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Vietnam: A Tale Of Two Tours

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An Army helicopter pilot's memoirs and first-hand account of what he experienced personally during two tours in Vietnam - one at the height of the war in1969 and one at the very end in 1973. This is a detailed description of the life of one helicopter pilot and what he did in the air, on the ground, with the people during his first tour in the Central Highlands while assig An Army helicopter pilot's memoirs and first-hand account of what he experienced personally during two tours in Vietnam - one at the height of the war in1969 and one at the very end in 1973. This is a detailed description of the life of one helicopter pilot and what he did in the air, on the ground, with the people during his first tour in the Central Highlands while assigned to and flying for an Infantry Division, the Cambodia Invasion, and what it was really like living in Vietnam. The second tour was in the Saigon area with an Air Cavalry Troop and recounts live for Americans at the final months of the War, final cease fire events, prisoner exchanges, life on the ground, Saigon, the final flight of combat troops to leave Vietnam and the end of American combat operations and involvement. For those who want to know what it was like to be there -- without the hidden agenda, embellishment, or hype normally associated with the Vietnam War


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An Army helicopter pilot's memoirs and first-hand account of what he experienced personally during two tours in Vietnam - one at the height of the war in1969 and one at the very end in 1973. This is a detailed description of the life of one helicopter pilot and what he did in the air, on the ground, with the people during his first tour in the Central Highlands while assig An Army helicopter pilot's memoirs and first-hand account of what he experienced personally during two tours in Vietnam - one at the height of the war in1969 and one at the very end in 1973. This is a detailed description of the life of one helicopter pilot and what he did in the air, on the ground, with the people during his first tour in the Central Highlands while assigned to and flying for an Infantry Division, the Cambodia Invasion, and what it was really like living in Vietnam. The second tour was in the Saigon area with an Air Cavalry Troop and recounts live for Americans at the final months of the War, final cease fire events, prisoner exchanges, life on the ground, Saigon, the final flight of combat troops to leave Vietnam and the end of American combat operations and involvement. For those who want to know what it was like to be there -- without the hidden agenda, embellishment, or hype normally associated with the Vietnam War

