Topgun - Dan Pedersen


By Dan Pedersen

  • Release Date: 2019-03-05
  • Genre: Military
Score: 4
From 219 Ratings



"If you loved the movie, you will love the real story in the book." -- Fox & Friends
On the 50th anniversary of the creation of the "Topgun" Navy Fighter School, its founder shares the remarkable inside story of how he and eight other risk-takers revolutionized the art of aerial combat.
When American fighter jets were being downed at an unprecedented rate during the Vietnam War, the U.S. Navy turned to a young lieutenant commander, Dan Pedersen, to figure out a way to reverse their dark fortune. On a shoestring budget and with little support, Pedersen picked eight of the finest pilots to help train a new generation to bend jets like the F-4 Phantom to their will and learn how to dogfight all over again.

What resulted was nothing short of a revolution -- one that took young American pilots from the crucible of combat training in the California desert to the blistering skies of Vietnam, in the process raising America's Navy combat kill ratio from two enemy planes downed for every American plane lost to more than 22 to 1. Topgun emerged not only as an icon of America's military dominance immortalized by Hollywood but as a vital institution that would shape the nation's military strategy for generations to come.

Pedersen takes readers on a colorful and thrilling ride -- from Miramar to Area 51 to the decks of aircraft carriers in war and peace-through a historic moment in air warfare. He helped establish a legacy that was built by him and his "Original Eight" -- the best of the best -- and carried on for six decades by some of America's greatest leaders. Topgun is a heartfelt and personal testimony to patriotism, sacrifice, and American innovation and daring.


  • Topgun

    By russ kram
    Great story for those of us who wanted to be Naval aviators but got stuck in our real life could not have been better,but I always wanted to land a plane on an aircraft carrier.Istill have my TOPGUN hat given to me by my nurse
  • A bit author centric

    By RichrdT
    Good bits on the origins and evolution of Top Gun, but suffers from an ill-focused narrative that is more about the author than the subject. Still a good read with many unique insights into the history of the storied fighter school.
  • A Great Read And Good Lessons

    By mainediver218
    I’m not a naval aviator, unfortunately, all I can claim is to have read a lot about a great many great ones. Not only is this book well written and rich with historical content there are many lessons in here either to be learned or confirmed. I was born in 1959, that “tweener” generation at the end of the “boomers” a bit too young to have served in Vietnam but old enough to remember the “body counts” on the 6 o’clock news. This is not just a story about Top Gun, it is an intelligent and lucid commentary on both the past and present. Read this, really read it, pay attention, if it doesn’t make you think, soul search, and question then you really ought to go have a hard look at yourself in the mirror.
  • Henry A. Kyle III

    On March 3, 1969; Captain Daniel Pedersen, U.S. Navy and a small group of elite U.S. Naval Aviators called the “Original Bros.” founded the Fighter Weapons School based at NAS Miramar. Topgun was where America’s Best-of-the-Best refined their skills in Air Combat Maneuvering (ACM) or “DOGFIGHTING”! This monumental book; “TOP GUN: An America Story” chronicles the early days of a combat flight training facility for U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviators. Due to the situation in the skies over Vietnam; Captain Pedersen’s mission was to restore air superiority and victory in the air. The 50th Anniversary of its inception as the epitome of Naval Combat Flight Training is commemorated with this personal memoir written for all Americans; to be proud of all the men and women in uniform serving in the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps! Thank you Captain Pedersen for sharing the true story of America’s finest: TOP GUN!