Customer Reviews for

Night Mission on the Ho Chi Minh Trail

Average Rating 3.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(1)

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(3)

2 Star

(2)

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(3)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Romantic and antiseptic

    Aromantic and antiseptic description of flying over the Ho Chi Minh Trail at night. I was with the 497th when it moved from George AFB to Ubon RTAFB in 1965. We began flying Night Owl in early 1966. We always flew in pairs and were never alone. Tanker hookups were not done in silence, we flew so far north that we had two tanker hookups each flight and I always thanked them for the gas and was acknowledged by word or a double click on the mike. We brought back F4s with wing tips ripped of from pulling excessive Gs outflying SAMs --- a telephone pole coming at you with its tail on fire is a horrible sight. We brought back F4s with grass stains on the bottom; with so many holes in them they had to be crated and shippedback to the States; with holes so large you could pass a basket ball through the fuselage; with eengines so shot up they were added to the landfill. Not touched was the crushing loneliness as a result of not making close friends, nor the joy in knowing the ground fire that passed through the cockpit had missed you, nor the aggravation of having to put out a cockpit fire with only gloved hands. Nor does he adequately address the emptiness in your heart when your wing man does not check in after a radio frequency change to never be heard from again or the enormous ball of flames when an F4 hits the ground --- we carried and burned a lot of fuel. Yet, through it all I fell in love with the F4 --- my girl called it my mistress and I wept when I showed a static F4 to my wife. The weather in Southeast Asia is not always raining. The star and moon light is unbelievably bright and the gentle thunderstorms don't hold a candle to those of the American southwest. When it rained we got drenched since we did not have the luxury of ponchos. His description of the joy of night flying is accurate. I find flying --- piloting --- anytime, anywhere, under any circumstance is literally "reaching out and touching the face of God." We were not blessed with someone to find our targets for us. We searched out our own with ground mapping, radar designed for air intercepts, primitiive inertial navigation, our own eyes, and we dropped our own flairs. During time on targetwe tallked to noone but our wing man until we rwturned to the tanker. His description of fear, ground fire, and cockpit lights are correct. I thought my Scheduling Officer was trying to kill me when he scheduled me every night for a week to bomb the nlorthern approaches to Hanoi, where the flack was so thick and bright there was no need to drop our flares. During my last two weeks there, mid July 1966, I checked out replacements over North Vietnam. I showed them what ground fire looked like when it was going to hit or miss, and insured they could turn their cockpit lights so low they at first thought they were out. Our tour of duty was nominally one year, but when you compleated 100 missions over North Vietnam you were sent home. I rotated to Europe after 146 missions taking with me 14 Air Medals, the Destinguished Flying Cross, two Vietnam Service Medals and Vietnam Campaign Medal. All in all an accurate but light weight read for the uninitiated which brought back good memories and nightmares.
    Patrick F Riley, Capt, USAF, 497th TFS

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome tale of the mental and physical challenges of night comb

    Awesome tale of the mental and physical challenges of night combat.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Amazing

    22 pages of pure awesomeness

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Waste

    No point in writting the story no purpose

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    ilana.nauman@gmail.com

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Didn't Receive the Entire Book

    For some reason, I only received 22 pages of this book. I know it was free, but this is ridiculous....

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 7, 2013

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