Follows Mark Garrison through being on the short list for the draft during the Vietnam War, signing up to be a helicopter pilot, and his tour of duty with the Crocodiles and Alligators of the 119th Assault Helicopter Company.
A true, bestselling story from the battlefield that faithfully portrays the horror, the madness, and the trauma of the Vietnam War More than half a million copies of Chickenhawk have been sold since it was first published in 1983. Now with a new afterword by the author and photographs taken by him during the conflict, this straight-from-the-shoulder account tells the electrifying truth about the helicopter war in Vietnam. This is Robert Mason’s astounding personal story of men at war. A veteran of more than one thousand combat missions, Mason gives staggering descriptions that cut to the heart of the combat experience: the fear and belligerence, the quiet insights and raging madness, the lasting friendships and sudden death—the extreme emotions of a "chickenhawk" in constant danger. "Very simply the best book so far about Vietnam." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Author: James Joyce
Release Date: 2016-08-23
“In 1963...there was no way I could have known, sitting in a classroom on that beautiful campus in Ohio, that by raising my hand I would be going to war in Vietnam and that I would see things, hear things and do things that most people cannot imagine.”—James Joyce. The author was drawn into the United States Army through ROTC, and went through training to fly helicopters in combat over Vietnam. His experiences are notable because he flew both Huey “Slicks” and Huey “Gunships”: the former on defense as he flew troops into battle, and the latter on offense as he took the battle to the enemy. Through this book, the author relives his experiences flying and fighting, with special attention given to his and other pilots’ day-to-day lives—such as the smoke bombing of Disneyland, the nickname given to a United States Army–sponsored compound for prostitution. Some of the pilots Joyce served with survived the war and went on to have careers with commercial airlines, and many were killed.
Author: Ron Alexander
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2007-04-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Nicknamed "Mini-Man" for his diminutive stature, a mere five-foot-three and 125 pounds in his flight boots, chopper pilot Ron Alexander proved to be a giant in the eyes of the men he rescued from the jungles and paddies of Vietnam. With an unswerving concern for every American soldier trapped by enemy fire, and a fearlessness that became legendary, Ron Alexander earned enough official praise to become the second most decorated helicopter pilot of the Vietnam era. Yet, for Ron, the real reward came from plucking his fellow soldiers from harm's way, giving them another chance to get home alive. In Taking Fire, Alexander and acclaimed military writer Charles Sasser transport you right into the cramped cockpit of a Huey on patrol, offering a bird's eye view of the Vietnam conflict. Packed with riveting action and gritty "you-are-there" dialogue, this outstanding book celebrates the everyday heroism of the chopper pilots of Vietnam.
Author: Ed Denny
Release Date: 2016-10-14
Combat helicopter pilots in the Vietnam War flew each mission facing the possibility of imminent death. Begun as a series of attempted letters to the Department of Veterans Affairs, this compelling memoir of an aircraft commander in the 116th Assault Helicopter Company—“The Hornets”—relates his experience of the war in frank detail. From supporting the 25th Infantry Division’s invasion of Cambodia, to flying the lead aircraft in the 101st Airmobile Division’s pivotal Operation Lam Son 719 invasion of Laos to cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail at LZ Hope, the author recounts the traumatic events of his service from March 1970 to March 1971.
Author: Robert F. Hartley
Publisher: LifeRich Publishing
Release Date: 2015-02-24
It was 1968 and Robert Hartley was on his first combat mission in Vietnam as copilot of a helicopter gunship. As he and his platoon leader flew over the A Shau Valley, a Chinook helicopter engulfed in flames suddenly came into view. Hartley noticed tiny black smoking objects exiting the tail ramp of the aircraft. Seconds later, he realized those objects were men escaping the flames and plunging to their deaths. It was in that moment that he silently wondered, “How the hell did I get here?” Mr. Hartley was still wet behind the ears when he was tossed into the cauldron of America’s most unpopular war as an attack helicopter gunship pilot. As he shares a gripping, birds-eye view of battles that took him from the Demilitarized Zone in the north to the Mekong Delta in the south, Mr. Hartley compellingly details how he learned to rely on his superior training and equipment to follow through with his mission to kill the enemy and save the lives of his fellow soldiers below. Gunship Pilot provides an unforgettable glimpse into two combat tours of duty in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot soaring high above rice paddies and jungles attempts to fulfill his duty of protecting America’s warriors on the ground.
Author: Hugh L. Mills, Jr.
