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Book discussion

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(A/229) Chic
(D/229) DC
(A/229) BBall
(H/229) Skeeter
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Book discussion Empty Book discussion

Post by (H/229) Skeeter Mon 25 Sep 2017, 16:45

Please feel free to discuss/rate books here in this section.
(H/229) Skeeter
(H/229) Skeeter
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Post by (H/229) Skeeter Sun 01 Oct 2017, 21:50

(A/229) BBall wrote:Hey guys!

Great suggestions!

I've read about 75% of them, and enjoyed them all!
(my favorites: "A Hundred Feet Over Hell", "Firebirds", "To The Limit", "Price of Exit", "Rattler One-Seven", "Fixin To Die Rag", "Dead Men Flying", "In the Company of Heroes", and [of course] the venerable "Chickenhawk")

I'm about 1/2 way through "ACE, The Story of Lt. Col. Ace Cozzalio", and loving it. I'm also reading one at the moment (not mentioned):

"The Final Flight of Curious Yellow, and other stories told by pilots of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association" (it's a superb collection for many authors).

Two others not mentioned:

"Goodbye, My Darling: Hello Vietnam!" by CWO-5 Michael D. Lazares (ret)
(loved it)

and...

"A Pink Mist" by John A. Bercaw
(have yet to read)
(H/229) Skeeter
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Post by (H/229) Skeeter Sun 01 Oct 2017, 21:52

(A/229) Bandit 89 wrote:My Top 5 from the great list above:

Chickenhawk
To The Limit
Rattler One-Seven
Price of Exit
In The Company of Heroes

(H/229) Skeeter
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Post by (A/229) BBall Tue 12 Dec 2017, 02:47

Greetings gentlemen.

A note about a book that I finished last night.

It was the best AND the worst book I’ve read about combat flying in Vietnam (and I assure you, I’ve read most probably 90% of our list…plus then some). It was disturbing to a point that I can hardly explain…I’m not ashamed to say that I woke up several times last night thinking about it. As a person whose passions in life include flying machines (esp. helos), and the written word, this narrative is superb and satiates both. (caveat: by “worst”, I don’t mean bad…maybe disturbing is a better description)

This book is the end result of a compilation of 80+ stories that this gentleman wrote for the VA to help with his PTSD treatment. To say that his year in Vietnam had a powerfully negative effect on him would be an understatement. He has since learned to live with his nightmares and lead a (mostly) normal life. God bless him.

(short lead-in)

Late in the war (1970), a young man from El Paso, Texas defers two draft notices through college attendance, but is nailed by notice #3. He enters the Army, but decides to attend flight school and become a Warrant Officer (“for the challenge”) to fly Dust Off, thus staying square with his “anti-war” feelings.

He ends up flying slicks with the 116 AHC detached to the 25th Infantry Division (“Tropic Lightning”) in Chu Chi, then ends his tour with the Americal Division at Chu Lai. He goes from FNG, to AC, to Company IP, to Flight Lead of the entire unit. His narrative along the way is unparalleled…the good, the bad and (incredibly) ugly. His final few missions are in concert with the 101st  Airborne in support of that unbelievable debacle known as “Lam Son 719” (or “Dewey Canyon II”).

As we know, all that flew helicopters in Vietnam saw “some” sh*t, some saw more than their fair share, and some saw nothing but the “south end of the north bound mule”. This man (and the 116th “Hornets”) seem to be in a category all their own. He was in the suck almost from the moment his feet hit the tarmac on Day 1. How he lived through all the deaths (and his near demise) so many times, and remain “mostly” sane is a testament to the human condition (plus his professionalism as an Army Aviator… and the love he had for his fellow pilots).

(spoiler alert) His last mission is so haunting and disturbing that I literally couldn’t stop replaying it in my mind last night while I lay in the hotel bed wishing for sleep to come. I’ve read about LOTS of ugly missions, but I can assure you…nothing like this. To top it off, he was to DEROS THE NEXT DAY…and wasn’t even supposed to be flying that day! I offer it will probably leave you shocked and numb…like it did this old pilot. (He mentions during the chapter that [excepting his VA doctor and a few close friends], he had not talked [or written] about what happened on that mission for the last 45+ years since returning from that living hell)

I give you “Hornet 33: Memoir of a Combat Helicopter Pilot in Vietnam” by Ed Denny

https://www.amazon.com/Hornet-33-Memoir-Helicopter-Vietnam/dp/1476666091/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513043234&sr=1-1

I hope you enjoy it.
(A/229) BBall
(A/229) BBall
Chief Warrant Officer 4
Rated Senior Aviator
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No. of Flights: : since 1973? are you kidding me? oh, you mean FLIGHT SIM flights!
Killed In Action: : is a zillion too many times?
Slick No. of landings: : you mean the ones I walked away from?
CAS Tanks destroyed: : not many.
CAS Vehicules destroyed: : more than the tanks.
CAS Bunkers destroyed: : have no idea! were they selling beer there?
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Post by (D/229) DC Tue 12 Dec 2017, 04:54

Thanks BBall,

Just downloaded it to my Kindle.

DC

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Post by (A/229) Chic Wed 13 Dec 2017, 14:27

Givin it a go

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Post by (B/229) NeF Wed 13 Dec 2017, 20:15

B, on behalf of my wife, thanks for ending the quest for a good Xmas present Wink Cheers !
(B/229) NeF
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Post by (A/229) Bandit 89 Sat 16 Dec 2017, 01:13

Thanks for the book review BBall. I'll be adding it to my collection.
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Book discussion Empty CW2 by Layne Heath

Post by (A/229) Bandit 89 Tue 23 Jan 2018, 01:44

A friend recommended CW2 by Layne Heath to me 25 years ago and I finally bought it and finished it yesterday. Although it is fiction the author served 2 tours in Vietnam and knows what he is writing about.

The book follows the main character Billy Roark from basic training to his 2nd tour.

One line stuck with me. After his first tour, when Billy was thinking how to explain what it was like over there to his friends and family,

"I could have told them how I hated it and loved it and missed it..."

Tom Clancy's review - "A superb novel, powerful, eloquent, uncompromisingly realistic"

Highly recommended.


Last edited by (A/229) Bandit 89 on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 01:46; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : forgot something)
(A/229) Bandit 89
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Post by (HHC/229) GunfighterSIX Tue 23 Jan 2018, 03:18

Just ordered a copy, thanks
(HHC/229) GunfighterSIX
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Post by (B/229) Cib Tue 23 Jan 2018, 08:24

Wow I just read this again last year. Gets strange at the end though. I bought my copy circa 1985 Smile
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