As the Vietnam War raged thousands of miles away, Mike McCarthy completed his flight training in the United States, eager to get into the war and afraid it would end before he could participate. He needn't have worried. By 1967, he was flying his F-4 Phantom II fighter with the U.S. Air Force's 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, also known as Satan's Angels. Before his tour ended, McCarthy completed 124 missions during the intense air war over North Vietnam and Laos and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. His memoir recreates the horror and exhilaration of air combat.
Mike McCarthy retired from the U.S. Air Force as a colonel in 1990, finishing his military career as chief of staff at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. He currently teaches aviation at Arizona State University and lives in Litchfield Park, Arizona.