The Colored Boys is Top Gun II with all the thrills, dangers, and aerial exploits of the first, only better. This is the story of aviators who fly F-14 Tomcats, amazing, complex, and phenomenal machines possessing technology that was light-years ahead of their time. Two black men from very different backgrounds believe that they can break into the demanding world of naval tactical aviation and learn to fly, operate, and master these machines and the technology they possess. While young and naive, these men are also amazingly confident, determined, and driven type-A personalities who take on the challenges that their chosen profession and dynamic careers demand. Told through their eyes, their personalities, and their experiences, we follow them as they evolve from terrified aviation officer candidates to commissioned officers into seasoned aviators. The Colored Boys follows them from their induction in Naval Officer Candidates School, through the myriad of challenges, terror, and joys of flight school, the demands of the replacement air group, and then to the demands of squadron life in the fleet. They train, develop, teach, and grow, and then they are thrust into the life-and-death struggles of war in the Persian Gulf. There, they enter combat and must fight for their survival in a war that tests their mettle as human beings, as aviators, and as men. The Colored Boys is also about the navy—the real navy, a beloved but highly traditionalized institution that must grapple with the integration of these men into its culture, into its strict caste system of officers, persons commissioned and positioned to command sailors, and the men and women they command and serve who sometimes unconsciously, sometimes quite consciously, resist change and have deeply ingrained revulsion, prejudices, and aversion to black men that they sometimes don’t even recognize or believe exists within themselves. This is the story of how these two men face, tackle, and overcome the invisible and mostly covert but highly prevalent racism and still excel in the already highly demanding world of naval aviation. This is the story of these phenomenal flying machines, the amazing men who fly them, and the demanding missions that they perform daily as they serve this nation as members of the United States Navy. Two African American men who fight to prove to others, to the navy, and ultimately to themselves that they do indeed belong, that they can hack it, that they too have the right stuff. They are many things to many people but ultimately they prove that they are not merely black men, not just commissioned officers, and not just Americans. They are naval aviators.
LCDR John Hunter Parker is a twenty-year Naval Officer who retired in 1996. He visited or served in 52 countries while serving on ships, a submarine, and aviation squadrons. Using his unique voice and keen eye, he has written numerous stories, articles and books detailing the joys, the pains, and the humor of life in the United State Navy. He has written a novel, published several articles in Proceedings Magazine, various newspapers and has always told unique and sobering sea stories, amazing aviation tales, and depicted the sacrifice and true heroism of persons and situations he observed and experienced. His short stories, articles and books eloquently, humorously, honestly and often quite insightfully tell the story of life in the United States Navy and of the men and women with which he so honorably and proudly served. “The Colored Boys,” (A Naval Aviation Novel ), is his second book