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.
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.
Former helicopter pilot Chuck Carlock recounts the constant dangers and threats he faced during the Vietnam War, including the chance of being cut down by both an elusive enemy or friendly fire, and evokes the camaraderie of the men who lived on the edge. Reprint.
Author: Tom Marshall
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2011-08-10
"The risk of a fatal catastrophe was constant. The NVA was the enemy, but the ultimate opponent was, quite simply, death. . . ." For assault helicopter crews flying in and around the NVA-infested DMZ, the U.S. pullout from Vietnam in 1970-71 was a desperate time of selfless courage. Now former army warrant officer Tom Marshall of the Phoenix, C Company, 158th Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne, captures the deadly mountain terrain, the long hours flown under enormous stress, the grim determination of hardened pilots combat-assaulting through walls of antiaircraft fire, the pickups amid exploding mortar shells and hails of AK fire, the nerve-racking string extractions of SOG teams from North Vietnam. . . . And, through it all, the rising tension as helicopter pilots and crews are lost at an accelerating pace. It is no coincidence that the Phoenix was one of the most highly decorated assault helicopter units in I Corps. For as the American departure accelerated and the enemy added new, more powerful antiaircraft weapons, the helicopter pilots, crew chiefs, and gunners paid the heavy price of withdrawal in blood. For more than 30 Percent of Tom Marshall's 130 helicopter-school classmates, the price of exit was their lives. . . . From the Paperback edition.
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
"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.
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: 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: 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.
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. . . .
Author: Frank Boccia
Release Date: 2013-06-07
As a first lieutenant in Bravo Company of the Third Battalion, 187th Infantry, Frank Boccia led a platoon in two intense battles in the Vietnamese mountains in April and May 1969: Dong Ngai and the grinding, 11-day battle of Dong Ap Bia—the Mountain of the Crouching Beast, in Vietnamese, or Hamburger Hill as it is popularly known. The Rakkasans, the 3/187th, are the most highly decorated unit in the history of the United States Army, and two of those decorations were awarded for these two battles. This vivid account of the author’s first seven months in Vietnam gives special attention to the events at Dong Ap Bia, following the hard-hit 3/187th hour by hour through its repeated assaults on the mountain, against an unseen enemy in an ideal defensive position. It also corrects several errors that have persisted in histories and official reports of the battle. Beyond describing his own experiences and reactions, the author writes, “I want to convey the real face of war, both its mindless carnage and its nobility of spirit. Above all, I want to convey what happened to both the casual reader and the military historian and make them aware of the extraordinary spirit of the men of First Platoon, Bravo Company. They were ordinary men doing extraordinary things.”