In early 1966, Dr. Guy Clark received orders to go to Vietnam, and upon arrival that June was assigned to be a flight surgeon at Cam Ranh Bay Air Force Base, on the South China Sea. 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, A Flight Surgeon’s Odyssey in Vietnam 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.
Guy 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.