Naked in Da Nang: A Forward Air Controller in Vietnam

Naked in Da Nang: A Forward Air Controller in Vietnam

NOOK BookHISTORY / Military / Vietnam War (eBook - HISTORY / Military / Vietnam War)

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FACs (forward air controllers) in Vietnam flew low and slow, searching for signs of an elusive enemy. Often they trolled themselves as bait for the NVA troops to try to shoot down. When a friendly unit made contact, having a FAC overhead made their day, because the FACs controlled the bomb-, rocket-, and napalm-laden fast movers, fighter jets, and attack aircraft whose ordnance often made the difference between life and death. They were regarded by many of their air force and naval aviator brethren as insane, suicidal, or both. In addition to the perils of enemy fire which ranged from lucky AK-47 shots to .51 caliber machine guns and SA-7 shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, they had to watch out to keep from being blown up in a B-52 Arc-Light strike or knocked down by friendly artillery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616737467
Publisher: Zenith Press
Publication date: 11/10/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 654,195
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Mike Jackson retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in 1991 following 23 years on active duty. Formerly, he was executive director of the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. He and coauthor Tara Dixon-Engel are founders of the American Veterans Institute. Colonel Jackson and Ms. Dixon-Engel live near Dayton.

Table of Contents

Foreword Frank Borman 7

Preface-A Charmed Life 9

Chapter 1 The FACs of Life 13

Chapter 2 Troops in Contact 20

Chapter 3 A Cocoon Called Tipp 41

Chapter 4 An Officer and a Gentleman? 53

Chapter 5 The Year of Fifty-three Weeks 66

Chapter 6 I Will Survive 84

Chapter 7 Flying Blind 6

Chapter 8 Bamboozled 111

Chapter 9 Life with Charlie 121

Chapter 10 The Rockets' Red Glare 143

Chapter 11 Rats! 161

Chapter 12 Naked in Da Nang 171

Chapter 13 Heaven and Hell 219

Chapter 14 Spring Forward, Fall Back 246

Epilogue: "We Never Got Our Parade" 277

Co-Author's Note 281

Afterword 284

Acknowledgments 290

Glossary 292

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Jackson’s story paints the actual picture: honorable American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines doing the best job possible under the given conditions while never losing that quality which throughout our nation’s history has defined every American service member—humanity."

"...a Vietnam War memoir that is one of best I’ve read in a while. It is a compelling picture of the hopes, fears, and motivations of the average American GI. It redefines the usual stories about that war that talk about drugs, booze and insanity. That never was the norm and the heroism of those that fought that war finally gets the presentation it deserves."

"Already drawing comparisons to M*A*S*H* for its irreverent humor, this book will appeal to anyone who served in the military as well as to civilian audiences."

