My Enemy, My Friend: A Story of Reconciliation from the Vietnam War
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My Enemy, My Friend: A Story of Reconciliation from the Vietnam War

4.2 10
by Dan Cherry
     
 

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Kirkus Reviews
Author Brig. Gen. Cherry chronicles his time flying a fighter jet in Vietnam and the miraculous reconnection with the plane he flew and the Vietnamese pilot he shot down more than 35 years ago. From his earliest memories, Cherry never wanted to do anything but fly. He spent his youth in Bowling Green, Ky., living with his mother and grandparents. During World War II, the author witnessed the birds of war constantly passing overhead. Those jets and the many young men in uniform inspired him to follow his dream. After spending nearly three decades in the military, Cherry was retired and living in Bowling Green when he and a group of friends planned a trip to the U.S. Air Force Museum. During the tour, their guide mentioned a Vietnam-era jet parked at a nearby VFW post. Seeing the aircraft, Cherry recognized it as the actual plane he flew on a war mission decades ago. A plan was hatched to create a historical learning center in Bowling Green using the jet as its first exhibit. All they needed was money to fund the project. What if Cherry attempted to contact the pilot he'd shot down? The likelihood of locating him was obviously very low, but Cherry managed to find him alive and well. A meeting was arranged, and the former enemies reunited and shared a warm embrace. Soon, the publicity surrounding the event secured the donations for the center. While the project is commendable and the narrative interesting, the work moves along too quickly at times, providing few details. Nevertheless, the author gets his message across in a readable if abbreviated storyline. A short, fascinating account of long odds, determination and reconciliation.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780692000076
Publisher:
Aviation Heritage Park, Inc.
Publication date:
02/15/2009
Edition description:
AVIATION HERITAGE PARK, INC
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.40(d)

