Naval War College Review


Flying Black Ponies is an effective combi- nation of combat narrative, squadron history, and personal memoir, telling the story of Light Attack Squadron 4 (VAL 4, or the “Black Ponies”), a naval aviation squadron stationed in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War. During most of the war, the U.S. Navy made an intense effort with its Mobile Riverine Force to interdict enemy arms and supplies that flowed, primarily from Cambodia, across the Mekong Delta into the area sur- rounding Saigon. Kit Lavell’s book is a readable account of the Black Ponies’ im- portant role in this hazardous interdic- tion campaign.