Libya attempts to shoot down an American C-130 on a mercy mission over the Sahara. The Air Force responds with F4-E Phantoms based in Egypt. Jack Locke, a fighter jock as good as he is cocksure, downs a Libyan MiG and an international crisis erupts, forcing the Wing to relocate to England. Colonel Anthony “Muddy” Waters must find a way to revitalized the wing and ready it for combat. Driving them hard is the Air Force’s hard-nosed chief of staff, General Lawrence “Sundown” Cunningham. Suspecting the Middle East is about to explode again, he wants a finely tuned fighting machine available for quick deployment.


As the wing begins to show that it can fight, a war flares in the Persian Gulf when Iran makes a grab for the Saudi Arabian oilfields. The wing is quickly deployed to the Persian Gulf near Kuwait and, in some of the most convincing depictions of aerial combat in modern fiction, stops the Iranians.


But a price must be paid for peace, and the 45th is hung out to dry in an “Arab Solution.” Muddy Waters and Jack Locke must lead their wing in a desperate withdrawal from the Persian Gulf.

The Warbirds by Richard Herman Jr.