Flying through the Years by Bob Lanzotti is an interesting and informal memoir covering the often-humorous highlights of the author’s military service as an Army aviator. The book is divided into three sections, covering three short-tours during the author’s military service—one in Korea and two in war-torn Vietnam in the late 1960s. Lanzotti’s choice of telling his story via a series of short vignettes makes this a quick, informative, and worthwhile read.
At times irreverent and even whimsical, Lanzotti’s informal writing style easily transports the reader back in time, and into the battle. However, even Lanzotti’s matter-of-fact storytelling cannot hide the fact that Army aviation can be deadly serious or just plain deadly—especially during wartime.
The author suggests that his book would “make interesting reading for [his] children.” A reader interested in a collection of short stories about the life of an Army helicopter pilot will also find the wide-ranging stories contained in this book quite entertaining. A few technical glitches represent only minor distractions from a thoroughly enjoyable memoir.
Review by John Cathcart (April 2019)
In Flying through the Years: A Trilogy of Short Tours and a Collection of Short Stories, Bob Lanzotti provides his memoirs as an Army helicopter pilot during three overseas tours, all conducted during the turbulent decade of the sixties. Each tour, one to Korea and two to Vietnam, contains at least a score of short stories. Lanzotti begins with his often humorous reflections as a fledgling new aviator in Korea. As the book progresses, so too does Lanzotti’s aviator experience level and job responsibilities, culminating with his command of the Crimson Tide, a Chinook unit within the 1st Cavalry Airmobile Division. His stories recurrently pay well earned homage to the achievements of the men he served and flew with during what he recalls as his greatest adventure.
Publisher: Deeds Publishing
Publication date: 06/25/2018