Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin

A Story of the U.S. Military's Commitment to Leave No One Behind

Eileen A Bjorkman

Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin is the thrilling true story of Navy pilot Lt. William Sharp's high-speed ejection from his F-8 over North Vietnam and escape.
Publication date:
November 2020
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781640121911

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
Available in 3-4 weeks


• Tales of rescue, bravery and loyalty grip readers today
• Interest in aviation and military history is high and widespread. A Google search of the term "search and rescue” yields forty-three million hits. "Vietnam War” yields twenty million hits, and "Naval aviation” nearly six million
• Veterans, retired military personnel and active duty or reserve soldiers number 26 million people
• Military personnel are well educated
• Pilots, aviation enthusiasts, armchair adventurers, and military personnel are avid readers who like true stories that describe difficult situations and how people have overcome them

Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin: A Tale of Combat Survival and the U.S. Military's Commitment to Leave No One Behind occurs in just 24 hours in 1965. Unforgotten starts in the minutes before Navy Lt. William Sharp dramatically ejects from his F-8 during the Vietnam War, after his jet is hit by enemy fire. Ejecting from a jet going faster than four-hundred miles per hour can be a lethal undertaking. If the ejection doesn't kill a pilot, it can snap their spine. Sharp made it out alive, one arm injured and useless. After landing in water, Sharp struggled against armed North Vietnamese fishermen while pilots in friendly aircraft, despite having no formal training in combat search and rescue, fended off his attackers, distracting his captors so he could free himself.

A pilot as well as an engineer, Bjorkman writes nail-biting descriptions of air combat and flight. She has the technical know-how to hook readers with descriptions of events in the cockpit and the knack of making the story come alive for both experts and armchair pilots. Unforgotten combines the cockiness and camaraderie of Top Gun with the heroics of Sully to produce a riveting tale of combat rescue in the Gulf of Tonkin. Bjorkman also situates Sharp's story in a bigger picture by giving the reader a personalized history of the U.S. Military's bedrock credo: no man left behind, and by exploring the human fallout from Vietnam through Sharp's growing struggles with PTSD.


The book is hard to put down and keeps you wanting to read more. […] It's a very interesting story and is unique to other Vietnam rescue stories. If you have any interest in the F-8 Crusader, Vietnam Combat Search and Rescue or US Navy air operations in the Vietnam War then this is a book you need to read.
Aviation Enthusiast Book Club