Sharkbait, A Flight Surgeon’s Odyssey in Vietnam Recounts Riveting Wartime Journey

A must-read for any military literature buff. Dr. Clark gives a unique perspective on Air Force life and on flying missions before and during his Vietnam War tour.

Sharkbait, A Flight Surgeon’s Odyssey in Vietnam, by Dr. Guy C. Clark of Santa Barbara, is just out from Weeping Willow Books ( Dr. Clark was a 28-year-old Air Force physician when he received orders to go to Vietnam in 1966. Thus began a year-long assignment that would find Clark flying more than ninety bombing missions over Vietnam in the Phantom F4-C, plunging deep into the Viet Cong-infested jungle with a gaggle of Republic of Korea Marines in search of the remains of two lost Phantom pilots, and tending to the medical needs of the pilots he flew with.

Sharkbait tells these stories and more, including Clark’s survival of “Jungle Survival School” in the Philippines, and temporary assignments at Vung Tau (the “Riviera” for servicemen in Vietnam), Binh Thuy, and other Air Force outposts in Vietnam. Along the way, Clark introduces readers to arrogant and clueless military brass, and courageous pilots who day after day fly into the danger and uncertainty of a war that was becoming increasingly unpopular at home.

Clark’s experiences as flight surgeon and doctor to the pilots who flew bombing missions every day were very different from the ground troops and helicopter pilots, many of whom have written eloquently about their own war experiences. Clark was a physician who dreamed of high adventure, and flying with the Phantom F4-C pilots was the ultimate high. Fifty-two years after the beginning of the war in Vietnam, Dr. Clark’s memoir tells a part of the story that hasn’t been told.

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