In Harrier Boys, Volume One: Cold War Through the Falklands, 1969-1990, Robert Marston, who flew Harriers for many years, draws together accounts from others who worked with this unique jet through its history. The excitement, camaraderie, and pride of Harrier operators shine through in the personal stories of those whose lives were changed by their experience of this iconic aircraft, both on land and at sea. In this first volume, events of the Cold War years are brought to life by contributors including Graham Williams, who flew the Transatlantic Air Race, Peter Dodworth, a member of the original Harrier Conversion Team, Peter Harris, a participant in the early defense of Belize, Sir Peter Squire, OC 1 (F) Squadron during the Falklands conflict, and Australian Dave Baddams, who commanded the Royal Navy Sea Harriers of 800 Squadron.
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Volume 1 covers the introductions of the Harrier into service, the development of the type through the GR.3 and 5 versions and of course the Falkland campaign.
It's composed of different pilots (and one ground crew) relating their experiences of training for, flying, fighting and living as Harrier pilots. The books gives about half of the time over to the RAF version and their histories, the remainder covers the Fleet Air Arm, US Marine exchanges, initial development and the crew and senior officer view points.
By it's nature it doesn't have a strong narrative structure, but it does work well and where individuals contributions cross over, (self) editing is highlighted and the reader is aware of where the content exists later in the book.
I'd recommend this to anybody with more than a passing interest in the Harrier, RAF forward operations in Germany during the cold war or anybody who is interested in the development of new aircraft and their entry into service. It's number of contributors and the vast scope of the Harrier's operational life in the RAF ensure that it is a lively and interesting read.
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