Blades of Thunder by W. Larry Dandridge

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

A realistic and accurate depiction of the life a young helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Dandridge shares his experiences and those of his helicopter classmates, unit members and friends to paint a picture of camaraderie and patriotism while fighting one of the most vicious military conflicts in US history. Using his own personal account and those of his fellow troops, Dandridge unfolds the heartache, pain and triumphs of young soldiers who bravely flew “slicks” and “gunships” in an unforgiving war with unforgiving consequences. This book successfully serves as a living tribute to them.

Review by Mick Simonelli (June 2018)

Author's Synopsis

Blades of Thunder (book One) is a non-fiction, action packed, and Vietnam War history book that tells the story of six young Army aviators, flight school classmates, who go to Vietnam in the fall of 1968 and are forever changed.  Some died, some were wounded.  All those who returned brought back emotional scars that will never really go away.  Blades of Thunder is more than a story about Vietnam.  It combines a realistic narrative of combat operations with a human dimension, the physical and psychological toll imposed on those who survived. While learning about their experiences, this all five-star reviewed paperback or hard cover book gives you a window into the lives of crew chiefs and door gunners whose job extends beyond flight when the aircraft is once again safely tucked into its revetment, the battery switch is off and the blades are tied down.  Timeless lessons on leadership abound.  •    The author takes the reader into the details of the Army Aviation business.  46 annotated photos and generous, informative appendices provide an informal class on the tools of our trade: the components of a UH-1B rocket pod and machine gun assembly; the essential elements of an OH-6A “Loach” to include cyclic, collective, armored seats, grenades and mini-gun; and a host of other switches, gauges, etc., to include the hook over the pilot’s door in a Huey on which to hang your helmet.  Blades of Thunder (Book One) even offers an appendix of over 24 mini-biographies of the key characters in the book, showing that, if they survived, they each became successful family men and leaders in every field of business and government. Nothing is left out.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-0-578-15637-8 Paperback and 978-0-692-78369-6 Hard Cover
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Genre(s): Nonfiction, History, Memoir, Biography, Picture Book
Review Genre: Nonfiction—History
Number of Pages: 411