Stout, Jay A. 1959–
Stout, Jay A. 1959–
PERSONAL: Born 1959.
CAREER: Pilot and writer. Works in the aviation industry for a defense contractor. Military service: U.S. Marine Corps, fighter pilot for twenty years.
Hornets over Kuwait (memoir), Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1997.
(With Hamilton "One Slug" McWhorter III) The First Hellcat Ace (memoir), introduction by Admiral Noel A.M. Gayler, Pacifica Military History (Paci-fica, CA), 2000.
Fortress Ploesti: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil, Casemate (Havertown, PA), 2003.
To Be a U.S. Naval Aviator, Zenith Press (St. Paul, MN), 2005.
Hammer from above: Marine Air Combat over Iraq, Presidio Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor of articles to numerous publications.
SIDELIGHTS: Author Jay A. Stout was a fighter pilot for the U.S. Marine Corps for twenty years, part of which were served in Operation Desert Storm, the war that liberated Kuwait from Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's control in the early 1990s. Stout's first book, Hornets over Kuwait, is a memoir about his Desert Storm experiences based on the journal he kept during the war. Stout gives an account of his life at the Shaikh Isa Air Base in Bahrain and of his time spent in the cockpit of an FA-18 Hornet fighter plane. Reviewers responded favorably to Stout's honest account. "This is the war just as he experienced it," observed Barry J. Dysart in Air Power History. Dysart continued: "The frustrations, exhilaration, fears, and satisfactions [Stout] relates echo those experienced by preceding generations of warriors." Aditionally, Richard Seamon, writing in the United States Naval Institute Proceedings, pointed out the author's use of "color and detail." Although Peter B. Mersky, reviewing Hornets over Kuwait in the Naval Aviation News, found the writing style to be "bombastic," he also felt that the book "fills a gap that has been open a long time."
Stout wrote his second book, The First Hellcat Ace, with Hamilton "One Slug" McWhorter III. The book is McWhorter's memoir of his service during World War II. McWhorter belonged to one of the first F6F Hellcat fighter plane squadrons and saw action in the Pacific. He earned the nickname "One Slug" due to his precise aim. The book elicited positive reviews; Mersky, again writing in the Naval Aviation News, called the book "a good, traditional WW II memoir," and remarked that "this book's main appeal is describing how young men dealt with combat and personal loss."
Stout followed The First Hellcat Ace with Fortress Ploesti: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil. The book details the 1943 bombing of the Ploesti oil fields in Romania during World War II. The Ploesti complex contained oil refineries and storage tanks that supplied Germany with a third of its fuel, which was why it was the first target in Europe bombed by American aircraft. Stout again takes a personal approach to his work by basing the book on interviews with and the journals of those who experienced the attack. As a result of this approach, critics applauded the book's intimate viewpoint. "The strength of his writing lies in relating what the combatants went through," noted Paul G. Niesen in the Air & Space Power Journal. Niesen recommended Fortress Ploesti to readers "who like to learn history and doctrine firsthand."
In 2005 Stout published Hammer from above: Marine Air Combat over Iraq, a study of how Marine aircraft affected Operation Iraqi Freedom. The attack against Iraq began in 2003 as the United States and United Kingdom attempted to disarm the country of its alleged weapons of mass destruction and to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Reviewers commended both the book's technical analysis of the aircraft and the personal stories of the pilots who flew them. "Stout concentrates on successful, often heroic missions that create a solid image of Marine prowess," observed a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Roland Green, writing in Booklist, also praised Hammer from above, calling it "a fine addition to Iraq war literature."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Stout, Jay A., Hornets over Kuwait, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1997.
Air Power History, spring, 1998, Barry J. Dysart, review of Hornets over Kuwait, p. 51.
Air & Space Power Journal, spring, 2004, Paul G. Niesen, review of Fortress Ploesti: The Campaign to Destroy Hitler's Oil, p. 125.
Booklist, December 15, 2005, Roland Green, review of Hammer from above: Marine Air Combat over Iraq, p. 16.
Naval Aviation News, January-February, 1998, Peter B. Mersky, review of Hornets over Kuwait, p. 32; March-April, 2002, Peter B. Mersky, review of The First Hellcat Ace, p. 40.
Publishers Weekly, October 17, 2005, review of Hammer from above, p. 54.
Sea Power, February, 2006, review of Hammer from above, p. 47.
United States Naval Institute Proceedings, August, 1997, Richard Seamon, review of Hornets over Kuwait, p. 85.
Random House Web site, http://www.randomhouse.com/ (March 31, 2006), brief biography of author.