Stephen Coonts\' "Flight of the Intruder": Summary


This week I read Flight of the Intruder by Stephen Coonts. I read from
page 1 to page 437 for a total of 437 pages.
The book is about an A-6A Intruder (a naval bomber) pilot named Jake
Grafton. In the first few pages Jake\'s best friend and B/N
(Bombardier/Navigator) is killed by a Vietnamese soldier\'s rifle. In this
mission their target was a "suspected truck park." Jake goes into despondency
(depression, despair) for a days and tries to convince his squadron leader that
the targets are worthless, that thousand of Americans have died en route and
returning from these. The leader replies that he is not in control of the
targets, the Pentagon and Air Force is. Jake gathers information from maps and a
friend in the navigation department to learn about a target he wants to go
after: The Vietnam Communist Party Headquarters. The three figure that if they
succeed, they\'ll have a good chance of hitting the leader of the party. Grafton
and his bombardier, Virgil Cole miss the building completely and just hit a few
bystanders and blow craters in the sidewalk. Just when the two are about to be
court-martialed, President Nixon gives the orders of unauthorized bombings
anywhere in North and South Vietnam. Grafton and Cole fly their next mission
with a EA-6B for SAM (surface-to-air missiles) suppression. This plane only
carried antiradiation missiles to destroy the SAMs and their radar. But, as they
were approximating (approaching, advancing on) the first SAM surface gun
destroyed most of the plane. The crew ejected within the midst of the night;
Grafton landing safely, but Cole\'s back broke. Eventually, they were rescued by
a helicopter, but an A-1 Skyraider pilot who was killing off the Vietnamese that
were trying to shoot the crew.
The setting of the book was in the Vietnam Era, most likely in the early
years. There were various settings like the aircraft carrier, Cubi Point Naval
Air Station in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and inside the planes. The most
important setting was the cockpit of the Intruder.
This story was very, very realistic. It really could have happened. One
reason is because the novel took place in a real place and time: the Vietnam War.
Everything about it exists. The only possible unrealistic thing is that the
likelihood of the President\'s order coming at the same time of Grafton\'s raid is
truly slim.
The details and description in the novel are perfect. When the author
talks about the various things and airplane is equipped with he doesn\'t list
them; he talks about their use and properties. The author also doesn\'t drone on
with elaborate descriptions either. Stephen Coonts has found a perfect mix of
the two.
This story was also action packed. It had last second decisions, bombs
dropping, missiles firing, pilots barely ejecting, shootouts, and airplane
chases. (A Russian MiG fighter chased Jake for a while). But, unfortunately, it
had people dying and being killed.
After reading this book I saw the movie Flight of the Intruder. Both had
the same plot, except in the movie Jack bombed a large area filled to the brim
with SAMs called SAM City, not Party Headquarters. Also, in the movie Cole
killed himself when his back broke, and the A-1 pilot didn\'t get shot down. The
last run Jack made in the movie was in daylight and his commander\'s plane was
shot down then his. In the book the commander never stepped in a plane.

Category: English