A friend of mine recently posted, on Facebook, his result for "Which Top Gun character are you?" It was this stupid quiz that has thrown me over the edge. The pussies in portrayed in "Top Gun" are the most horrible representation of Naval Aviation that ever was. Those chumps would be lucky if they had half the balls that Tommy Blackburn, Alexander Vraciu, Marion Carl, Hamilton McWhorter and Gregory Boyington had. Consider the difference in technology. The Navy and Marine aviators in WWII flew of the decks of those carriers with hardly any navigational aids other than dead reckoning. They expected their carriers to be in a certain place, and if they weren't... The aviators portrayed in "Top Gun" had every technological marvel the WWII aviators never even dreamed of. The loss percentage of WWII aviators is far and away larger than any modern "combat" aviator could ever imagine. Ever watched that old "Midway" movie? The scene of one aviator getting shot up, burned to a crisp and still finding his way back to his carrier AND getting aboard... That kind of thing happened frequently. Balls. Of. Steel. To be fair, current Naval and Marine aviators haven't had the opportunity to prove themselves in similar situations. They never will. They're most certainly as brave as their predecessors but they'll never be in the same dire situation. "Top Gun" waters it down much too far. I've only seen the movie once and couldn't stand it.
Educate yourself. Go out and buy some books. "Dauntless Helldivers" by Harold L. Buell, "The Jolly Rogers: The story of Tom Blackburn and Navy Fighting Squadron VF-17" by Tom Blackburn, "Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific" by Eric M. Bergerud. Read any of those books and you will see that "Top Gun" is a sad, sad parody of Naval Aviation.