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Naked in Da Nang 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't think any book about combat has ever made me laugh or choke up quite as much as this one. I have looked on the web for a sequel or anything else by these authors. Does anyone know of anything? Is there another book in the works? Did they write any books before this one? I just enjoyed the whole experience of reading this book. The writing was great and the characters were very inspiring. I feel like I know Mike Jackson and he is very likeable. A professor suggested this from a reading list. It would be useful in any history class and much better reading than most of the texts.
Joanna Jones More than 1 year ago
This book still holds up after rereading it years later. I 'm only sorry Mrs. Dixon-Engel's children's books are mot available on my Nook.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had the chance to hear the two authors speak recently. It is the first time I ever cried at a professional association meeting. These two are remarkable both on-stage and off. Their commitment to veterans is inspirational. I am now reading their book and it is almost like listening to them speak. Colonel Mike Jackson is quite a character but truly someone to be admired. His associate Mrs. Dixon-Engel is also to be praised for leaving her job and working on behalf of veterans. Together, they are quite a team and that teamwork and commitment produced a highly readable book. It also makes for an inspirational talk that, like the book, includes humor, patriotism and insight as well as parts where you just want to stand up and cheer. I think these two are really having an impact on public opinion toward Vietnam veterans. God Bless them for it. I wish them much success and I thank them for being two such emotionally charged people.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If there is another war book like this one, I have not seen it. I read the reviews and decided it might be interesting. I was wrong. It was a book I could not put down. I've never met mike Jackson and I am proud of him. I am proud of all those men who served in the military and went to Vietnam. I hope to carry a little of Mike Jackson's philosophy into my own life. What a wonderful gift. Thank you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We had the good fortune to not only read this powerful book but hear its authors speak at a recent book event. There are many very good books about Vietnam. This is the best we've ever read from a personal perspective. Mike Jackson's warmth, humor and vitality helps you see how the average Joe adapts to combat and to the military in general. As good as the book is, it would make an even better movie. It is written in a manner that paints very clear images and holds your attention with every sentence. Listening to this couple speak is also a wonderful experience. Their conviction and patriotism rings very true. They have an entertaining back and forth routine that is both funny and sweet. Reading the book and hearing them speak is almost a celebration, something that is long overdue for America's vietnam veterans.
Anonymous 5 months ago
well written and entertaining
traumleben on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having spent 366 days as a Forward Air Controller in Vietnam, USAF veteran Mike Jackson does a masterful job of conveying the stress and boredom that characterize the combat experience. A gifted storyteller, he weaves the gallows humor military aviators of all stripes are known for with vivid descriptions of the war as he saw it through the windscreen of his O-2. The chapter that inspired the book's title absolutely had me in stitches as it captures one of those ludicrous moments many of us find ourselves in when we're far from home and living in extremes. While he made a tremendous contribution to the fight during his time in South East Asia and went above and beyond on countless occasions, Mike goes to great pains to remind the reader that he was an everyman and a quiet professional like so many others who served. Well worth the read.
jamespurcell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent book by someone who was there, in Vietnam, doing a tough job. Understated and well written by a kid from Ohio that became a man, of courage and dedication, during an ugly unpopular war, Mike Jackson flew the O-2 Skymaster (also known as the "Oscar Deuce" or "The Duck") a military version of the Cessna 337 Super Skymaster which would seek out the enemy in the jungles and forests in order to call in interdictory air strikes. His book vividly portrays the role of the FAC, Forward Air Controller, during a critical year of that war.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a Vietnam Era Naval Aircrewman and Total Aviation Nut, I Was Terribly Disappointed In This Book. It Lacked Firsthand Accounts Of Operations And Encounters, While Attempting To Be Too Personal. Not For Me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FOR NARNIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BusterIN More than 1 year ago
This story as told, reveals the true tension and fear, felt by the pilot in his everyday life in the air and on the ground. Flying time and free time, all of it still a dangerous feat while in country no matter what. Thank you for telling your side and almost putting us in the pilots seat, hard to put down for certain. God Bless each and everyone that served in the Vietnam war, and a special prayer for those that didn't make it are in my thoughts...
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book will touch your heart. It is hilarious, but it will make you cry, too. Mr. Jackson and Ms. Engel have written a book that anyone can relate to, even if you have never been in a war. Mike Jackson is the 'boy next door' who becomes a true hero. With all the talk of those who served in Vietnam and those who didn't, turning this war into a political issue again after so many years, this book brings us back to the fact that it was REAL men and women who served...and served with integrity and honor. On top of that, most Vietnam veterans who survived the war then came back to enrich society with their lives despite what they had been through. When we think of Vietnam, I hope we will think of Mike Jackson and all those like him who served in Vietnam, not the stereotype that has been thrown at us from the media over the years of psychos and murderers. This book is so hopefull. It shows us that We are a strong country, with strong people who can come back from a war and make the world a better place just by being in it. That's how you will feel about Mike Jackson at the end of this book. Vietnam didn't make him bitter, it made him who he is; a very wonderful person. Thank you Mike Jackson for your perpsective and honesty. You have given those of us who only know Vietnam through history a clear picture of the real people who go to war, people who are just like us, but perhaps just a bit more heroic. You are someone to look up to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Naked in DaNang is a fast-paced story with more insight than most traditional war biographies. Mike Jackson has a quick wit and rapidfire thought processes that carry the readers along and give them a great deal of insight into the thoughts, hopes and fears of men in combat. There are situations in this book that anyone can identify with, such as leaving home for the first time, being away from family and friends, struggling to succeed, and learning to work the system without abusing it. Even the situations that we can't fully apprehend, such as being shot at, we can at least better understand because we see it all through Jackson's naeive but knowing eyes. I was impressed by the jacket comments from Robin Olds, Steve Richie and others. They didn't steer me wrong. It is a book well worth reading. It is a book that will give you a very personal look at the human side of war.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was excellent, but I expected no less having met both the authors and knowing their personalities and characters. The respect and admiration they have for each other shines through the pages and generates an unusual power. Miss Dixon Engel is able to put Mr. Jackson on paper in a way that defies logic. You feel as tho he is speaking directly to you. I have heard him speak and this is a rare treat. This book will change your position on Vietnam or at least on the men who fought there.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found Naked In Danang to be a thoroughly enjoyable book. It is not for someone who wants a comprehensive history of America's role in Vietnam. By and large the authors don't get into politics; rather, they discuss the individual soldier's (or, in this case, airman's) perspective on the conflict. That alone is more powerful than most 'complete histories,' but this book goes a step farther and makes you feel like you know its reluctant hero the way you know your own brother or father. This is a must read for anyone who has ever been a soldier, or loved and supported a soldier...from any war.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an easy book to read. easy because it is a lot of fun but also informative and moving. Mike Jacksons story is one we don't usualyl see about Vietnam. It isn't blood and gore and crazy people. It is like talking to your brother or your dad. Very funny and wise. I hope he writes more books. My wife is reading it now and can't put it down. Maybe more war stories should be written by men and women together. Col. Hackworth and his wife colalborate on books effectively also.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this politacally charged year, Jackson serves as an inspiration to all veterans and to those who hold their freedom dear. He not only served his 366 days (it was a leap year), but earned every medal. Dixon-Engel's writing style is genius. She shows Jackson's tears, struggles, fears and, most of all, his laughs with a ease of style that captures the reader and makes the book impossible to put down. The best part about this book is that it illustrates the hardships of pilot training, the scariness of physically going to, and being in ,war combined with the more light and funny moments that happen in life no matter where you are. The fact that Jackson can recall them proves his character. This book is a great read for everyone.