American military special operations forcesRangers, SEALs, and othershave become a well-recognized and highly respected part of our popular culture. But whom do these elite warriors look to in their times of greatest need: when wounded on the battlefield, cut off deep behind enemy lines, or adrift in the expanse of the world’s oceans? They look skyward, hoping to catch a glimpse of their own personal guardian angel: a U.S. Air Force pararescue jumper (PJ) who lives, and sometimes dies, by the motto that others may live.
Taking Fire provides an up-close look into the heroism and mystique of this little known segment of the Air Force Special Tactics community by focusing on one of the most dramatic rescues of the Vietnam War. It was June 1972 and Capt. Lynn Aikman is returning from a bombing mission over North Vietnam when his F-4 Phantom is jumped by an enemy MiG and shot down. He and his backseater Tom Hanton eject from their crippled aircraft, but Hanton lands near a village and is quickly captured by local militia. Badly injured during the ejection, Aikman lands some distance from the village, and there is a chance that he can be recovered if American rescuers can reach him before the enemy does.
Now on the ground and drifting in and out of consciousness, Captain Aikman looks up and suddenly sees his guardian angel in the form of USAF Pararescue Jumper Chuck McGrath. As Sergeant McGrath is preparing to hook the downed pilot to a hoist line, he sees it fall to the ground. Hostile fire on the hovering Jolly Green Giant rescue helicopter has damaged the hoist mechanism causing the operator to cut the line. While circling A-1 Skyraiders strafe the militia to keep them away from Aikman and McGrath, the helicopter crew races to come up with a plan. It’s getting dark, and they’ll only have one chance.
Taking Fire is an exciting, highly dramatic story of life and death over North Vietnam. Much more than a chronicle the events of 27 June 1972, the book gives the reader an up-close look at the little known world of the U.S. Air Force’s elite aerial rescue force.
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Long Ride In 13
Chapter 2 The Mission 33
Chapter 3 Making the Best of a Tough Situation 54
Chapter 4 The Good Mission 77
Chapter 5 A Bad Day for F-4s 103
Chapter 6 Four Is on Fire! 118
Chapter 7 Taking Fire 144
Chapter 8 So That Others May Live 165
Chapter 9 All the Way Home 195
What People are Saying About This
"The authors fully researched the action and verified everything with extensive interviews with all of the participants…gives an excellent picture of Pararescue and of Air Rescue." --James R. Casey, Marine Corps Aviation Association