Bill Collier’s account of his time flying for Air America is an insider’s account of the day-to-day life of a helicopter pilot flying covert missions in Laos. Danger, booze and sex punctuate an accurate historical record of a critical period and operation in world history.
Review by Mick Simonelli (June 2018)
Death defying adventure, big money, world travel, sex, booze: this true tale has it all. In 1967, after surviving 13 months, of combat flying in H-34 helicopters in Vietnam for the United States Marine Corps, Captain Collier wanted nothing more to do with that war. Somehow, 34 months later he found himself flying for Air America, the air arm of the CIA, on (not for) the other side of the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
He teamed up with his best Vietnam helicopter pilot buddy, Gary, and the two rascals shared true adventure enough to make any novel seem lame. In many ways it was a much better job than flying for the USMC, but it also had many exciting and interesting times. Flying in mountainous and weather-hostile Laos was some of the most challenging ever experienced by any pilot, any time, any war. He flew 3100 hours more of combat for a total of 3850. He came a whisker from death several times and a few times actually tweaked the devil’s nose, daring the devil to take him!
Making fabulous money and having airline benefits allowed them to live an exotic lifestyle, to travel the world on their monthly R&Rs and to chase and catch more than a few stewardesses from several different airlines around the world.
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Review Genre: Nonfiction—Memoir/Biography
Number of Pages: 364