COVID-19 Update

May 27, 2020: Biblio is open and shipping orders. Read more here.

Biblio: Used, Rare and Collectible Books for Sale

PHANTOM OVER VIETNAM:  FIGHTER PILOT, USMC. by  John Trotti - Hardcover - 1984 - from Capricorn Books (SKU: 24016)


PHANTOM OVER VIETNAM:  FIGHTER PILOT, USMC. by  John Trotti - Hardcover - 1984 - from Capricorn Books (SKU: 24016)


by Trotti, John

  • Used
  • very good
  • Hardcover
Very Good/Very Good-
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Oakville, Ontario
Item Price:
$3.99 shipping to USA
Standard Delivery: 5 to 12 days

More Shipping Options
Ask Seller a Question

Payment Methods Accepted

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Paypal

About This Item

Shrewsbury: Airlife, 1984. 250 pp, large 8vo (9" H). B&w illustrations, map. "What is it like to fly a fighter in combat? More specifically, what was it like to fly an F-4 Phantom in combat over Vietnam? The answers are in this exciting personal account by ex-Marine Corps pilot John Trotti, who flew over 600 missions during his two tours of duty there. Reading (this book) is the closest thing to actually flying a fighter aircraft in war. The reader experiences the life of a figher pilot - from the boredom of the Hot Pad, waiting for the Scramble, to moments of terror as a SAM pops out of the cloud deck, heading straight for your aircraft. You ride in the cockpit with Trotti as he bores straight down to target and pickles his bombs, feeling the exhilaration of no holds barred flying, then a stunned sense of loss as a friend's aircraft goes down in flames. You see a pilot's innermost fears and learn his feelings about war." Three tiny faint scuffs on front board, wrinkling at top/bottom of spine, a few pages with tiny corner crease. Dust jacket has light to moderate rubbing, wrinkling and light wear at top/bottom of spine and flap-folds.. Hard Cover. Very Good/Very Good-.


Written By Bernie Weisz April 27, 2010 Pembroke Pines, Florida e mail: Title of Review: "An unintentional denouncement of America's will to win in Vietnam!" The only reason I did not give this book a 5 star rating is because John Trotti went overboard in describing the technical details of the "Phantom F-4", it's inner mechanisms, it's role in avoinics, and the complicated flying tactics of a "Fighter-Bomber" pilot. To the novice in this area, this part of the book is laborous to read. To the history student, Trotti very unintentionally gives a scathing denouncement of America's role and will to win in the Vietnam debacle. Trotti was there in 1966 and flew missions right up to where Henry Kissinger successfully negotiated an end to America's role in the Vietnam War. Trotti gives an awesome description of the sheer power and exhiliration of sitting in a Phantom at breath-taking speeds while shooting and being shot at by hostile North Vietnamese forces, both ground-based (S.A.M's i.e "surface to air missles") and ariel (Russian-built M.I.G's). Vicariously, this book gets you as close as you are going to get as to what it is like to fly in a fighter-bomber while engaged in combat. However, being a multiple-tour veteran towards the end of the war, (1971) Trotti wrote about attacking N.Vietnam's only deep water port, "Haipong". Trotti wrote: "The only targets we were allowed to hit were the transportation routes and the facilities away from the area (port of Haipong), storage areas and their anti-air defenses. Then, one day we were turned loose on Haipong's major power-generating station. Step by step, targets were added to the list and the size of the raids of the North grew apace. Then, for no apparent reason, we would cease our strikes for weeks at a time. The official word was that it was to show our desire to achieve a negotiated settlement rather than a military one, but it seemed to us that these moratoriums came at a time that the defenses in the North showed signs of crumbling. As we would increase our level of activity, our losses would mount for a short period of time, level out and then drop off. Just about the time that we seemed to be able to strike targets with virtual impunity. Our raids would be curtailed for several weeks. When the strikes resumed, the enemy's air defenses were back in business, showing ready improvement as the conflict wore on". Obviously, if the U.S. pursued a similar tactic in bombing raids over Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany, the war could have very possibly ended differently. Even more damning, Trotti wrote: "While my own beliefs were in the process of undergoing a fundamental change, my exasperation with the tactics of the antiwar activists and what I felt then (and now) to be a slanted coverage of the war prevented me from acknowledging a central truth in their allegations:that the war was immoral. It wasn't the war itself but the manner in which we waged it that constituted the sin, but that recognition was still several years in the future. Nonetheless, I was willing to accept as an alternative to the belief that Ho Chi Minh represented a danger to America that Vietnam was important to the experience level of a new generation of pilots, ensuring that there would be plenty of blooded pilots for the next war. This was a sneaky kind of callousness, because I didn't have to acknowledge that at best we were using other people and other turf for our live-ordinance exercises". Sadly, how do you explain that statement to the families who have slain relatives names etched on "The Wall" in Washinton, D.C.? Trotti wrote about the change in the American G.I's mentality after the Tet Offensive. Trotti chillingly wrote his observation: "I sensed the mediocrity of the situation. It was if our troops were wallowing in molasses. "400 days and a wakeuo, baby" became the duty slogan for boots no more than hours off the plane (from the U.S. to Vietnam via Okinawa, Japan). "Just make sure there's cold beer at the club". Trucks and jeeps with lolling drivers from the Americal (Division)_ cruised the main service road in an endless stream as if it were Main Street on Saturday night. Hundreds of soldiers with long hair and seedy fatigues lounged around outside the Americal PX smoking dope in blatant defiance of their officers and NCO's. "Bust me, you sucker," their postures said, "and see what kind of grenade comes through the door to your hootch." For the truly hard core patriotic ex W.W. II veteran commanding officer, it was hard to stomach Trotti's next observation. Starting in 1968, Trotti wrote: Dope had become a major, perhaps the major factor in unit performance in vietnam and provided the backdrop for the polarization at home. It was popular to refer to that polarization as being one of age, but the real polarization was a matter of which side of the dope fence one sat on-age was only a reference point, and a very poor one at that. In the same way that a generation of young men got turned onto cigarettes in W.W. I (because the government passed them out for free), another generation had turned on to dope in Vietnam because it was cheap, ubiquitous and "better than twiddling your thumbs, booby." It was "Vietnam status," and it made the rounds quickly as the vet hit the streets back home. For different reasons, both combat and support units were easy marks for dope. For the former it was the roller coaster ride between terror and boredom, while for the latter, it was boredom enhanced perhaps by a sense of shame. But whatever the cause, the results were the same. Only units thoroughly immersed in their work were reasonably immune to the siren call of cannibis (marijuana)." In conclusion, as long as the reader can tolerate periods of complex discussions of esoteric knowledge of how a Phantom fighter bomber is built and how to operate it, an excellent, in depth tale of the U.S. failure in the futile pursuit of victory in the Vietnam War lies. Other covered subjects include an in depth discussion of how the draft negatively affected existing troops in Vietnam who volunteered and wanted to be there, strained race relations between black and white skinned troops, and lastly the failed attempt to turn the war effort directly over to the South Vietnamese, e.g. the failed program Richard Nixon called "Vietnamization". This is a truly remarkable story through the eyes of a pilot of how things turned sour for America in the Vietnam War. Find this book, sit down and read it!