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My Enemy, My Friend: A Story of Reconciliation from the Vietnam War 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Dick_Gould_LtCol_USAF More than 1 year ago
A MUST read for anyone who wants their kids to grasp the concepts of loyalty to country, mission accomplishment and forgiveness. Dan Cherry's narrative of the dogfight with a North Viernamese MIG 21 captures the mood, frustration and satisfaction faced by our fighter pilots during the Vietnam era. As a member of Major Cherry's flight at the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron, I was struck by two things: the reality of his narrative, where I was anticipating his next move, empathizing with his frustration over equipment malfunctions, cussing under my breath when the MIG 21 disappeared into the clouds. I found myself breathing heavily and feeling the need to pound on the glare shield when his initial missles failed! A moving and I'm sure, an emotional ordeal for Dan, explaining the account of meeting his vanquished enemy, a retired North Vietnamese pilot living in Hanoi, who Dan found by happenstance, his visit to Hanoi with the man he shot down as a guide, and tour of the 'Hanoi Hilton', the dreaded POW prison, whose 'guests' included Senator John McCain and so many other courageous airmen. I personally felt a lump in my throat when reading Dan's description of this visit, remembering when one of my fellow aviators was captured and imprisoned there. I gladly paid the full price for this great gem of a book. Total proceeds for this book are donated to the Aviation Hertitage Park, whose mission is dedicated to past aviators who "deserve to be recognized and celebrated so that future generations might be made aware of and motivated by their extraordinary achievements." This is the mission of Aviation Heritage Park.
TITAN25 More than 1 year ago
This is a REVIEW Of the book titled "MY ENEMY MY FRIEND" By Brigadier General Dan Cherry, USAF, (Ret.) This is an unbelievable, fascinating and most remarkable TRUE STORY, about a U. S. Air Force F-4 Phantom Jet Fighter Pilot , Dan Cherry , who in AIR COMBAT shoots down a Vietnam Mig Fighter Plane in April,1972. Years later, Dan Cherry, now a celebrated and highly decorated, but retired brigadier general, is living in his hometown in Bowling Green, Ky., with his buddies - who early most every morning get up for a fast exercise walk, then wind up at MacDonalds for Coffee, and "STORIES", etc. Then, "THE ENEMY MY FRIEND" story REALLY BEGINS !! They decide to rent a van and all travel to Dayton, Ohio, where the National Air Museum exists, and in the process learn that an old battered Phantom F-4 plane in a nearby small town is the one he flew - YES, the very one. Then, one after another remarkable sequence of events occur, Dan travels to Vietnam, meets his survived fallen adversary in Hanoi, brings him to America, attends the Smithsonian Air Museum, and to Florida for the Sun & Fun Air Show, etc.; their friendship is now sealed, and the man, once his ENEMY, is now his very special FRIEND. This short story book is so captivating that you just don't want it to end. My wife couldn't put the book down either, but as an ex-Air Force jet trained Fighter and Transport pilot myself, you can see where I would devour every morsel of the story. However, anybody reading this book will remember and cherish it as a heart warming story where "LIFE CAN BE STRANGER THAN FICTION". - Walt Poff ( in Florida
franellan More than 1 year ago
My Enemy My Friend Author: Brigadier General Dan Cherry With Fran Erickson Reviewed by Fran Lewis This is a true story of one man’s journey in life. This is more than just what happened in Vietnam and shooting down an enemy plane. It is more than just having family, friends and the support of loved ones to encourage him. It is about perseverance, determination, pride and understanding of others. It is about his life in Bowling, Green Kentucky and the people who impacted his life and the uniqueness of the town and the reasons why he never wants to leave. My Enemy, My Friend by Brigadier General Dan Cherry is truly a book that everyone should read. Dreams and aspirations can lead someone to a career from a very early age. With a grandfather that drove a train and the times he recalls riding in the Pullman car, he knew from the start flying was in his blood and being a pilot was his ultimate career. The speed of the train and watching the world go back made him feel like he was flying. Growing up he learned how to deal with many things that most kids would find difficult Divorce is not easy for a child to handle but our author was blessed at the age of ten when his mother remarried an aeronautical engineer named Henry Hardin Cherry Jr. who would become his father. Adopting him and giving him his last name was truly an honor and with this help molded him into the fine young man he would become. Goal oriented and always wanting to fly he entered aviation school and from there the sky was definitely not only the limit but where he wanted to be. The sound of planes and the engines roaring in the sky filled the air wherever he lived and stimulated his interest in becoming a pilot. Imagine flying a P-51 or F-80. The excitement of your first time flying and taking that plane up must have been exhilarating. For 29 years he relates to the reader that being in the Air Force was magical. The people he met, the experiences he encountered and the reasons why he created Aviation Heritage Park are invaluable. So many museums have artwork, pictures, and sculpture and recreate the history of many time periods. Aviation Heritage Park would be different. His love of his community and the people living there inspired him to create facility that would honor real pilots, tell their real stories and share them with those in his community, schools, aviation students, tourists and visitors. I watched the Today Show last week and listened to Brigadier General Dan Cherry tell his story and the events surrounding his shooting down the MiG21 piloted by Hong My. I sat and listened to his description of the event, the thoughts that went through his mind before shooting down the plane and I realized that his story, their story needed to be told. Trying to find a way to contact him I came upon the site for Aviation Heritage and was honored when the Brigadier General agreed to send me his book to review. This review is a special one and I hope that I give it the honor and prestige it deserves as I continue my review of this outstanding book My Enemy My Friend Beginning his day with a brisk walk is something I love doing. Walking with his friends in Bowling Green Walking Group, finding their way to McDonalds and solving the world’s problems is really inspiring. But, one trip and one walking tour would change many things for him and his friends and one memory would be permanently ignited. Told by the staff of the National Museum in Dayton, Oh
RKM10 More than 1 year ago
My Enemy. My Friend Brigadier General Dan Cherry You experience the dance, the hide-and-seek through the clouds, and the exhilaration of the afterburner kicking in to establish position for pulling the trigger. In this emotional rollercoaster, Brigadier General Dan Cherry puts you into the cockpit of his F-4 Phantom jet during a 1972 air battle with a Mig-21 over North Vietnam. The Mig-21 explodes and Cherry flashes by within 100 feet of the floating parachute, virtually locking eyes with the dazed enemy pilot. Over 30 years later, in what some might call a fluke while others claim it destiny, Cherry takes a weekend trip with friends and accidentally discovers the very F-4 he flew that day in Vietnam. This inspires a pursuit of another kind, significantly less violent than the dogfight near Hanoi, but no less heroic. Cherry decides to search for the man he shot down, a remarkable journey culminating in the title of this book. Cynics would say, "It's easy to be benevolent when you are the victor. What if it was Cherry who was shot down?" Well, those who know Dan suspect he would still have sought out his assailant because that's the man Dan Cherry is. In fact, there's back-story within this book proving exactly that. The vines intertwine, and as you continue reading, you'll navigate the nuances of time and spirit, and be captured by the human fabric of both the American warrior. and his enemy.
Jay_Nehrkorn More than 1 year ago
An interesting and touching short-read for adults whether they are aviation enthusiasts or not, and this would be an excellent addition to school libraries. The photography is very well done and the nicely woven story has a really important message for young people about soldiers and reconciliation.
CindyJF More than 1 year ago
I love this book! I found the the intense dogfight drama and wartime experience fascinating as well as sobering. This powerful, easy to read story, surpasses historically significant to celebrate the present and hope for the future; a supportive community, its honor of heritage and the bonds of an unlikely friendship. It invited my family and me to participate in reconciliation's positive ripple effect in our own hearts and lives. A must read experience!
GlennS More than 1 year ago
Retired USAF Brigadier General Dan Cherry does a masterful job of recounting how a visit to an Air Force musuem led to the discovery of retired F-4 Phantom #550. Number 550 was the aircraft Dan was flying when he shot down a MIG-21 during a aerial battle in 1972 over North Vietnam. The relocation of the aircraft to Dan's home town of Bowling Green, Ky. led to a series of events that resulted in the establishment of Avaiation Heritage Park in Bowling Green and the search for the pilot of the MIG-21 that was shot down that April day in 1972. Dan knew the pilot had ejected. Dan gives a vivid account of that air battle that resulted in his victory over the MIG-21 pilot. Dan recounts the search which led to the discovery of the pilot, Lt. Nguyen Hong My, and their emotional face to face meeting and visit in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) thirty six years later. BG Dan Cherry recounts a heart warming and emotionl story of how two military men thrown together on opposite sides of a military conflict can survive and later become friends. Both have met each others family and friends which exist today because they survived one personal event that led to one's victory at that moment. I highly recomend the book and have purchased additional copies for friends and family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can see this book being made into a very good movie!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is being used to raise money to maintain a historic park. For that I give them credit. It is the saving grace for paying an outlandish amount of money for a book this size. It is a nice story of forgiveness and would have made for a great larger book if someone had more time to finesse more details of the others involved in the air raid that day.