Clive Cussler – Vixen 03 was the 4th book published by Clive Cussler and had a release date of October 23, 1978.
It had also been the 4th of the Dirk Pitt novels when it was first released, but later became the 5th installment following the release of Pacific Vortex! that is set earlier.
Vixen 03 book description
1954: Vixen 03 is down.
The plane, bound for the Pacific carrying thirty-six Doomsday Bombs — canisters armed with quick-death germs of unbelievable potency — vanishes.
Vixen has in fact crashed into an ice-covered lake in Colorado.
1988: Dirk Pitt, who heroically raised the Titanic, discovers the wreckage of Vixen 03. But two deadly canisters are missing.
They’re in the hands of a terrorist group. Their lethal mission: to sail a battleship seventy-five miles up the Potomac and blast Washington, D.C., to kingdom come.
Only Dirk can stop them.