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Old 9th Jun 2003, 01:03   #21 (permalink)
 
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I've been there, saw the circus, petted the elephant. Mason called it just right. Folks who complain that he exagerated have a slight point, but give me a break! Mason's story is true, a great read, and resonates with every Vietnam Vet that I know (at least up to the part where he tends to blame his legal difficulties on his experiences).

The sounds bullets make when they pass thru the fuselage is a pling like a screwdriver driven into sheetmetal (as long as its not too near you) , a sneaky sound that is just loud enough to hear, and just soft enough to scare the crap out of you. The definition of Concentration is how you stare at your gages and reach out mentally to feel your machine after you've been hit. The definition of wary Relief is that, 20 seconds after you hear the hits, that you are still flying, still alive and still scared crapless.
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Old 9th Jun 2003, 02:53   #22 (permalink)
 
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Nick being a former Cobra pilot and erstwhile Teetotaller....I surmise the elephants were pink when observed.

The sounds of bullets hitting the aircraft seemed to vary directly with the caliber and distance from my naughty bits. The smaller and further away they were....the less they impressed me. I can assure you when a .51 caliber machinegun round hits the main former beneath your luxurious Boeing-Vertol....one size fits all throne....it sounds like the world has just come to an ugly end! The AK rounds that merely punched 7.62 mm holes in the 0.064 inch thick aluminum armor plating back in the ramp area....well I guess someone might discover them on a post flight or something.

The real thrill was when the underslung load of 105 mm howitzer projectiles and fuses got hosed by a machine gun from about 300 feet and the fuses all let fly ......now that was a soul enrichening event! Anyone who says time does not stand still when you are confronted with your own mortality instantly......just doesn't understand. For a moment, we actually thought we had lost the main rotors through some catastrophic event that great two headed sausage maker was infamous for doing. After lighting my Kool and asking for the cruise checklist, getting my heart re-started and swallowing my stomach and other sorts of internal items.......we sorted the situation out and made the first official arrested landing of a Chinook at an artillery firebase.....we dragged up about 400 meters of concentina wire, trip flares, and claymore mines getting the old girl on the ground. The infantry guys who had to re-install that were not amused!
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Old 9th Jun 2003, 07:45   #23 (permalink)

 
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Found the sequel in a flea market, but couldn't finish it - just read the first one and think of the guy when he had his head on the right way - and thank God the second book wasn't about you.

Phil
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Old 9th Jun 2003, 10:04   #24 (permalink)
 
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Paco, well put.

BarryB
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Old 10th Jun 2003, 19:43   #25 (permalink)
 
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Thumbs up Other books

There are a few other good books on the subject of the past unpleaantness in SEA.

Low Level Hell by Hugh L. Mills, whoose machine is displayed in the army aviation museum at Ft. Rucker, Ala. OH-6A Cayouse Scout "Low Level Hell"

Firebirds by Chuck Carlock, was another one,

And last, We were soldiers once, and young, which has nothing really to do with helicopters, but actually mentions Robert Mason in regards to the Ia Drang Valley

Must say, these stories are harsh, but good, and in my opinion severely readable
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Old 10th Jun 2003, 20:58   #26 (permalink)
 
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Another good read

Winged Victory

V.M. Yeates

It's superb. WW1 flying.
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Old 11th Jun 2003, 01:23   #27 (permalink)
 
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Some more books about helicopters in Vietnam

Some other good books on helicopters in the Vietnam war.

In no particular order:

Hunter killer squadron by Mattew Brennan - about flying gunships in the 1st squadron 9th Cavalry

The price of exit by Tom Marshall- huey and oh-58 flying in the 158th aviaton battalion 101st Airborne

Lest we forget by William C Meacham - the Kingsmen 101st aviation battalion flying huey in support of LRRP'S and SOG

Wings of the Eagle by W.T. Grant -flew in the same unit as the above around the same time

Centaur Flights by Richard D Spalding- Cobra pilot in D troop 3rd sqadron 4 th cavalry 25th infantry division

Apache Sunrise by Jerome M Boyle- Cobra pilot with apache troop 1st of the 9th Air Cavalry

Bonnie Sue by Marion F Sturkey A - CH-46 pilot with marine squadron HMM-265

Seawolves by Daniel E kelly -huey doorgunner in HAL-3 in support of Navy SEALS in the Mekong Delta

I managed to get all of these from Amazon here in the UK hope this helps

Regards

BTT
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Old 11th Jun 2003, 14:39   #28 (permalink)

 
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Read about a guy who went for a fixed wing check ride in the US, having flown helis in Vietnam - the examiner was a guy he had pulled out of a hot DZ - needless to say, he didn't fail!