30 review for Vietnam: A Tale Of Two Tours

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael D Irvine

    Great book but an awful lot of unneeded detail up front This is really a great read, you just need to put up with way to much detail stuff in the first short part of it. It took a long time to get to the combat flying which is what a lot of us want to hear about but all his training was interesting except what most of us all went through in boot camp. More detail. He is obviously a very smart, brave, gutsy and talented pilot with a very quick mind which I believe saved his life and all of those he Great book but an awful lot of unneeded detail up front This is really a great read, you just need to put up with way to much detail stuff in the first short part of it. It took a long time to get to the combat flying which is what a lot of us want to hear about but all his training was interesting except what most of us all went through in boot camp. More detail. He is obviously a very smart, brave, gutsy and talented pilot with a very quick mind which I believe saved his life and all of those he went in to get out of harms way and kept his crew alive to boot. He did take a lot of very gutsy and some may say very stupid chances but he did it and got away with it and then had to think about what he had done such that just because he got away with it once could he actually get away wit it again which is what I mean by smarts even though he did do it again but with a little more for thought and some what of a plan. I have nothing but respect for Vietnam helicopter pilots who really were easy targets and also had to beware of maintenance issues in flight that killed almost as many pilots as the enemy did in many cases but who still took to the air when called on any way. At an small airfield near Da Nang I saw a Huey start up and literally completely flip upside down after it was only about a few inches off the ground. It was loaded up with troops and 2 were killed, the pilot and crew chief, It caught fire really quick but most were actually thrown right out of it when it flipped. The co pilot tried to get the command pilot out but he was obviously dead before he even got his seat belts lose due to some piece of metal going through the front of his head killing him instantly. The Crew Chief apparently had not hooked up his safety line before it flipped and he also was ejected but broke his neck which killed him on site. I have no idea what happened but it really made me realize how dangerous flying these beautiful machines could be. Myself and others pulled the grunts still on the ground away from the fire then an ambulance showed up with medics then took over. Some rounds on board started cooking off. When that happened we all ran from the wreck and left it to the firefighters who waited at a distance as well. I tried for the Warrant officer flying program and would have love to learn to fly a helicopter even if it was in Vietnam but I found out in advance that my eye site was way to bad even with corrected glasses. Also I would have had to re-enlist in the Army out of the Navy and even though I was a non commissioned officer or E5 I would have been a E5 grunt if I pushed it and then failed the eye test and I had no desire at all for that. I did get a pilots license when I got out of the service. You will learn so much more than you can imagine from this book. It has a lot of action and the way things really were with these really young aviators from 18 to 20 years old doing the impossible so many times you wonder how any of them made it back. You also wonder how they could fly the next day after a night of really putting away a lot of booze with just 4 or less hours of sleep. But they did and did it professionally believe it or not (most of the time). I served two tours in Vietnam, one on a Navy guided missile destroyer the USS Hoel DDG 13 in mont 51, a 5’ 54’ gun that could put out 90 rounds a minute in full automatic but not for long because the loaders couldn’t keep up with it. I was a second class gunners mate (E5) NCO. The second tour was after several special schools as an EOD expert working with the fifth Marine Recon on 5 to 7 man teams deep in country on our own for a few days to over a week at a time. This was a special mission looking for missiles the Navy were actually testing that were the predecessors to the tomahawk. Some would crashed prior to making it to the target where we had to find it and retrieve the black box for them if we could find them before the bad guys did. Then blow up what ever was left of it. Some were never found. It’s a big jungle out there with triple canopy over 300 feet tall in many places. If we didn’t find it or got shot out by Charlie first, we would call in an Arch light strike by B52s where they thought it crashed. No more Charlie or missile. We were taken in and brought out most times on these same Hueys who saved our bacon more than a few times. We loved these guys and no matter how hot our LZ they always came and got us every time like clock work. Several times we weren’t sure the Huey was going to make it back because it what’s so shot up and vibrating all our brains out plus smoking like crazy. Once we actually landed like a very fast airplane and slid for a long ways before stopping and the skids were all but gone. The pilot said he had no hydraulics left long before we landed. But we made it !!! This is a really great book so don’t pass it over it isn’t loaded with a bunch of BS like a lot of other Vietnam books are so you know he really got baptized by fire like so many of us did.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Friedhelm

    A very original and well structured account of the life of a crack helicopter pilot in Vietnam, this book was a pleasure to read from start to finish and featured colorful descriptions of various personalities that he had to deal with in-country, as well as his own experiences from flying both the huey and then later the loach. As largely apolitical book aside from justifiably labeling both the press and the communists as scum of the earth, in it he goes into great detail about all the factors t A very original and well structured account of the life of a crack helicopter pilot in Vietnam, this book was a pleasure to read from start to finish and featured colorful descriptions of various personalities that he had to deal with in-country, as well as his own experiences from flying both the huey and then later the loach. As largely apolitical book aside from justifiably labeling both the press and the communists as scum of the earth, in it he goes into great detail about all the factors that a pilot has to take into account when flying in a high-risk combat zone, and the thought process his mind goes through each time he takes off into the unknown and faces enormous risks and dangerous situations. He speaks of pulling off both very impressive and sometimes dangerously stupid but brave feats, and often wonders how he survived through it all without great injury. He does not hold back his labeling of the enemy nor certain friendly characters, and picturing his various experiences with the latter in my mind made me laugh out loud quite often. I find my opinions lining up with his very nicely throughout the book, and that along the no less than heroic duties he performed makes me appreciate and respect the author very much. If you're looking for a more broad account of the Vietnam war perhaps this book is not for you, but i love technicalities and people going into great detail and this book does not lack either of those. Also, there are images and maps to help you get a proper sense of where he was located as well as other key locations which i found very helpful. 5/5, i wish i hadn't delayed reading this for so long.

