Matt "Sweetwater" Sullivan's dream of becoming a Navy pilot could not possibly have prepared him for the body-numbing pace of basic training with a class of bewildered beginners. With grit, verve, and determination, Matt would survive the "Pensacola Pressure-Cooker" and go on to Saufley Field to meet the grueling demands of the Navy's basic flight program. More
"ROAD TO GOLD" : WHAT IT TAKES TO EARN THOSE COVETED "WINGS OF GOLD"
Celebrating the 100TH Anniversary of Naval AVIATION
BY: Bill "Sweetwater" LaBarge, Navy Carrier Pilot and New York Times Bestselling Author.
From basic training to deadly battle in the skies, he followed a path of high risk and proud tradition.
Matt "Sweetwater" Sullivan's dream of becoming a Navy pilot could not possibly have prepared him for the body-numbing pace of basic training with a class of bewildered beginners. With grit, verve, and determination, Matt would survive the "Pensacola Pressure-Cooker" and go on to Saufley Field to meet the grueling demands of the Navy's basic flight program.
But learning to handle high-altitude crises and hazardous landings was only a prelude to the harrowing night flights, the hair-trigger laser weapons training, dicey test flights from the deck of the Lady Lex, and deadly DEA combat action. Facing down fears and doubts, meeting every challenge, Matt would take every risk, until he could say with a naval aviator's pride that he had gone the distance and earned the right to join the select few who wear the hard-won, coveted Wings of Gold.
If you’ve ever wanted to be a Navy flier, read Road To Gold. To feel the excitement of Navy pilot life, jump into the cockpit with writer Bill LaBarge. It is Mach 1 reading! -Howard Kazanjian
"The most realistic story about the Navy's flight training program ever written. Exploring the highs, the lows, the anxieties and the triumphs, Road to Gold is filled with emotion, suspense, determination and what it takes to earn those coveted Wings of Gold and the designation as a Naval Aviator. A full-throttle tale you won't be able to put down." -Capt. Read B. Mecleary------ USN (Ret) Former P.O.W.
You write what you know so it means so much more to me when an author has been there, rather than having gained his knowledge from a weekend ride-along with the experts. Lt. Commander William LaBarge “has been there” and you will too in ROAD TO GOLD. This fast-paced, realistic, pedal-to-the metal adventure puts you right there in the pilot seat with “Sweetwater,” experiencing the demands and challenges in earning the Wings of Gold at Pensacola… -Bob Hamer, veteran undercover FBI agent and author of TARGETS DOWN.
U.S. Naval Aviators are home-grown National Assets. Many young Americans dream of becoming one, very few meet the stringent entry requirements - fewer still manage to earn their Wings of Gold. Suit up with Sweetwater in this masterful story of his “Road to Gold.” -Captain Dale “Slick” Doorly, USN (Ret)
-Written by one of the US Navy’s own, this is a must-read for every past, present and future naval aviator – and for anyone who ever wondered how a navy pilot is created. A topnotch story about the grueling flight-training program, and deadly DEA combat action with a young Matt "Sweetwater" Sullivan being put through the paces in the NAS Pensacola “pressure cooker"! -CDR Craig “Bastos” Miller, USNR (Ret.)
Cover designs for "Road to Gold" and "Lighnting Strikes Twice" By CDR Craig "Bastos" Miller