The Vietnam War was the war which the helicopter came into prominence. From the Ia Drang Valley to the A Shau Valley, the uses of these important flying vehicles meant the difference between defeat on the battlefield or success. The use of choppers in Vietnam were used for resupply, insertion of air cav infantry and the evacuation of wounded and firepower from above.
Vetnam was the war of the chopper. Chopper Warriors, Kicking the Hornet’s Nest brought to us by author William E. Peterson is an amalgamation of Vietnam chopper stories. Many of these stories are written by Peterson of his tour in Vietnam with an Air Assault Battalion. Other stories were written by members of air crew teams from crew chiefs, door gunners and pilots. When one thinks of Vietnam, one thinks of the infantrymen in combat who engage the enemy directly. However in Vietnam it was the use of the choppers which made the difference. In fact the difference with the US success on the battlefield and the French who were not successful at all was the use of the choppers.
It conveys the stories of these air crews who supported the infantry in the field. The stories tell of these brave men who put themselves at risk to accomplish their missions. It tells of their fears and thoughts of life which is lived at the edge.
Vietnam was the war of the “Chopper”; the skies were filled with the sight of whirling blades flying in diamond formations on missions of insertion, medical evacuation, resupply and evacuation. You Tube has a tribute to the UH-l titled Gimme Shelter with background music by the Rolling Stones. This is what Paterson’s book conveys, this was indeed the war of the chopper and Peterson captures it like the blades of the slicks he rode on. Excellent book!!
Reviewed by: Richard Geschke(2015)
After having written my first Award Winning book, Missions of Fire And Mercy, I felt something was missing. I have always had a great deal of respect for the Infantry (grunts) who our unit, C/227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry supported.
They were always appreciative of the helicopters and crews. My personal feeling is that the grunts heroically fought the worst part of the Viet Nam war. Chopper Warriors will introduce many of the survivors of that war.
The true, interesting, gut-wrenching and often thrilling stories you are about to read are from heroes whom I am honored to know. Many of the words written here are theirs from interviews I have done. As a storyteller, I have tried to recapture the events as they happened forty-five plus years ago.