  3. 5 out of 5

    James Ross Barclay

    T I've always been fascinated by the Viet Nam war and especially the use of helicopters and the men that flew them! This book was fascinating and enlightening! The author was the kind of guy that I was proud to have served with after I volunteered in 1975; after being number 16 in the draft in 1972; the year Richard Nixon discontinued the draft and I graduated from high school! This book was also funny at times so an all round great read! T I've always been fascinated by the Viet Nam war and especially the use of helicopters and the men that flew them! This book was fascinating and enlightening! The author was the kind of guy that I was proud to have served with after I volunteered in 1975; after being number 16 in the draft in 1972; the year Richard Nixon discontinued the draft and I graduated from high school! This book was also funny at times so an all round great read!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Jackson

    Excellent and Descriptive You can get a very good understanding of the way it was as you read the material set forth in this book. All of the many facets of the individual events described come together to create a full and genuine portrait of the ' Nam happenings. Situations and events are so well written that any reader can get a clear picture of this WO's tenure in the military. Excellent and Descriptive You can get a very good understanding of the way it was as you read the material set forth in this book. All of the many facets of the individual events described come together to create a full and genuine portrait of the ' Nam happenings. Situations and events are so well written that any reader can get a clear picture of this WO's tenure in the military.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dave Monds

    Politics at war A valuable memoir if a bit dry. The author has clearly held back considerably in his recounting of his Vietnam war experiences. This is not a book of war stories, it is a book of daily life as a young man in a war zone managing the stresses of flying helicopters in combat and appeasing the higher ranks. I enjoyed it but it was not a captivating read. But it’s not supposed to be entertainment. Thanks to the author for his service and sacrifice.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ronda Singh

    Helicopter pilot in Vietnam war Great book about a young 19 year old who joined the Army and flew helicopters during two tours of duty in Vietnam. He ended up making a career of the Army and served for 21 years. He loves flying and worked very hard at his job and became very good @ flying both the Huey's and smaller Loach helicopters. Helicopter pilot in Vietnam war Great book about a young 19 year old who joined the Army and flew helicopters during two tours of duty in Vietnam. He ended up making a career of the Army and served for 21 years. He loves flying and worked very hard at his job and became very good @ flying both the Huey's and smaller Loach helicopters.

  7. 4 out of 5

    a.t.m.

    Great book about flying in the skies above Vietnam The author tells it like it is and no one can tell the story better than a Veteran chopper pilot. He writes about his friends, his near misses, and those officers above him, who should not have been in leadership positions. This book is worth reading and I highly recommend it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Really Great! This book is a rare and mature perspective of the war, and I commend the author’s use of hindsight. Certainly a well-positioned Warrant Officer and aviator over the course of two flying tours (plus one domestic posting), this book provides a fantastic window into the coal face of Army aviation. A great read!

  9. 5 out of 5

    JOHN H. RATLIFF

    Non fiction good read Anyone interested in what the boys/men did while flying under some really questionable leadership combined with the dangers of war, were truly hero's in my book! Thank you all for your service to country. Non fiction good read Anyone interested in what the boys/men did while flying under some really questionable leadership combined with the dangers of war, were truly hero's in my book! Thank you all for your service to country.

  10. 5 out of 5

    clayton goodwin

    I got out of high school in 1975. My friends older brothers served in the Nam. My own brother is a retired CW4 Army helo instructor pilot. Know I know too a better degree what these brave young men went through. This book is written excellently. Much respect, and highly recommended reading.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Harvey Wolf

    Realistic view from the air! I enjoyed this book. Useful for me to get fuller appreciation for the chopper pilot's experience in the war. Especially one who stayed in the Army and was a lifer.Unlike most of us vets. Realistic view from the air! I enjoyed this book. Useful for me to get fuller appreciation for the chopper pilot's experience in the war. Especially one who stayed in the Army and was a lifer.Unlike most of us vets.

