Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat

Dan Hampton, Author
Dan Hampton. Morrow, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-213035-8
Paperback - 345 pages - 978-0-06-213034-1
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-213036-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-220775-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-220776-0
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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.)
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