The B-52 is a Great Beast of a Plane

America’s Workhorse in Vietnam Takes to the Skies in Ch. 1 of Midair

Midair (Lyons Press) is a true account of one of the most remarkable tales of survival in the history of aviation — a midair collision at 30,000 feet by two bomb-laden B-52s over a category 5 super typhoon above the South China Sea during the outset of the Vietnam War.
Capt. Don Harten posing in front of his bomb-laden F-105, dubbed the Pink Pussycat, at Takhli AFB, Thailand, 1968. “He was a top-gun pilot before there were top-gun pilots. He was Tom Cruise before there was Tom Cruise.”
Lt. Don Harten, second from left, poses with his six-man bomber crew in front of their B-52, Parker’s Pride, at Mather AFB, Sacramento, California, April 18, 1966. From left: Capt. Pete Nichols, Lt. Don Harten, Capt. Chuck Andermann, Capt. Bernie Dowes, Lt. Jim Erbes, Capt. Charlie McCarthy. (Official USAF photo)
Lt. Don Harten’s B-52 bombing a Viet Cong stronghold in North Vietnam, 1966. (Official USAF photo.)
Author Craig K. Collins, right, and his uncle Maj. Don Harten, a retired combat pilot who’s remarkable survival story and experiences in Vietnam are told in the book Midair. Collins is the author of two books of literary non-fiction: Thunder in the Mountains (Lyons Press, 2014) and Midair (Lyons Press, 2016). He is currently finishing the manuscript of his first novel due out in 2021. (Photo: Sacramento Bee)

Author of Midair (Lyons Press, 2016) and Thunder in the Mountains (Lyons Press, 2014). At work on a novel, as well as a book of historical non-fiction.

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