Phil
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Old 11th Jun 2003, 17:32   #29 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Chickenhawk is a really excellent book. Iīve read it plenty of times.

First time I heard about Robert Mason was back in military flight school - some IPīs used his book during lectures.


By the way, I`ve just finnished "AEROSCOUTS" by Charles Holley (OH-6 driver). Itīs a quite interesting book.
I`m just wondering, why the US Army in Vietnam has replaced the agile OH-6 by the OH-58 - does somebody know?
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Old 14th Jun 2003, 13:04   #30 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the link Hueywsh!
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Old 14th Jun 2003, 13:32   #31 (permalink)
 
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Jetrangers were much cheaper.....and the US Army senior management could have given a crap less about the lack of performance of the OH58A.....as compared to the OH6A. Lots of good men died or were maimed as a result. Politics had a big role to play in that decision as well. A bit of research regarding the Bell Helicopters Textron Board during those years might make interesting reading.
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Old 15th Jun 2003, 00:28   #32 (permalink)
 
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The sequel to "Chickenhawk" - "Chickenhawk Back in the World" is currently available through www.bookfinder.com - whilst stocks last!!
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Old 16th Jun 2004, 06:14   #33 (permalink)
 
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Chickenhawk, Back in the world

This post is extremely belated, about a hundred years ago I posted that I was looking for Chickenhawk back in the world, well I have found it and read it..thoroughly enjoyed it.

To any PPRUNERS interested, happy to post anywhere for a read. It really explains a lot about the first book and I think is a necessary read to understand the man and the life.

I recently wrote To Robert Mason and explained what I thought, he wrote back and said that he was going to again be flying a huey on the memorial day weekend as a tribute. Good to see.

Cheers

hueywsh
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Old 16th Jun 2004, 07:35   #34 (permalink)
 
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Squirrel,

let me know when you have finished that and I will send you the sequel.

Cheers

hueywsh
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Old 16th Jun 2004, 07:44   #35 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
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hueywsh,
Did you get your copy in Oz?

When it first came out there was a bit of a thread about it so I tried to get it here in Oz but the local franchizes (Angus & Robertson, Dymocks etc) hadn't heard of it and didn't have it on their databases. So I let it go.

I was (still am) too wary of sending credit card details over the internet so I didn't buy it from overeseas.
If you got it locally - who did you get it from?

RR
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Old 16th Jun 2004, 07:58   #36 (permalink)
 
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Robbo,

I got it through a spinoff from Amazon.com in the US. They only had a couple of copies as it is not in print anymore, so I paid about $15AUSD for a second hand copy, well worth it though. I can send it to you if you like, just PM me your details.

Cheers

Hueywsh
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Old 16th Jun 2004, 08:18   #37 (permalink)

 
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I can also recommend First Light by Geoffrey Wellum, which is the Chickenhawk equivalent for spitfire pilots

Phil
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Old 16th Jun 2004, 08:46   #38 (permalink)
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Unhappy

I have been looking everywhere (in Auz) for the chickenhawk sequel for about six or so years without any luck. anyone out there have it???? Happy to pay for it.

HELP.......please.
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Old 16th Jun 2004, 08:52   #39 (permalink)
 
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Wiz,

I guess it's first in best dressed, I have it right now and am happy to get work to pay to send it to you. let me know your address and I will send it tomorrow. PM if you wish or email covalima1@ozemail.com.au

Cheers

Hueywsh
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Old 16th Jun 2004, 11:44   #40 (permalink)
 
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Hueywsh, how many copies have you got ? You're sending it all over the place !

And I concur with paco, 'First Light' is an excellent book. Slightly different to your usual WWII pilot book.
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