History

Rattler One-Seven

Title: Rattler One-Seven
Author: Chuck Gross
Genre: Non-fiction, History
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1574411780

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.
When Chuck Gross left for Vietnam in 1970, he was a nineteen-year-old army helicopter pilot fresh out of flight school. He spent his entire Vietnam tour with the 71st Assault Helicopter Company flying UH-1 Huey helicopters. Soon after the war he wrote down his adventures, while his memory was still fresh with the events. Rattler One-Seven (his call sign) is written as Gross experienced it, using these notes along with letters written home to accurately preserve the mindset he had while in Vietnam.

During his tour Gross flew Special Operations for the MACV-SOG, inserting secret teams into Laos. He notes that Americans were left behind alive in Laos, when official policy at home stated that U.S. forces were never there. He also participated in Lam Son 719, a misbegotten attempt by the ARVN to assault and cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail with U.S. Army helicopter support. It was the largest airmobile campaign of the war and marked the first time that the helicopter was used in mid-intensity combat, with disastrous results.

Pilots in their early twenties, with young gunners and a Huey full of ARVN soldiers, took on experienced North Vietnamese antiaircraft artillery gunners, with no meaningful intelligence briefings or a rational plan on how to cut the Trail. More than one hundred helicopters were lost and more than four hundred aircraft sustained combat damage. Gross himself was shot down and left in the field during one assault.

Rattler One-Seven will appeal to those interested in the Vietnam War and to all armed forces, especially aviators, who have served for their country.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Gross, Chuck

Cave, The

Title: The Cave
Author: Same McGowen
Genre:
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1403302448

The story of an Air Force enlisted man shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War. A cave explorer and marksman, Samuel Tobin Carter discovers a cave and uses it as sanctuary from which to wage his own personal war.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
McGowen, Sam

Outlaws in Vietnam

Title: Outlaws in Vietnam
Author: David L. Eastman
Genre: Non-fiction, History
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0914339974

Ride a Huey with the Outlaws of the 175th Aviation Company (AML) in the Mekong Delta and experience a first-hand, first Lieutenant's account, of a tour in Vietnam from 1966-1967. Eastman's lively prose reveals an exciting untold story of camaraderie, competence and fellowship. The aviation units were the sole combat element of the U.S. Army that kept their discipline and spirit.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Eastman, David L.

Rough War: The Combat Story of Lt Paul J Eastman, a "Burma Banshee" P-40 & P-47 Pilot

Title: Rough War: The Combat Story of Lt Paul J Eastman, a "Burma Banshee" P-40 & P-47 Pilot
Author: Walt Shiel
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1934631159

"One of the most unusual and insightful stories of a young American at war, and it has a particular significance for today." --from the Foreword by Walter J. Boyne.

Paul Eastman was one of thousands of fighter pilots who served honorably, bravely, and with little fanfare during World War II. He did not end the war as a celebrated national hero. No air base was ever named for him. He never became an ace. He never became famous. Paul spent 20 months flying daily combat sorties in one of the most difficult environments of the war -- the China-Burma-India Theater.

Paul Eastman maintained a daily diary throughout the war, covering his life in the air and on the ground. "Rough War" is based on those diaries and the many letters he wrote to his wife. His letters professed his love, expressed his post-war hopes, documented his ongoing fears, and voiced his concerns for his wife and family stateside. Would he survive the war? What would he do afterward?

Although the CBI has been labeled the "forgotten theater" of WW II, Paul Eastman's story helps ensure that the men who fought the air war over its unforgiving jungles and mountains will never be forgotten.

"Rough War" is an important story that makes an equally important connection to the effects of war on the members of the US military today.

"'Rough War' presents a history of the making of a combat fighter pilot. Interspersed with World War II events and in-theater events from the rarely mentioned CBI theater are writings from Paul's journals and letters home detailing his journey into and through combat. While aviation technology changed for America's next war in SE Asia, the threats of the jungle, monsoon, and a determined enemy created similar issues during my own fighter-pilot experiences in Vietnam." -William H. Lawson, Brig. Gen., US Air Force, Retired

"This book brings back lots of memories of my time in that part of the world. In '66-'67 our combat maps of Vietnam and Laos still had large holes of data, and we had to work our way to the war and home just like Paul did. I really enjoyed the format -- chronological, big picture, CBI, and Paul's War helped put it all in perspective. Here's to you, Paul. As we say in 2011 -- Thanks for your service and a job well done." -Ace Rawlins, Col., US Air Force, Retired

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Shiel, Walt

Devil's Own Day: Shiloh and the American Civil War, The

Title: The Devil’s Own Day
Author: John D. Beatty
Reviewed by Jack Manick

ISBN (for Amazon store): 160910661X

The Devil's Own Day is a story of three armies-two Union and one Confederate-that fought for two days near an obscure flatboat landing in southeastern Tennessee that lay just two miles from a Methodist meeting house called Shiloh. The battle would determine the course of the Civil War in the Mississippi Valley, the fate of two generals, Ulysses S. Grant and Albert S. Johnston, and the course of American history.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Beatty, John D.

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