Publisher: Presidio Press
Release Date: 2009-01-16
The aeroscouts of the 1st Infantry Division had three words emblazoned on their unit patch: Low Level Hell. It was then and continues today as the perfect concise definition of what these intrepid aviators experienced as they ranged the skies of Vietnam from the Cambodian border to the Iron Triangle. The Outcasts, as they were known, flew low and slow, aerial eyes of the division in search of the enemy. Too often for longevity’s sake they found the Viet Cong and the fight was on. These young pilots (19-22 years old) “invented” the book as they went along. Praise for Low Level Hell “An absolutely splendid and engrossing book. The most compelling part is the accounts of his many air-to-ground engagements. There were moments when I literally held my breath.”—Dr. Charles H. Cureton, Chief Historian, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine (TRADOC) Command “Low Level Hell is the best ‘bird’s eye view’ of the helicopter war in Vietnam in print today. No volume better describes the feelings from the cockpit. Mills has captured the realities of a select group of aviators who shot craps with death on every mission.”—R.S. Maxham, Director, U.S. Army Aviation Museum
John Vanvorden--the Flying Dutchman--is a Vietnam pilot and one of the rugged few who know the danger and thrill of combat while piloting the U.S. Army's UH-1H "Huey" Iroquois helicopter. He experiences screaming descents into hot landing zones to place military assault troops and rescue wounded soldiers. He has the clarity of mind to survive seven days of horror in a Vietnamese jungle swamp while the psychology of a fellow soldier is severely tested. He's got the guts to buck military orders and battle his own brass to pursue an investigation when a botched operation spells disaster for the men under him. Based on the authors' personal experiences in the Vietnam War, Huey is an authentic, action-filled book of historical fiction. Originally published 30 years ago, this moving novel became a New York Times bestseller within days of publishing. Editorial Reviews "Those who have read the classic book of helicopter combat in Vietnam, "Chickenhawk" by Robert Mason, but who still have an appetite for more books of that sort can do no better than to read this novel." - "The VVA Veteran," Books in Review II Book Excerpt: From eight thousand feet, the Flying Dutchman flew his chopper into a nose-high attitude and peeled off into a single-ship approach. His passengers were looking straight down at the ground from the open doorway. Before anyone could blink, they were diving toward the ground at four thousand feet a minute, about as fast as a helicopter can come out of the sky with its main rotor still attached. The 12.7's opened up. Tracer rounds looked like basketballs zooming by. The supersonic bullets popped as they passed, breaking the sound barrier. When a bullet found its mark, it smacked the ship like a baseball bat. As soon as the troops on the ground had hefted the two critical cases into each side, John blasted out low level, taking fire from the ground. He knew the Huey didn't have long before it became battered magnesium. . . .
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING MEMOIR OF 21ST-CENTURY AIR COMBAT, BY "ONE OF THE DECORATED PILOTS IN AIR FORCE HISTORY" (NEW YORK POST) 151 combat missions 21 hard kills on surface -to -air missile sites 4 Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor 1 Purple Heart First into a war zone, flying behind enemy lines to purposely draw fire, the wild weasels are elite fighter squadrons with the most dangerous job in the Air Force One of the greatest aviation memoirs ever written, Viper Pilot is an Air Force legend's thrilling eyewitness account of modern air warfare. For twenty years, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Hampton was a leading member of the Wild Weasels, logging 608 combat hours in the world's most iconic fighter jet: the F-16 "Fighting Falcon," or "Viper." He spearheaded the 2003 invasion of Iraq, leading the first flight of fighters over the border en route to strike Baghdad. Earlier, on 9/11, Hampton's father was inside the Pentagon when it was attacked; with his dad's fate unknown, Hampton was scrambled into American skies and given the unprecedented orders to shoot down any unidentified aircraft. Viper Pilot is an unforgettable look into the closed world of fighter pilots and modern air combat.
Author: Robert Mason
Release Date: 2013-11-01
Here is the triumphant sequel to Robert Mason's bestselling account of his service as a chopper pilot in Vietnam. Chickenawk: Back in the World is a moving, no-holds-barred post-Vietnam memoir that reveals the war's shattering legacy in the heart and mind of a returning vet. When Robert Mason's first book was published in 1983, it was hailed as one of the finest personal evocations of Vietnam ever to appear in print. In fact, Chickenhawk is still in print, a book that continues to serve as a testament for an entire generation. But not even Mason's splendid debut will prepare you for the authority of Chickenhawk: Back in the World, his harrowing quest to find "the most significant thing I lost in that war—peace." Although Mason's return was at first promising—after leaving active combat duty he began instructing future helicopter pilots—it quickly spiraled downward: into bouts of panic and increasingly heavy drinking, adulterous love affairs, jobs he could never keep. At the spiral's bottom lay an epic ocean voyage in a small boat. Destination: Colombia; cargo: marijuana: payoff: capture and a twenty-month prison term. Mason recounts these events and his gradual healing from the wounds of Vietnam with caustic honesty, in powerful prose that conveys both the texture of despair and the hope that kept him going as he tied to maneuver through his own personal minefield. Above all, he writes with a bitter wisdom that makes this book an anthem for all those vets who lost a piece of themselves in Southeast Asia–and have spent a long, hard time trying to get it back.
Author: Chuck Gross
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
Release Date: 2006-06-13
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Rattler One-Seven puts you in the helicopter seat, to see the war in Vietnam through the eyes of an inexperienced pilot as he transforms himself into a seasoned combat veteran. At the age of twenty, Chuck Gross spent his 1970?71 tour with the 71st Assault Helicopter Company flying UH-1 Huey helicopters. He inserted special operations teams into Laos and participated in Lam Son 719, a misbegotten attempt to assault and cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail, during which his helicopter was shot down and he was stranded in the field.
"19 Minutes to Live" illustrates the incredible courage and determination of helicopter pilots and crews supporting those heroes that carried a rucksack and a rifle in Vietnam. Over 12,000 helicopters were used in the Vietnam War, which is why it became known as "The Helicopter War". Almost half of the helicopters, 5,086, were lost. Helicopter pilots and crews accounted for nearly 10 percent of all the US casualties suffered in Vietnam, with nearly 5,000 killed and an untold number of wounded. Lew Jennings flew over 700 Air Cavalry Cobra Gunship Helicopter missions and received Three Distinguished Flying Crosses for Valor. This memoir describes first-hand the harrowing experiences of helicopter pilots and crews in combat operations, from the far South to the DMZ, including the infamous Ashau Valley, Hamburger Hill, LZ Airborne and others.