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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.
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.
“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.
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.
Flies the reader into combat with the same elite air cavalry unit portrayed in the film "Apocalypse Now"
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.
Each of us who served in Vietnam was the guy next door, the average Joe, not a hero. The boy who might date your daughter or sister. The young man who might mow your yard. In Vietnam, we weren't out to be heroes. We just did our jobs. For a helicopter pilot, each day was like all the others. You flew the mission and never stopped to think that it might be your last. You didn't think about the bullet holes in the helicopter, the cracks in the tail boom, or about any of it until night, lying in bed when you couldn't think of anything else. The Other Vietnam War is the story of the introduction to a new country, a backward culture, the perils of a combat zone, and the effects on a young lieutenant fresh out of flight school. It does not labor the reader with pages of white-knuckle adventures, as so many other fine books about the Vietnam War do. It instead focuses on the internal battle each soldier fought with himself to make sense of where he was, why he was there, and if he was good enough. The administrative duties of Commissioned officers, while tame compared to the exploits of valiant pilots who wrote about them, caused a deep introspection into life and its value in an enigmatic place like Vietnam. Aside from the fear, excitement, deliverance, and denial that each pilot faced, the inner battle he fought with himself took its toll. Some of us thought we'd find glory. But many of us discovered there is no glory in war.

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