Vietnam Above the Treetops: A Forward Air Controller Reports

John F. Flanagan, Author
John F. Flanagan, Author Praeger Publishers $119.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-275-93738-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-21510-3
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-313-36063-3
Open Ebook - 313 pages - 978-1-282-40966-8
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 337 pages - 978-0-313-06630-6
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The author of this outstanding military memoir describes his experiences in Vietnam as a forward air-controller in 1966, piloting slow-moving, low-flying spotter planes, orchestrating spectacular air strikes (``saturation ordnance'') and shepherding the long-range reconnaissance teams of Project Delta, an autonomous Special Forces outfit staffed by Americans and Vietnamese. A strong writer with an eye for telling detail, Flanagan vividly conveys what it was like flying hazardous missions in monsoon weather, bending rules and regulations for the sake of the task at hand, enjoying the camaraderie of fellow warriors and waging war despite critical shortages and malfunctions. Flanagan notes that he became something of a burnout case near the end of his tour, flying carelessly and with a false sense of immortality. He was, he reports, ``tired of fighting incompetency and educating the stupid.'' The most dramatic section of the book tells a two-part story of the loss of a Project Delta team in an ambush and the night 16 years later when a voice on the phone said ``My name is Eleanor Bott Gregory. Do you know what happened to my brother?'' Photos. Military Book Club dual main selection. (Apr.)
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