In the early afternoon of May 14, 1967, a U.S. Navy F-4B Phantom II fighter jet, flown by Ev Southwick and Jack Rollins, launched from the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier sailing in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam. As part of a massive aerial attack against the infamous Thanh Hoa Bridge south of Hanoi, in an area known to American airmen as “Route Package IV,” Southwick and Rollins flew a flak suppression mission against the bridge’s formidable air defenses. Their Phantom came under deadly antiaircraft fire. The two men never returned to the carrier.
Phantom in the River is the true, detailed account of the two airmen, their harrowing mission and survival, and their plane — the F-4B Phantom II — a masterpiece of American aviation the Vietnamese referred to as Con ma. Includes more than 50 rare photographs.