This book is dedicated to...

All fighter pilots, past and present, friend and foe...


The writing of this novel has to be one of the strangest undertakings in all of ROBOTECH fandom. Never before has anyone attempted to tell a first person account of the saga that has aired on television stations and home video machines worldwide since 1985. There were more than a few raised eyebrows when the project was started, and people wondered if anything would ever come of it. As things began to move along and the story began to grow the eyebrows continued to be raised, but not in the way they had previously. People began to sit up and take notice. Comments and encouragement began to flow forth. The "Attention On Deck! Home Page" on the Internet began to compile hits at an ever-increasing rate. "AOD" was for real!

I have put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this project, but I could not have done it alone. As many of you may already know, an undertaking as ambitious as this one has proven to be simply could not be completed without the GENEROUS contributions of others. From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank the following people, Robotech Warriors all, for their selfless assistance, advice, and constructive criticism:

Mathew Weed, Steven Pustay, Pieter Thomassen, Stephan Bennett, Michael W. White, Anthony Volk, Dr. Peter W. Walker, Robert "Morgue" Morgenstern, Aubry Thonon, N. de Groot, John "John Jesus Damn It" Hokansan, Jr., Corey E. DeDolph, Edwin "Admiral James T. Kirk" Chan, Michael "Mad Mike" Choi, Keith Palmer, Arek Wdowiak, Rafael "Raf" Pinero, Ann "Mouse" Fojtik, Dr. Prinz Ira Franz-Josef "Frank" von Neuhausenhoffenberg, Dr. Steven S. Shwiff, Neona "The Squid" Marble, Stephan "Pum" Bennett, Presley H. "The Reverend Prez" Cannaday II, USNR, Lewis Barr, Designated Pilot Examiner, Master Sergeant Kent Wilkinson, USAF, and the following current, retired, and former military aviators for their invaluable input (even though some may not realize they've contributed!):

Of course, I would not be able to forgive myself if I failed to thank the man who inspired me to write this book in the first place--the one and only James Luceno. For his kindness and friendship--and for proving to me how easy it is to allow things like personal opinion and ideology to cloud one's judgment--I can never extend enough gratitude. As the guru of Robotech authors, he has provided a fine example for the rest of us to follow, and it is my hope that when the day comes he chooses to read this story, he will be proud to say I am his friend.

Additionally, no book about fighter pilots would ever be complete without thanking those men and women--past and present--who blast through the sky day after day in the defense of liberty. Indeed, without your efforts, the freedoms we enjoy, cherish, and take for granted might very well be a dim memory, and we thank you for your service.

Also, a special thank you to those who have taken the time to share their experiences with those of us who have only dreamt of stepping into the confines of a tactical aircraft cockpit. Without your words as a porthole, most of us would have no way of even remotely understanding what it is like to scream through the sky in a combat aircraft, be it in peacetime or in war. Thank you.

Finally, I would like to thank the two people who planted and nurtured the seeds that have grown into a lifelong obsession with aviation: my father, U.S. Border Patrol Pilot Weldon Smith, who died in the performance of his duty on 19 October, 1979; and my mother, a classy lady if ever there was one, Jo Ann Noser Smith. Without him, I would not have discovered how special airplanes truly are, and without her, my passion would have been devoid of both support and direction. My sincere, heartfelt thanks with love to you both.

This book is in many ways from my heart. Though some of the events depicted here are obviously fictional, a very large portion of what is written on these pages is true. As Gene I. Basel so eloquently wrote on the back cover of his marvelous novel The River Rat, "What parts are true I'll leave up to the reader, or those that know. If anyone tries to sue, I'll deny everything."

Please remember that any and all errors/mistakes/omissions are mine and mine alone. Even the gracious assistance of the above named experts could not prevent every technical inaccuracy from finding its way to the printed page. We tried.

Finally, to all would be fighter pilots out there, I leave you with this thought: Never give up the dream...and never, never, NEVER...give up.

Jason Weldon Smith
Commerce, Texas USA

In my wildest fantasies--of which there were many--never did I imagine that I would be asked to sit down and write a book about my experiences during that incredible period known simply as the "Robotech War Era." When I was approached to tell this tale, I was more than flattered, and a bit humbled. I have never been one to think of myself as a great fighter pilot, despite the insistences of publicists and advertisers, historians and autograph seekers. Many of those with whom I fought were far better at the business than I, and my success in combat is directly attributable to their gallant sacrifices. The only thing that set me apart from these valiant and noble warriors was that I was lucky enough to survive. I cannot place enough emphasis on this simple fact: that I journeyed into the depths of Hell three different times and lived to tell the tale is not a testament to my skill, but rather, to my good fortune.

It is amazing how memories and emotions operate, and many of the events depicted in this story seem like they happened only yesterday. I can still hear the voices in my headset and smell the scents that are part of the cockpit of any combat aircraft. I can still remember those I loved, those I lost, and those I yearn to see once more. I can still feel the anger, bitterness, fear, and despair of those tumultuous years. And I can still remember the triumphs and tragedies, smiles and tears that permeated our lives during that desperate time.

The events depicted in this story are as accurate as I can make them. I have not changed the names of those mentioned, for the people I have met deserve to be remembered and celebrated. For personal reasons that should be obvious to the reader when encountered, I have omitted a few names, but only a few. In the end, I hope you find this story a fraction as thrilling and interesting to read as it was to live through. As crazy at is seems, I certainly wouldn't trade the experience for anything!!

Technical inaccuracies and grammar errors are mine, and mine alone. I have tried to be as thorough as possible in both areas. Old age and battle damage made their contributions to the mistakes in this tome, and I beg your indulgence. Despite many years of schooling I have at times reverted to phonetic spelling during initial drafts of this work, and some of these typos have doubtless slipped past the editors.

If it were not for the selflessness of many, many people, I would not be here today to tell this story, nor would you be here to read it. So, to those men and women who died so that I might live... To warriors the world over, who have given their limbs, lives, and souls in the defense of freedom... To my wonderful wife, Rebeckah and my daughters Casey and Lisa... To some wonderful friends--and a special love--you will read about later...and to my two courageous, fearless, and ferocious guardian angels--my wingmen, Joshua Peter Kaufman and Waylan James Green...

This is your well-earned tribute.

Jeffrey Dale Framton
New River, Texas USA



Jason Smith
July 1995

This story, all original images, characters, situations, events, etc., Copyright © 1995 by Jason W. Smith

(Author's Note: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual events, persons, etc. is coincidental--even if intentionally so! --June 1995)

Based on characters and situations from
Robotech, © 1985 Harmony Gold, USA, Inc.

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Version Last Updated: 27 May, 1999