4 Phantom, as the GIB (Guy in Back.) While he is doing that, Soviet missiles are aimed at the aircraft. Using anti-radiation missiles, he has to destroy a radar installation at Fan Song before the enemy can fire and guide the missiles to his aircraft.

Can Ian Black survive these threats and return home to his luscious young wife? The answer is revealed in the novel, which like its two predecessors, has Ian Black and his men take part in many missions of derring-do.

These well-written thrillers are highly recommended.

—David Willson