In late 1970, Lieutenant Verner "Hershey" Donovan sits aboard the USS Constellation aircraft carrier, waiting to fly his F-4 Phantom II over the skies of Vietnam. He's the lead roll for the next hop and eager to help the US troops already on the ground. Then suddenly, the call comes in - a Marine Recon unit has taken heavy fire and requires air support. Within moments, Donovan and the other pilots are into their birds and into the skies. Soon, however, a dogfight with MiG fighter planes takes a turn for the worse, and the lieutenant ejects over enemy territory. His co-pilot is injured in the fall, and Donovan must make a difficult choice. In order to save his friend, he must first leave him behind.