Ravens Men Who Flew in Am

Christopher Robbins, Author Crown Publishers $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-56612-1
The Ravens were American forward air-controllers who directed strikes from vulnerable, low-flying spotter planes, mainly in support of a Meo general named Vang Pao in Laos. ""Advised'' by the CIA, this fierce warlord fought to keep the North Vietnamese out of the strategic Plain of Jars. Robbins (Air America) conveys the unique flavor of Raven-style combat and also explains how the diplomatic-military dynamics of the clandestine war in Laos fit into the overall American effort in Southeast Asia. The cast of characters is memorable: a swaggering, rowdy bunch of mavericks whom their parent service (the U.S. Air Force) had great difficulty controlling, they seemed to get by on sheer cussedness. According to the author, they suffered the highest casualty rate of the Indochinese War. Robbins describes the poignant plight of displaced Meo/Hmong tribespeople who have settled uneasily in the United Statesincluding General Paoand their ongoing struggle to ``propitiate the alien spirits of America.'' Photos. (November)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-671-67316-1
Open Ebook - 500 pages - 978-1-908556-30-1
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