America’s Secret Mig Squadron

Published: May 21st, 2013     
Author: Gaillard R. Peck, Jr.
Reviewed by: Rob Booth - IPMS# 37548
ISBN #: 978-1-84908-976-0
Other Publication Information: Hardback, 352 pages
Price: $25.95
Product provided by: Osprey Publishing

One of the planned builds in my stash is the Mig-21 F-13 the USAF obtained from the Israelis that became the secret "Have Doughnut" project. I discovered this aircraft in an article in an old Air Force Association Magazine my Dad gave me. The photos of the ungainly looking natural metal beast with stars and bars markings were intriguing. When I saw this book offered up on the review list, I asked for it thinking it would contain all the reference photos I needed to supplement those in the magazine to complete that build. I was wrong. There were few photos of the aircraft in the book.

What I did find, though, was the fascinating story of the creation of one of our country's greatest defense assets over the past few decades. Author, and former F-4 Phantom driver Gail Peck (Col., USAF, ret'd.) details the story of the USAF's aggressor training squadron from inception to its' current status as the opposing force team for the best trained pilots in the world.

The reader will learn about the conception and development of Project Constant Peg, the initial struggles for funding, assets and personnel, all done under the tightest of top secret operations. Stories of personnel selection and the personal stories of those chosen to participate add a human touch. Acquisition of aircraft assets, and the flying characteristics are discussed, along with the development of maintenance requirements and operational envelopes of each are reviewed. Also included is a chapter outlining the acquisition and building of the secret air base at Tonopah, Nevada.

All-in-all, the details of the creation and operation of this fascinating, previously top secret organization gave me a renewed interest in pulling out my 1/32 Trumpeter Mig-21 F-13 and getting started. I would have loved more photo documentation, but the detailed discussions of each aircraft were helpful, as well.

This book is highly recommended for modelers interested in modern soviet aircraft, and the history of USAF aggressor aircraft and tactics.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this publication.

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