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Raid On Truman


Navy Lieutenant Paul Simmons is faced with defending his ship, the USS Harry S. Truman, from a surprise boarding attack by North Korean commandos. With the rest of the crew knocked out from a gas attack, Simmons rallies a few remaining crew members together for a desperate last stand against an overpowering enemy.

Author's Note:

Raid was first written in 1976 but was ultimately rejected after some rewrites following mild interest from a publisher. After writing two more novels, Raid was rewritten following Tom Clancy's success with Hunt For Red October. A short itme later with a agent, a hardcover deal was made with Presidio Press who published it in 1991, fifteen years after the initial manuscript was finished.

The paperback version published by Avon was 36th on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list in the first week it was eligible, making it a national bestseller.

The author has received many compliments for Raid, many from previous and current Naval personnel who cite the accuracy of the novel's details.

There was no carrier named Harry S. Truman when Raid was written and published. There is now. When President Clinton decided to name a carrier after Harry Truman, the author sent a copy of Raid to the President. The author also sent a number of copies to the crew for the ship's library. Pray that nothing like what is portrayed in Raid On Truman happens to the real crew of the Harry S. Truman (CVN-75).


Approximately 5,000 sold in hardcover, 115,000 paperback books in print, currently out of print


Sunday Inquirer | Midwest Book Review | Military Book Review | Army Times
Naval Institute Proceedings | Publishers Weekly | The Kirkus Reviews | Library Journal

Sunday Inquirer

During a bombing raid over North Korea in 1950, an American B-29 has trouble with its bomb rack. When the bombs are finally released, they land on innocent civilians, killing everyone in Kang Chung Kwon's family. After the Korean War, Kwon is a major with a maniacal desire for revenge. He sends five agents to America to trace the members of the bomber crew and kill them. And that's just the beginning of a vengeful attack on the U.S. aircraft carrier Truman. For you newcomers to these troubled waters, John T. Campbell includes a glossary of terms. My favorite is RHIP, which means "rank has its privileges." Rank this one pretty high on the thriller meter.

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The Midwest Book Review

John T. Campbell's Raid on Truman presents a tension laden North Korean naval thriller. North Koreans take over a nuclear aircraft carrier in an effort to use the ship, its weapons and its crew as hostages; but the plan backfires, leaving some of the 'hostages' as survivors who must regain control of the aircraft carrier. The chapter-by-chapter drama unfolds slowly but relentlessly as the crew faces its great challenge. Raid On Truman would make a great movie: as a novel, it excels in suspense and tension.

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The Military Book Review

In the wake of a North Korean coup, an American nuclear aircraft carrier battle group is hit with a nerve agent that renders the crews unconscious. But through a freak ventilation malfunction, the engineers aboard the carrier Truman escape contamination. Through this quirk of fate, they are all that stand in the way of the takeover by a North Korean commando group of an American nuclear capital ship. It is a battle between the ship's 'snipes' and the North Koreans throughout this giant ship, and the engineers are about as lost as the Koreans in the non-engineering spaces of this supercarrier.

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Army Times

American sailors drop like flies in this novel when nerve gas is sprayed on aircraft carrier Truman by the North Koreans.

Through a malfunction in the ship's ventilation, the engineering compartments escape contamination, leaving the ship's "snipes" all that stand in the way of the carrier's takeover by North Korean commandos.

Non-stop action with an unlikely group of heroes, the navy engineers who "keep 'em turning."

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Naval Institute Proceedings

The U.S. aircraft carrier Truman is attacked by the North Koreans, who use a chemical agent that renders the crew unconscious. The plan is for the Truman to serve as a bargaining chip in a global power play, but a freak ventilation malfunction spares the ship's engineering spaces and leaves the fate of the ship (and perhaps the world) in the hands of Truman's "snipes." Action and intrigue abound in this fast-paced story that is (thankfully) fiction.

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Publishers Weekly

When power changes hands in North Korea, the new government plans an international coup: a U.S. aircraft carrier and its escorts are attacked by nerve gas and, while the crews are unconscious, helicopters land commandos on the USS Truman's flight deck. A capital ship, its nuclear weapons and thousands of hostages will be the prizes of victory. But some of the Truman's engineers remain on their feet, and some of its planes are still aloft. Lieutenant Paul Simmons and commander Rex Hastings lead the battle to save their ship. Though its premise is interesting, this contemporary techno-thriller, a first novel, is handicapped by an unlikely love triangle involving Simmons, Hastings and Hastings's wife, and by a North Korean plan of attack altogether too dependent on luck. Campbell, a former Navy engineer, balances these shortcomings with an exciting account of the below-decks fight for control of the Truman and with several well-executed scenes of aerial combat.

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Kirkus Reviews

A handful of American sailors fight to keep North Korean soldiers from hijacking their aircraft carrier on the high seas.

Ah, the fabled patience of the Orient. Forty years have passed since an American bomber accidentally dropped its load on the family of young Kang Chung Kwon, but Kang, now a general in the army of North Korea, has neither forgiven nor forgotten. And though he has been able to send teams of crafty assassins to the US to track down and execute every member of the crew of that cursed aircraft, it is not enough. Kang wants total humiliation of the US. To that end he has wiped out his own country's dictator, seized the reins of power, assembled a task force of a thousand helicopter borne soldiers, and sent them over the sea to seize the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The troops are preceded by airplanes spraying immobilizing gas on the carrier and its escorting task force. The gas works; the sailors drop in their tracks; and the masked Koreans start dropping onto the flight deck, ready to take over. But there is a glitch. A few sailors and an officer in an unventilated machine room missed out on the gas. They are wide awake and have absolutely no desire to go to North Korea. There are also some angry pilots buzzing around. Odds begin to even out as helos explode, and the spunky officer decides not to give up the ship.

Far-fetched but entertaining swashbuckling in the modern vein.

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Library Journal

Campbell, electrical engineer and former naval officer presents readers with yet another candidate for inclusion in the technothriller genre pioneered by Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October (LJ 10/15/84). The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Truman is attacked by North Koreans using chemical weapons in an attempt to board and capture an American warship. Lieutenant Paul Simmons, an engineering officer on board the Truman, escapes the effects of the chemical attack and leads his small engineering crew in an attempt to prevent the ship's capture. Campbell's own experience lends realism and excitement to the novel. There is excellent technical detail and an eye for the personal dimension of modern naval warfare. Readers will welcome this latest addition to the technothiller fraternity and eagerly await his next novel. Highly recommended for public libraries.

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