Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat

( 30 )

Overview

151 combat missions
21 hard kills on surface -to -air missile sites
4 Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor
1 Purple Heart

First into a war zone, flying behind enemy lines to purposely draw fire, the wild weasels are elite fighter squadrons with the most dangerous job in the Air Force

One of the greatest aviation memoirs ever written, ...

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Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat

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Overview

151 combat missions
21 hard kills on surface -to -air missile sites
4 Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor
1 Purple Heart

First into a war zone, flying behind enemy lines to purposely draw fire, the wild weasels are elite fighter squadrons with the most dangerous job in the Air Force

One of the greatest aviation memoirs ever written, Viper Pilot is an Air Force legend's thrilling eyewitness account of modern air warfare. For twenty years, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Hampton was a leading member of the Wild Weasels, logging 608 combat hours in the world's most iconic fighter jet: the F-16 "Fighting Falcon," or "Viper." He spearheaded the 2003 invasion of Iraq, leading the first flight of fighters over the border en route to strike Baghdad. Earlier, on 9/11, Hampton's father was inside the Pentagon when it was attacked; with his dad's fate unknown, Hampton was scrambled into American skies and given the unprecedented orders to shoot down any unidentified aircraft. Viper Pilot is an unforgettable look into the closed world of fighter pilots and modern air combat.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Post
“Hampton’s one of the most decorated pilots in Air Force history. ... We may never see his like again.”
Colonel - Jacksel Broughton (USAF)
"Dan Hampton’s Viper Pilot truly impressed me—if you’re a combat vet, it’s sweaty palms again; if not, strap in and get ready. Filled with lots of action, here’s a real and up-close look at modern fighter combat, told straight from the cockpit."
COLONEL Jacksel Broughton (USAF
“Dan Hampton’s Viper Pilot truly impressed me—if you’re a combat vet, it’s sweaty palms again; if not, strap in and get ready. Filled with lots of action, here’s a real and up-close look at modern fighter combat, told straight from the cockpit.”
W.E.B. GRIFFIN & WILLIAM E. BUTTERWORTH IV
“A rare riveting memoir of a highly decorated fighter pilot that’s packed with grit, swagger, and great humor. Do not miss this one!”
ALEX KERSHAW
Viper Pilot is an awesome adrenaline rush. If you love action packed modern day war stories then strap yourself in and get ready for a gut-wrenching, g-force defying thrill ride!”
DALE BROWN
Viper Pilot is fantastic. Lt. Col. Dan Hampton offers a personal, irreverent, no-holds-barred look into the life of an Air Force fighter pilot. A great read!”
BRIGADIER GENERAL DAVID L. MOODY (Retired USAF)
Viper Pilot is an instant aviation classic. Dan Hampton’s thrilling portrayals of combat missions kept me glued to the story, and he has captured the essence of Wild Weasel fighter operations as no one has before.”
COLONEL JACKSEL BROUGHTON (USAF
“Dan Hampton’s Viper Pilot truly impressed me--if you’re a combat vet, it’s sweaty palms again; if not, strap in and get ready. Filled with lots of action, here’s a real and up-close look at modern fighter combat, told straight from the cockpit.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Offers a gripping cockpit view of modern air combat ... Hampton is a vivid writer and an unabashed warrior. ... An outstanding work.”
Booklist
"Offers a gripping cockpit view of modern air combat ... Hampton is a vivid writer and an unabashed warrior. ... An outstanding work."
W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV
"A rare riveting memoir of a highly decorated fighter pilot that’s packed with grit, swagger, and great humor. Do not miss this one!"
Alex Kershaw
"Viper Pilot is an awesome adrenaline rush. If you love action packed modern day war stories then strap yourself in and get ready for a gut-wrenching, g-force defying thrill ride!"
Dale Brown
"Viper Pilot is fantastic. Lt. Col. Dan Hampton offers a personal, irreverent, no-holds-barred look into the life of an Air Force fighter pilot. A great read!"
David L. Moody
"Viper Pilot is an instant aviation classic. Dan Hampton’s thrilling portrayals of combat missions kept me glued to the story, and he has captured the essence of Wild Weasel fighter operations as no one has before."
Publishers Weekly
Hampton, one of America’s most renowned fighter pilots—a retired, decorated Air Force lieutenant colonel—shares a brash and bold account of his 20 year military service in this fast-paced adventure memoir. He recounts his early education at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, his personal experience of September 11th, and the hair-raising missions of two Gulf wars. A member of the Wild Weasels, an elite group of pilots who fly into enemy territory to draw fire so that threats can be exposed and eliminated, Hampton has amassed an almost unbelievable collection of tales, including how he survived the Khobar Towers bombing and countless other experiences "seeing the Elephant" as he engaged in close calls that forced him to acknowledge the probability of his demise. While military buffs and those who have endured combat will enjoy Hampton’s fast, unfiltered tales, civilian readers may have a more difficult time, as each chapter contains so much military jargon that a glossary of terms has been appended at the end of the book. Still, Hampton’s honest, audacious style makes for an entertaining read, and those instances where the author digresses, offering unfiltered opinions or a rare glimpse of life outside of the cockpit, are especially intriguing. (Oct.)
Colonel - JACKSEL BROUGHTON (USAF)
"Dan Hampton’s Viper Pilot truly impressed me—if you’re a combat vet, it’s sweaty palms again; if not, strap in and get ready. Filled with lots of action, here’s a real and up-close look at modern fighter combat, told straight from the cockpit."
Kirkus Reviews
A colorful memoir of a pilot who had a great deal of fun during his career, which included 726 career combat hours flown and service throughout the world, including Iraq during both wars. Hampton emphasizes that he performed a fighter pilot's most dangerous assignment--and it wasn't air-to-air combat, which is probably a dying profession. He was a Wild Weasel, a member of the group of first planes sent into a conflict whose mission it is to suppress surface-to-air missiles. Barely mentioning his personal life, the author delivers 300 pages of aviation fireworks and strong opinion--noncombatant airmen, politicians and most foreigners do not come off well--accompanied by a torrent of technical details and military acronyms that will mystify military buffs but not discourage them. Hampton is not shy about recounting brushes with death, many of which involved mechanical failure, bad weather or human error (occasionally his). Though the Iraqi air force struck fear into no one's heart, the author's accounts of fending off anti-aircraft missiles during the 2003 Iraq invasion provide the book's most dramatic combat experiences; however, none of the enemy missiles reached their targets. As a result, Hampton never describes a routine occurrence in memoirs of earlier wars: the deaths of comrades. A patriot and a warrior, the author expresses incomprehension that America's crushing victories over evil Saddam Hussein have brought so little satisfaction. The author concentrates on the fighting and does a fine job communicating the camaraderie, adolescent horseplay, conservative politics and hair-raising incidents of service in the elite macho fraternity of American fighter pilots.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062130341
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/14/2013
  • Pages: 345
  • Sales rank: 152,011
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

