Flying From the Black Hole: the B-52 Navigator-Bombardiers of Vietnam
Flying From the Black Hole: the B-52 Navigator-Bombardiers of Vietnam, Robert O. Harder, 2009, ISBN 978-1-59114-359-9, 299 pp.
Harder has written a book far beyond its title indicates. To be sure, he describes the duty of the navigator-bombadier which was detailed and salient to mission accomplishment as they assisted their B-52 pilots in getting to a specific points within 15 second time windows—whether for refueling rendezvous or IP. Harder well describes the meaning of these 15 second windows, errors of palming staff, procedures for when equipment fails, the importance of the 3 x B-52 cell, why the B-52D was better in Vietnam than the B-52G and much more.
The reader certainly learns what it was like flying the B-52 in combat missions over Vietnam.
The reader also learns about the Arc Light and Linebacker missions—placing them into the context of the war effort better than most historians which have written of them. His writing is fresh, well written and deep;y thought out. Harder has the overview of a philosopher alloyed with the experienced combat veteran—it is a potent, unusual combination and one to be enjoyed.
The reader certainly learns what the prosecution and evolution of the Arc Light and Linebacker missions were like as well as their legacies.