Review this book and you'll be entered for a chance to win $50!

(Log-in or create an account first!)

You're rating the book as a work, not the seller or the specific copy you purchased!


Capricorn Books CA (CA)
Bookseller Inventory #
Trotti, John
Book condition
Used - Very Good
Jacket condition
Very Good-
Place of Publication
Date published
Vietnam War, Aerial operations, Fighter pilots, Air combat, F-4 Phantom, Jets, United States Marine Corps, Personal Narratives, John Trotti, Fighter Aircraft, SAMs, 20th Century.
Bookseller catalogs
Military - Aviation; American History & Travel; Military - Post WWII;

Terms of Sale

Capricorn Books


We accept the following forms of payment:

VISA & MASTERCARD [If contacting us directly by email please ensure you provide the \'FULL NAME\' as it appears on your card, 4 digit expiry date, the full number on card, and the 3 or 4 digit CVV security on the back of the card]; Personal, Business or Cashiers Check; International Money Order or PayPal (PayPal e-mail is (Sorry, we are not able to process other credit cards directly at this time). Canadian residents will be charged 5% GST on converted amount.

SHIPPING: Shipping rates are based upon the weight of a standard size book (8vo) or a large format trade paperback up to 1kg (2.2lbs). Larger, heavier books will be shipped at cost. We will e-mail you a quote for your approval, before we ship. Mass market paperback books, in many cases, will cost less to ship to the U.S.A. and Internationally. We will inform you by e-mail or adjust the charge when we process your order.

CANADA: Standard (via Expedited Parcel Post): 2 to 9 Business Days - $12.00 U.S. Expedited (via XpressPost): 2 to 3 Business Days - $20.00 U.S.

U.S.A.: Standard (Surface Mail): 5 to 12 Business Days - $3.99 U.S. Expedited: 2 to 7 Business Days - $12.99 U.S.

INTERNATIONAL: Standard (Surface Mail): 6 to 16 Weeks - $16.50 U.S. to $18.00 U.S. Expedited (Air Mail): 6 to 20 Business Days - $35.00 U.S to $42.00 U.S.

RETURNS: Books may be returned if not as described within 10 days with prior notice. Please e-mail us prior to returning book - thank you.

About the Seller

Capricorn Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2003
Oakville, Ontario
Ask Seller a Question

About Capricorn Books

Welcome to Capricorn Books. We offer a wide range of used, out-of-print and antiquarian books in most subjects, for readers and collectors alike. Our business has been in operation since 1995 and we have been selling on the internet since 1999. We have a general stock with larger catalogues being Military History, History, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Children's, Art, Antiques. All orders are processed promptly. Our goal is to ship your book(s) within 24 hours and notify you when we have done so - we always try to keep you informed. Enjoy your visit!


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...[more]
Abrasion or wear to the surface. Usually used in reference to a book's boards or dust-jacket.
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]

This Book’s Categories