  12. 4 out of 5

    njw sheldrake

    Dear diary Not really about flying, more of an anecdotal account of everything except flying. From ablutions to solutions, the who, why and how of the everyday minutiae, great if you’re researching the infrastructure and operational living conditions.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Larry Allen Hurt

    Good book Loved this book, absolutely could not put it down. Will probably read it several more times, being old and forgetful after a few months it will be just like reading a new book all over again, Ha

  14. 4 out of 5

    James B. Irvin

    Best book I have ever read on the real Vietnam we all knew...thanks for the reminder.. Best outline of what really happened.. Thanks again for reminding all of us who served.. May the USA never forget us again

  15. 4 out of 5

    Glenda Stonecipher

    Good Read This is a really good book. During the Vietnam War, I wanted to be a Warrant Officer Helicopter Pilot but didn't pass the vision physical. this guy did what I dreamed about. It's just as well - whatever… Good Read This is a really good book. During the Vietnam War, I wanted to be a Warrant Officer Helicopter Pilot but didn't pass the vision physical. this guy did what I dreamed about. It's just as well - whatever…

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kent

    Great book. Brought home alot of memmories about my time in Vietnam. It also added some things that I did not know but wondered about for a number of years. As I was a LRRP I apprecated all that was done for us by these pilots; they saved so many lives.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dorcas brekel

    Excellent book The dedication and the pursuit of excellence were a inspiration to me in reading this book. I'm very thankful for the author's time to put his experiences in print. My most sincere thanks to all vets for their service. Excellent book The dedication and the pursuit of excellence were a inspiration to me in reading this book. I'm very thankful for the author's time to put his experiences in print. My most sincere thanks to all vets for their service.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ricky E Daughtry

    Great Very well written and factual. As a grunt in the Bush he told it like it was. Thank you for being our eye on the sky and our life line to live another day. 25th infantry division 1/27 th. Infantry. Wolfhounds.

  19. 4 out of 5

    C S M Shepherd

    Great read. A young mans life as a pilot in US army. This is a great book that follows the adventures of a young man on his first and second tours in Vietnam it’s straddles a unique. Between 1968 to 1973 and it’s definitely worth the read. It is honest and hilarious at times

  20. 4 out of 5

    Collin Stewart

    I enjoyed this book The title describes the contents of this book. I found it interesting and informative. I would recommend this book to those who are interested in a true, informative glimpse at what it was like for those deployed to Vietnam.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brion

    Vert interesting book about two very different tours of Vietnam. A great look at the life of an Army Warrant Officer (helo pilot), training and life in country. Amazing how much responsibility was given and assumed by these very young men in Vietnam.

  22. 5 out of 5

    mojo

    Awesome! Wonderful first person account of the war America tried to forget! Never forget! POW/MIA. Until they all come home! Thank you for your service sir!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Very good book I really enjoyed this book. The style was very personable. Humor, stories, pictures made it great. Thank you Mr. Mooney.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Willis

    Excellent Book I liked the flow of the book and how it compared the two tours of duty and the changes in combat and the country.

  25. 5 out of 5

    REGINA ALDRIDGE

    Wonderful This was an interesting story that gave a different perspective on the war. I really enjoyed how he approached the subject.

  26. 4 out of 5

    diane cooney

    Excellent account of our brave heroes from the Vietnam era god bless and keep them healthy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bill Koss

    Great Memoir Felt as if I was in the cockpit! This provided an appreciation of the real dangers involved in military flying during hat era.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christie Aliberti

    Good read It was a very well written book. The authors first hand accounts was clear and relatable to anyone that’s been in combat

  29. 4 out of 5

    amy Lalone

    Great book, told through the eyes of the soilder If you are interested in this era, then this is a great book. I enjoyed it very much. Very good read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Colin Eaton

    Excellent read This memoir really brings the life of a Vietnam war helo pilot to life. A very enjoyable read as he tells it as it was from the gritty end.

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