Phantom Leader

Phantom Leader

by Mark Berent

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Mark Berent’s first two novels of three extraordinary men in the midst of the Vietnam conflict, Rolling Thunder and Steel Tiger, met with widespread critical acclaim. The New York Times Book Review called Rolling Thunder an “unusually arresting book” and named it one of its “Notable Books’ of 1989. The Washington Post Book World praised Steel Tiger as “a real tour de force,” calling Berent “an experienced warrior who can artfully spin gripping, compelling tales of his craft.”
In Phantom Leader Berent, himself a highly decorated Air Force Pilot, once again captures the intensity of the most controversial war in modern history. Phantom Leader shows readers exactly what it was like to be a pilot caught between the immediate reality of death and the distant decisions of Washington.
It is January, 1968, and with the fury of the Tet offensive about to burst, Berent’s courageous men find themselves at the very heart of the Vietnam War. As the Viet Cong attack in full force all over Vietnam, FAC pilot Toby Parker sees the North Vietnamese moving PT-76 tanks down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, but his attempt to acquire proof fails. Captured by the enemy, Parker finds himself trapped square in the middle of the tank attack on the Long Tri; Major “Flak” Apple, the first black Air Force Fighter to be shot down in Vietnam, becomes a prisoner in Hanoi’s infamous Hoa Lo Prison; USAF Major Court Bannister needs only one more shootdown to become an Ace but violations of the Rules of Engagement over North Vietnam force him to fly secret night missions over Laos, Bannister must make a decision that could make him Vietnam’s first Ace – or end his military career forever. Special Forces Colonel Wolf Lochert settles accounts with an old enemy, only to meet an enemy he cannot defeat in battle; and General “Whitey” Whisenand stretches to protect the troops in the field while fighting a rear-guard action in Washington.
Both politics and inter-service rivalries add to the chaos at the front lines in Phantom Leader. Berent, drawing on his own experience as an Air Force fighter pilot, is able to translate the complexities of war into an enthralling action-adventure. Phantom Leader brings us the reality of war through the authentic voices of those who fought in Vietnam – this story is a lasting tribute to every American who served his country in Vietnam.
--“Berent remains without peer in the battle zone.” Publishers weekly
--“This is Berent’s best work yet.Phantom Leader is loaded with exceptionally vivid combat action.” Richmond News Leade

Product Details

BN ID: 2940000788981
Publisher: Mark Berent
Publication date: 11/26/2009
Series: WINGS OF WAR , #3
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 121,277
File size: 953 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

MARK BERENT Lt Col Mark E. Berent, USAF (Ret), was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He attended Cretin High School in St. Paul, Minnesota and St. Thomas College. Later he graduated from Arizona State University under the Air Force Institute of Technology program with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Lt Col Berent began his Air Force career as an enlisted man, then progressed through the aviation cadet program. He attended pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi and then Laredo Air Force Base, Texas flying the T-6, T-28 and T-33 aircraft and then moved on to F-86s at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. He served on active duty for 23 years until retirement in 1974. He began his operational flying career in the F-86 and F-100 flying at various posts throughout the United States and Europe. He later served three combat tours, completing 452 combat sorties, first in the F-100 at Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam, the F-4 at Ubon Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand, and then in Cambodia for two years to fly things with propellers on them and, through a fluke in communications timing, to personally run the air war for a few weeks. He has also served two tours at the United States Space and Missile System Organization (SAMSO) at Los Angeles, California working first in the Satellites Control Facility and later as a staff developmental engineer for the space shuttle. In his expansive career he has seen service as an Air Attaché to the United States Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia and also as Chief of Test Control Branch at the Air Development and Test Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. He also served as an instructor at the Air Force's Squadron Officer School. During his flying career he has logged over 4300 hours of flying time, 1084 of those in combat missions in the F-100, F-4, C-47 and U-10 over North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He has flown 30 different aircraft. His decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star, Air Medal with twenty four oak leaf clusters, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Cambodian Divisional Medal, and numerous Vietnam Campaign ribbons. He completed jump school with the Special Forces at Bad Tolz, Germany. Later, he jumped with and was awarded Cambodian paratrooper wings. He also flew with and received Cambodian pilot wings. After leaving the Air Force he lived in Europe to establish and direct international operations for the sale of spares for combat aircraft. He has flown many foreign aircraft such as the Swedish Viggen and Royal Air Force Jaguar and Hawk. He also established Berent and Woods Inc, a firm that managed many aviation related activities. Over the years he had published numerous articles for such publications as Air Force Magazine and the Washington Times and for 18 years wrote a monthly pilot/reporter column for the Asian Defense Journal. Under the name Berent Sandberg he and Peter Sandberg collaborated on three novels. He now has five Vietnam air war flying novels in print, Rolling Thunder, Steel Tiger, Phantom Leader, Eagle Station, and Storm Flight. Berent states it is never too late for any endeavor: he published the first of his five books at age 58, ran his first Marathon at 59, bought a T-6 warbird and flew in airshows at 64, and rode in his first cattle roundup in Montana at 74. …………… "Powerful!" --- Publishers Weekly "The pride of the Air Force. The challenge of Vietnam." "A taut, exciting tale of good men in a bad war. Berent is the real thing." --- Tom Clancy "Rolling Thunder is terrific - a novel of exceptional authenticity that hits like a thunderclap. A decorated Vietnam pilot, Mark Berent knows planes and men and battle, and he whirls them around in a story of uncommon strength. I can't wait for his next book." --- W.E.B. Griffin, best-selling author of Brotherhood of War and The Corps "Mark Berent writes with great authority and utter realism, immersing the reader in his characters' every sensation and emotion." --- Dale Brown, best-selling author of Flight of the Old Dog and Silver Tower "The fighter pilot's war - you love it and hate it at the same time, and Mark Berent writes it that way." --- Stephen Coonts, best-selling author of Flight of the Intruder "Berent tells it like it was!" --- Chuck Yeager "The best Vietnam air novel I have read. Berent captures the essence of flying men at war, their agony, emotions, courage, and triumph." --- Brigadier General Robin Olds

What People are Saying About This

Tom Clancy

Berent is the real thing.

Chuck Yeager

Berent tells it like it was!

Dale Brown

Berent writes with great authority and utter realism.

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Phantom Leader 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I spent 50 years of my life in big-time NY publishing; with positions in marketing and editorial. I have published books by authors you all know. This is the best 5 novel series I have ever read. While these books are choc-o-bloc with military acronyms and jargon, one need not know anything about what they mean to enjoy them (though ex-military will love them). Read them in order, because each stands on it's own, there is a continuing thread that is wonderful.
iamabby More than 1 year ago
3rd book in series, terrific read. Start with 1st book before reading this. Fabulous read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This third book in the series once again carries on with the four characters in the last novel. Even though the theme is military in nature, it doesn't get bogged down in military jargon. There is a very good manner of how the characters inter-relate. Another aspect is what is happening back in America while the war escalates, i.e., the politics and public opinion. The story flows along and I find that I can't stop after one chapter. The story begs to be read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got it.
Vampire06A More than 1 year ago
Interesting series. Frustrating to read if you have read the other books in the series. Too much reintroduction of characters. Also a lack of editing with words being repeated, confusing at times about what character is being talked about (lack of consistency in context). Some scenes are not necessary for the plot or character development, in my opinion. Otherwise I did enjoy the books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago