By Tommy H. Thomason

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Smokin' Tigers by Michael Grove and Angelo Romano


Smokin' Tigers is the latest book from noted U.S. naval aviation historian Angelo Romano, coauthored with Michael Grove. It is available in both soft and hard-bound editions. To see more of Angelo's publications and one way to order them, click this LINK.

Consistent features of Angelo's books are high-quality reproduction of many high-resolution pictures, mostly color; operational histories; aircraft configuration and marking information; color profiles; and technical data. In this case, it begins in the beginning with the formation of Composite Squadron Five (VC-5) in 1948 to add nuclear bomb delivery capability to U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.

Heavy Attack Squadron One (VAH-1)—soon to be christened the Smokin' Tigers (note the mushroom-shaped exhalation of smoke)—was subsequently formed in 1955 to introduce the big Douglas A3D Skywarrior in service for that mission. The squadron's long history and the book concludes with the retirement of the North American RA-5C Vigilante in 1979. In between, the various aircraft types it employed, the deployments the squadron made, and the transition from the nuclear-strike mission to multi-sensor reconnaissance are covered in detail.

Although the book's subtitle includes the word "pictorial", it is much more than a collection of pictures as evidenced by the participation in the book's preparation of R.R. "Boom" Powell, a naval aviator who flew the Vigilante and has written a book about it.

As an alternative to the link above, the soft-bound edition of Smokin' Tigers is also available from Ginter Books.