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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Good read for Vietnam vets - compelling tale of helicopter pilots of that era.

    The author presents his view of a dirty war fought by men and women who were responsible soldiers and thought they were appropriately serving their country. The pilots unselfishly flew in extremely hazardous situations day and night trying to do their part in fighting this war. Not all who served experienced the same kind of trauma that troops serving today in the middle east experience. Most were fairly young,highly trained but inexperienced,and many had little moral character but served with pride even when their friends, neighbors, and country abandoned them in protest of the war.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Helicopter Combat at it's best

    This is a book that truly puts you in the cockpit of a 'Huey Gunship' helicopter during the early days of Vietnam. The Author takes you on a month by month tour of helicopter battle starting in August, 1965 and concludes with Mason's disillusionment with the war that would ultimately claim 65,000 American lives and Mason's paralyzing bouts with P.S.T.D., alcoholism and unemployment when he returns to civilian life. The story concludes with a part II called 'Chickenshack:Back In The World' where he descends into criminal activity and the life of a drug smuggler. Needless to say, it is interesting to note Mason's gradual change from an aqggressive pro-war 'hawk' 'supporting the war' to at the end of his tour having paralyzing anxiety of dying, P.S.T.D flashbacks 'thus labelling himself a 'chicken' and the title of this book'. Mason concludes with the question:'why don't the S.Vietnamese fight the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese like the VC and N.V.A. fight the S. Vietnamese'? Mason answers this by putting forth the assertion that without the support of our allies (the S.Vietnamese)the U.S. was going to (and ultimately did) lose the war. And if the S. Vietnamese didn't care, why were we there in the first place and continuing to fight an unwinnable war? Mason states that the people in Washington must have known this. The signs were too obvious:plans leaked to the V.C., reluctant combatants, mutinies in the ARVN (the S. Vietnamese Army), political corruption, S. Vietnamese marines at Danang fighting S.Vietnamese marines, and the ubiquitous Vietnamese idea that the North's leader, Ho Chi Minh would eventually win. Regardless, all these ideas are intertwined in a personal story chock full of raging madness of death, frightening extractions of wounded and dying men and combat experience. This is one book I will reread many times.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2012

    The best ever book written

    This was a book that I couldn't put down until I finished. My uncle, Major Ed Behne, served from 1967-1970. Major Behne is the Vietnam War's second-most decorated army pilot, having received two Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Legion of Merit, a VN Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star and Palm, two Silver Stars, six Bronze Stars, VN Service Medal (9 campaigns), two Meritorious Unit Citations, and 80 Air Medals.

    He will always be my hero and an example of a True American. After I read this book I asked him if it was factual and he agreed it was. He passed away a few years ago and his death left a hole in my heart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Buy now!

    I am 75 year old aviation aficionado. My book interests tend toward fiction writers such as Grisham, Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassen. But I love flying stuff. I first heard of Chickenhawk some years ago. It had many positive reviews back then. So when I saw it at Amazon nook, I grabbed it.

    Mason describes what to him was an ordinary part of his life in an extraordinary way. It's a very personal story about an area of life most of us have no clue about. For me, it added much 'meat' to those evening news shots of slicks and gunships whumping their way back and forth across the landscape of Viet Nam. Who was in those slicks, what they were facing, doing, saying every day is here in Mason's book. It is harrowing and terrifying to say the least. But Mason makes it all sound like being a taxi driver in the middle of Manhattan. I can see why so many military and commercial pilots are so passionate about this book.

    For non aviators this is no less an absorbing and exciting story of helicopter warfare. Facing real death or dismemberment every day is only part of the narrative. I was grateful to Mason to include the bonds of love formed between the crews, knowing your buddies were likely to be gone tomorrow.

    What spoke greatly of Manson's character was the revelations of his doubts of the necessity of the Viet Nam war and who ensured its existence.

    I recommend to anyone, especially if you watched the news back then.

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    Posted March 19, 2011

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    Posted May 12, 2011

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    Posted January 4, 2011

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    Posted December 28, 2010

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    Posted November 8, 2010

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