The New York Times bestselling author of Viper Pilot, U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Dan Hampton flew 151 combat missions during his twenty years in the USAF (1986-2006). For his service in the Iraq War, Kosovo conflict, and first Gulf War, Col. Hampton received four Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor, a Purple Heart, eight Air Medals with Valor, five Meritorious Service Medals, and numerous other citations. He is a graduate of the elite USAF Fighter Weapons School, USN Top Gun School, and USAF Special Operations School. Hampton was named his squadron’s Instructor Pilot of the Year six times and pioneered air combat tactics that are now standard. A graduate of Texas A&M University, he has published articles in the Journal of Electronic Defense, Air Force Magazine, and Airpower Magazine, as well as several classified tactical works for the USAF Fighter Weapons Review.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2012

    Great Read

    I was impressed with the story and with the author's literary skills in portraying the complexities of air combat in heavily defended areas. I was an Air Force fighter pilot, but a generation earlier. Like the author, I too "have seen the elephant" in Vietnam. (You'll have to read the book if you don't know what that phrase means.) Like all true fighter jocks, Lt Col Hampton has little use for staff weenies and ticket punchers looking for another promotion. He makes that crystal clear throughout the book.

    The author displays a sense of humor, albeit at times somewhat sarcastic and irreverant, that reminded me of John Corey, Nelson DeMille's fictional NY counter-terrorist detective. Actually, this made the book far more interesting and readable.

    The author did an excellent job of walking the fine line between telling a fascinating tale while necessarily preserving classified information on aircraft equipment, software and tactics. His point that UAV's, like the Predator and others, are unlikely to survive in a hostile air environment must be impressed upon the current Administration, which appears to be totally enamored with them. There will always be a need for strike fighters and weasels and especially for guys like Dan Hampton to help the troops on the ground. Sierra Hotel!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Great book !! As former member of VA-215 attack squadron, it got

    Great book !! As former member of VA-215 attack squadron, it got to me in many places! Read it!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Couldn't put this book down.

    I heard the author on radio and immediately bought the book. I wasn't disappointed. Great read and a true hero. We're lucky to have men like him defending us.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Do not recommend unless you are a pilot.

