The Phantom to 'Hog Blog

400 Reviews–Milestone!

400 Reviews–Milestone!

Today I’m honored to announce a milestone: 400 Amazon Global Reviews of my book ‘From Phantom to Warthog.’

Here are my thoughts on the importance of reviewing the books you read:


OK, now I’ve written my book, Pen & Sword have published it, printed it and distributed it, and you, my friend, have purchased it. What now?

Well, with a bit of luck the next step involves you reading it and enjoying it immensely. Then, you can either loan it to a family member or friend, or carefully pack it up as a Christmas present (if you haven’t dog-eared the pages). Alternatively, you can put it on your shelf where it will rest, looking down on you, for all eternity.

Let me give you another alternative: Before you shuffle it on or relegate it to antiquity, reflect on the book you’ve just read and take the time to review it.

Your review won’t mean a great deal to you, but to a rookie author, it’s vitally important. It provides me with valuable feedback: did I appeal to readers as I’ve hoped I would? Are there important facts I left out or could have described better? Positive comments will be received with undying gratitude, constructive criticism will be accepted as exactly that—something to build upon. At my age a follow-up is less than likely, but you never know…….

Thank you for your continued support.

I’ve posted my reviews so far below and I’ll add to them as new ones arrive:

1. Click here for worldwide Amazon reviews

2. Scale Modelling Now review

3. Goodreads reviews

4.Click here for Andy Fraser’s Review of ‘Phantom to Warthog

5.Vietnam Veterans of America Review



Thanks again for your support, encouragement and patience!

22 Responses to 400 Reviews–Milestone!

  1. I was a crew chief on A/10’s for sixteen of my twenty years in the Air Force. For two years I supported the flight line as a First Sergeant and finished in MOC.
    I’m waiting patiently for my book to arrive and can’t wait to dive into it.
    I’ll definitely write a review and sure it will be great!! CHAPPIE

    • Hi Chappie
      Thanks for getting in touch. I think you’ll like the book, particularly the sub-chapter called ‘Trust.’ It pretty much sums up the respect airplane drivers like me have for airplane fixers like you! Thanks again.

  2. Colonel Ladd has written a great book! You don’t need to be a Fighter Pilot to understand and enjoy his very accurate descriptions of what it’s like to have the burning desire to become one, the extremely competitive environment that they live in, and the stories of what it’s like to spend the best years of one’s life being one. I personally knew many of the characters mentioned, and I personally witnessed several of the events described. They are accurate. Some of his stories brought back memories that made me laugh until I cried. A few of them reminded me of events that still bring a tear to my eye because – there are things that can make a grown man cry. He writes in some detail about his charming wife, Elaine. She is an elegant lady in every sense of the word. One of the categories of people described by Colonel Ladd is those that he calls “The Good Guys.” He should know that category very well – for he is one of them. I hope there will be a Volume II.

    • Ratso–What a great review! As the first Warthog driver I ever met, your credibility is impeccable. Thanks so much for your support!

  3. Only a Fighter Pilot can truly write about “being” a Fighter Pilot. Steve Ladd, Col. USAF (Ret.) is one of the best in the game. This is not a war-story, “there I was.” tale because Steve chose to highlight the psyche and indomitable spirit of the fighter pilot by spotlighting their unique outlook and culture. Relating his personal USAF experiences he successfully accomplishes that goal. You can read more about the man and his book at https://
    Anticipating a wide audience to include civilian and non-aviation readers, there are segments of the book, as pointed out by Steve, that may be a bit “wordy” for many aviators. Those segments DO NOT detract from the story’s flow; but add context for creating the Fighter Pilot outlook and culture he desired. The chapters are well-organized, and if desired, allows one to either pick and choose or stay the course with Steve as he navigates you through his amazing and envied, mostly flying, 28-year Air Force career. His stories are humorous, outrageous, and will enlighten the reader. Bottom-line: this is an entertaining book that is an easy and enjoyable read. He has a way with words that will put a smile on your face from cover-to-cover.

    • Thanks, my friend. Great review and compelling for those not ‘in the business’ as well as our brothers-in-arms.

      I’m most grateful for your continued support.

  4. Shack!

    I loved it Steve! This brought back so many memories that I almost forgot I’m seventy and probably couldn’t get up the ladder anymore. Thanks for that trip back in time. I sure hope you’re thinking about a second effort.


    • Thanks Farmer

      I’m getting a bit of pressure about a second effort. If it happens, I’ll be looking to guys like you to provide a lot of the material.

  5. I just finished Steve’s book and abosultely loved it. Having served 2 tours with Steve & Elaine in Bentwaters, I can tell you his depiction of the characters, flying stories, and pure fighter pilot antics is spot on. If you want a glimpse into the fighter pilot psych, this is the book to introduce to those men of character, pride, warrior spirit, and boyish impishness. A fighter pilot trains hard, works hard, and parties hard; and all of that comes through in Steve’s depiction of the camaraderie that is only evident in a close knit group of squadron pilots who know that any day they could be called to lay their life on the line for their country.

