Phantom in the River by Gary Wayne Foster | Books in Review

Gary Wayne Foster’s Phantom in the River: The Flight of Linfield Two Zero One (Hellgate, 218 pp., $19.95, paper), tells the story of the flight of a Navy F-4B Phantom II jet flown by Ev Southwick and Jack Rollins on May 14, 1967. After taking off from the USS Kitty Hawk on a mission to blow up the Thanh Hoa Bridge in North Vietnam, the jet’s engines seriously malfunctioned and were about to explode when the two crewmen ejected over North Vietnam. They soon were taken prisonor, and landed in the Hanoi Hilton.

Foster tells the story clearly and well. And the story also includes accounts of the trips he made to Vietnam with Southwick and Rollins to Vietnam in 2004 and 2009. Amazingly, the men found the wreckage of their plane—and posed for photos. The also visited the bridge they bombed and the prison in which they were held.

—Marc Leepson

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