    Starts out great then becomes repetitious and very boring towards the end. It certainly gets the point across as to what a jet fighter pilot goes through from traing to the action.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2014

    Save the boots, it is getting deep!

    The author is a legend in his own mind. This is reflected by his inappropriate comments regarding other officers, other commands, and other services. He's an equal opportunity offender. He tells more than one appalling story (re his actions) and sadly, he boasts about an incident regarding disobeying an order and attempts to justify his actions. Most civilians would not understand the situation and probably laud his behavior, but so far, every person I have had to read this book has made uncomplimentary statements regarding the author's character, or lack thereof. This includes enlisted personnel, non-commissioned officers, warrant officers, and other commissioned officers of varying rank, all of whom "have seen the elephant". I am also a member of the Old Bold Pilots (there are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold, pilots...). However, the book does cover interesting technical and tactical updates over the author's service and these are written in an entertaining manner. So if you can get past the baloney this might be the book for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    This book is hands down one of the best reads for military and a

    This book is hands down one of the best reads for military and aviation enthusiasts! Dan Hampton recounts his intense experiences as an F-16CJ "Wild Weasel" fighter pilot, ranging from his undergraduate pilot training (UPT) days to his near death encounters facing the "Elephant" in combat. I purchased this book two days ago and have not been able to put it down! I strongly recommend this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2012

    Couldn't put it down

    Great read. Very well written and very exciting.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    interesting

    good book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    One big ego trip. Fortunately, most USAF pilots, fighter or othe

    One big ego trip. Fortunately, most USAF pilots, fighter or otherwise, aren't so stuck on themselves. Boring book totally written to make the author look better than everyone else. There are so many other good aviation books out there. Pass on this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 25, 2014

    High excitement.

    A great red. Excellent insight to the mastery of aerial warfare and it's technologies. I am impressed at by the human element of military air skill and involvement. Must read for Viet-Nam era military study.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2014

    very interesting

    well written bits of the protection the USAF protects the country.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    DemiGod Characters

    Hi. Here are a few of my characters. Name: Cadence Riar. Age: 15. Godly Parent: Ares. Hair: Black blue. Eyes: Black with gold flecks. Other Looks: Short but swift. Bigish nose but fits perfectly with face. Personality: super funny, likes blasting loud heavy metal, snarky. Name: Axel Dooriam. Age: 16. Godly parent: Nike. Hair: Golden with brown lowlights. Eyes: Blue. Other looks: Gets really bad bedhead. Tall and leaning. Personality: Sweet, good winner, fast. Name: Lena Trile. Age: 14. Godly Parent: Apollo. Hair: Long and dyed pink faded to orange. Eyes: Turquoise. Other looks: Medium sized. Pointed chin. Melty voice. Personality: Funny, easy going, dancer, sarcastic. Name: Benji Vermont. Age: 16. Godly Parent: Aphrodite. Hair: Caramel. Eyes: Purple. Other looks: Short. Pointy nose. Beautiful face. Personality: Gay, super funny, style geek, very busy social life. Hope you liked them. Excited for YOUR story. See you then!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    Demigod Character Bios

    Name- Chelsea (Kelly) Hunter•
    Age- 15•
    Gender- girl•
    Looks- Straw blond hair. Pale hazel eyes. Medium frame. Tall. Freckled. Tan skin. Nimble fingers.•
    Godly Parent- Apollo•
    Weapon of Choice- Small Celestial bronze throwing daggers. Mini pistol with Celestial bullets.•
    Personality- Funny. Flirty. Show off. Leader. Mischevious. Friendly. Loud.•••
    Name- James (Jim) Conard•
    Age- 16•
    Gender- guy•
    Looks- Tall. Athletic. Sharp golden-blue eyes. Night black hair. Stong chin and high cheek bones. Tan skin. Scar running down left arm and hand (from hydra claw).•
    Godly Parent- Zues or Hades (he can be either).•
    Weapon of Choice- pair of Celestial bronze (or Stygian iron) hunting knives.•
    Personality- Reserved. Friendly. Leader. Thoughtful. Head strong. Smart.•••
    Hope you can use them!! -NRM
    ()>>>>>{}=======================>

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    Aqua to garett

    Y r u here?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    Garrett

    Is bored wishes sun were here

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Good read

    Good book on a combat pilot's experiences. Fun read for Walter Mitty types.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2013

    snakeclan

    apprentinces den for snakeclan

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    hoo ha rubbish

    hoo ha rubbish

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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