Asp One contains fiction and non-fiction offerings by noted author, John Trotti.
Why Asp One? It was John's flight call sign , chosen because it was short, easily recognizable, and reflected a certain amount of savagery suitable to its purpose.
Not only will you find a variety of stories and blogs by John, but a selection of other offerings by friends, associates, and visitors such as yourself.
Every month we'll be presenting new and interesting stories and discussions. If you'd like to see your work here on Asp One, please let us know.
I will be creating an entire section on this site including the several hundred editorials and blogs I wrote in the 24 years I served as editor of the magazine, MSW Management. As part of the effort I will highlight one of them in this column in an attempt to tie the past to the present...and to the future.
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WINGS OF WAR
Capturing the grit as well as the glory of air combat, Phantom over Vietnam is the most genuine picture of life in a Marine fighter squadron yet written. In relating the details of his two tours in a McDonnell F-4 Phantom, John Trotti paints a vivid picture of the stress of delivering ordnance in a hard—and ultimately pointless—war against elusive North Vietnamese forces. As he does so, he reveals how his own personality was transformed as he matured and came eventually to have a deeper understanding of the war and of his generation.
A stylish writer, Trotti portrays both the art and technique of flying, carrying the reader with him into the cockpit. He is a master of both the engineering and the aesthetics of flying, and he brings life to the routine procedures of a combat mission, so that the reader understands why each switch is thrown, why each knot of airspeed is gained, and how each maneuver is executed. Whether the mission is scrambling to assist 'troops in contact," dive bombing at night in a dark Laotian valley, or easing the probe into a refueling basket while the instrument panel gauges flicker on zero, Trotti coolly combines all the operational factors in a swift, flowing narrative. In doing so, he represents the best technical description of war flying to come out of Vietnam.
In many ways, Trotti's admiration for his airplane is a metaphor for his feelings about the military society in which he lives. He admires the Phantom's capabilities. It is fast, powerful, and able to carry a vast amount of ordnance. But he also is candid about its limitations, for it gulped fuel, left dark trails of smoke, and needed lots of maintenance. Similarly, he portrays his admiration for his fellow pilots, all of whom risked their lives as he did, and for the efforts of the United States to bolster a weak and sometimes difficult ally. At the same time, he doesn't hesitate to point out the shortcomings of our government in establishing ridiculous rules of engagement that made combat more costly and less effective than it could have been.
TIME-LIFE BOOKS INC.. ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA 22314
Trotti returned to the United States after his first combat tour and served as an instructor. When he went back to Vietnam, he found that he had changed, and so had the environment. He was shocked to find that "dope had become a major, perhaps the major, factor in unit performance in Vietnam, and provided the backdrop for the polarization at home." During his second tour he became more deeply aware of the problems of the Vietnamese people, just as he became disillusioned with the trend of the Marines to meet the Department of Defense demands for a paperwork measurement of hooches blown up, trenches strafed, or bodies counted.
John Trotti served for twelve years as a Marine fighter pilot. He left the military to take up his current career as a writer and editor. He is also the author of Marine Air: First to Fight. His flying has taken a marked turn, for instead of a MiG-killing Phantom, he, with a partner, now owns and flies a MiG-15.
Published in 1986, Marine Air was John's second book for Presidio Press. While it is several decades out of date, it is still a nice (and accurate) picture of a time of transition for the Corps. Better still John did the book in conjunction with the late George Hall, the world's foremost aviation photographer.
We still have a very limited number of copies , that we will be offering, with all proceeds (except for mailing costs) going to the Semper Fi Fund.
Specially printed for John and George with 8 additional pages of color photos, there are only 30 copies left, and when they're gone, that's it.
We will be populating this Section in the very near future.
We will populate this area as we receive feedback and questions
Files coming soon.