    Smokey. For your sequel novel, maybe you can just tell fighter pilot stories collected from all your far flung friends. Just a few topics I could suggest

    MUNSS Boogie Disco
    Singing “Money for Nothing” somewhere in a Zaragoza tapas bar
    An epic dining-in at Bentwaters where “Doc” distinguished himself
    A truly great sendoff to our DO (you) that may have gotten a little out of control

    Congratulations on a massive undertaking, to publish a book about REAL fighter pilots.

    Cheers – Gambler

  6. Steve Ladd presents one of the best fighter pilot books and memoirs in a long time. The detail, the camaraderie, the crazy adventures, and the true fighter pilot spirit all come through in his book. Having known Steve in a past life I realize that he has a true and natural ability to write from his heart. Having flown the A-10 in a past life I can attest to the difficulty of flying this great machine and yet the absolute adoration for those who maintain it and those who fly it. Too often fighter pilots are seen as some form of Hollywood hero when, in fact, it’s a lot more work and a lot less glamour. At the moment you clear the ground you realize you are gifted and given the keys to a 34 million dollar airplane. Steve brings all this out in his book and I highly recommend it. Just ask Chad Hennings how much fun it was to be in the 81st Tac Fighter Wing!

    • Thanks for your superb review, Dave. I’m delighted you enjoyed the read and from what you’ve said, it sounds like I just may have gotten some of it right!! If I’m not being too much of a nuisance, could I ask you to copy and paste this onto Amazon reviews?

      Are you still in touch with Chad? What a thoroughly good guy!

  7. Steve,
    Just saw your 3 part interview on YouTube and immediately ordered your book. Started reading it yesterday. I’ll provide a review after finished….don’t think you’ll pink the ride!
    Send me a note (if you have time in your busy schedule) to my email address ( and we can catch up on decades of experiences.

    • Mozam!

      How long has it been? Great to hear from you. My busy schedule these days consists of trying to book supermarket grocery deliveries and paying homage to anything that moves on Netflix.

      Elaine and I are fine, if bored. We live in Bristol, 120 miles west of London and, when we’re not locked down we love it. I won’t try to summarize 25 years, but checkout the website for a bit of ‘life and times.’

      I think you’ll enjoy the book–lots you can identify with and I’ll look forward to the debrief.

      Hoping you and Rita are well.

      Keep in touch from now on, ok?


  8. Congratulations on the 100 Amazon reviews Steve!
    It really is a great read, and a book worth keeping nearby to refer back to.
    You’ve earned a well earned rest before cracking on with your next book ‘Warthog Boys-Flying the A10 in the Cold War’
    I’m sure you can wrench some Hog flying stories out of your former colleagues !

    • Tim–quick update. I found your review-many thanks. It’s getting tough to keep up with them (mind you, I’m not complaining!)

  9. Thanks very much, Tim. I’m delighted you enjoyed the read–if you haven’t already, it would be great if you would add to the 100+ Amazon review total.

    I’m (cautiously)considering a follow-on and yes, if it happens I’ll lean heavily on the Brotherhood for ideas!

  10. Congrats Steve, you’re book is up to 200 reviews on Amazon! I’m still reminiscing about the old days after reading it.

  11. Congrats on your book.I’ll be looking for it. I was stationed at S J afb 4th TfW .I was assigned to the F4E is a awesome aircraft. Hope to read your book soon.

  12. Col. Steve,”Smokey” First I really enjoyed your telling of your real-life USAF experiences with all the peripheral experiences that much of the books leave out but which frames the environment you were immersed in during the times you were actually bankin’ and yankin’ in the Phantom and subsequently the WortHog. Thanks for bringing us “wann-be’s” along for a Phabulous ride. As one of those types I learned to fly in the SAC Aero Club, Altus of the many motors, AFB, OK. No Cadets because of reading glasses obtained when I attended Tech School at Scott, AFB, IL, 1958. To shorten my story I went with the airlines after getting my Commercial, Instructor and Instrument ratings during my 5 years enlistment. One of my copilots with Delta Gave me a Phantom backseat ride as number four up to the Falcon Range at Fort Sill. Another Delta Captain and I bought an ex-Swiss-built DeHavilland “Venom” single-seat fighter, 1958 vintage, which started a 13-year hitch flying ex-military fighters/trainers for 13 years,with the Wild Weasel Air Museum, Dallas, TX, i.e. T-33’s, Folland Gnats, Polish “Iskras” etc. Plus the F-100F SuperSabre for 3 years. Much the same Adverse-Yaw as the F4 in the pattern, etc. In exchange for your entertainment I’d like to ship you a copy of my book of Pen & Ink Aircraft Illustrations, complimentary, of course. Cheers! “Velcro”

    • Hi Velcro

      Thanks so much for your comments and I’m delighted you enjoyed the book.

      Sounds like you found a unique route to flying fighters–good on ya!

      I’d love to see your pen & ink illustrations, but as you may or may not be aware, I live in England and international postage is a bitch. Do you have an electronic format?

      I would be most grateful for your review on Amazon if you’ve got the time.

      Again, thanks for getting in touch!


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