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Recommended reading

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Recommended reading

Old 18th Dec 2011, 14:18
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Recommended reading

Hi all, my first post here, and as per the title I'm after your recommendations on books to read.

The reason why is, I was due to go on exercise in the south of France last month, but it got cancelled three days before I was to join the unit due to the weather forecast. I ended up going on the exercise below, which may give a clue as to my trade

I had previously read mainly books on the B17 in WWII and Chuck Yeager's autobiography and several books of Stephen E. Ambrose, Reach for the Sky and The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom and The Mint, by TE Lawrence. Recently read Dunkirk, Retreat to Victory by Maj. Gen. Julian Thompson, and Sapper Martin, The Secret Great War Diary of Jack Martin.

Anyway, with the type of aircraft going on exercise it got me to thinking I was missing something with regard to a particular type of aircraft, then a period in history.

So I have just finished reading To The Limit, An Air Cav Huey Pilot in Vietnam by Tom A. Johnson, an excellent read. I've just started Chickenhawk by Robert Mason, very similar but set a couple of years earlier.

Other books I have just bought but still to read are:
Snake Pilot by Randy R. Zahn
When Thunder Rolled and Palace Cobra by Ed Rasimus
Fighter Pilot by Robin Olds with Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus

Other books I've added to the list but not bought yet are:
Scream of Eagles by Robert K. Wilcox
Ace Factor: Air Combat and the Role of Situational Awareness
Fighter Combat: Tactics and Manoeuvring
(Not sure about the above two, worth reading or not?)
Apache and Hellfire by Ed Macy
Winged Warfare: The Experiences of a Canadian 'Ace' of the RFC During the First World War by William A. Bishop.
Apache Dawn by Damien Lewis
Chickenhawk: Back in the World Again by Robert Mason

So can anyone recommend anything else, in particular is there anything from a B52 'buff' perspective, but interested in most things. Comments also welcome on my bought list and those still to buy.

PS: I'm off to AKT in early January, what's the FFR rate like, or is it worth getting some Euro's just now while the pound is stronger?
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 15:04
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Try "The Right of the Line" by John Terraine (ISBN 0-340-26644-9).
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 15:10
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Amateur photography : a practical guide for the beginner ISBN: 1990001725792

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Old 18th Dec 2011, 16:07
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Try Delia’s how to cook. book one ISBN-10: 0563384301
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 19:22
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Immediate Response Immediate Response
by Major Mark Hammond DFC RM


Sweating The Metal Sweating The Metal
by Flt Lt 'Frenchie' Duncan DFC AFC RAF

are 2 good books about RAF CH47's in Afghanistan.

Well worth a read
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 20:04
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QR's, the insomniacs cure.... Ideal for those boring detachments

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Old 18th Dec 2011, 21:28
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Originally Posted by Dunky View Post
I ended up going on the exercise below, which may give a clue as to my trade

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Old 18th Dec 2011, 22:52
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If you're after a top drawer memoir by a Vietnam helicopter pilot then look for Low Level Hell by Hugh L. Mills Jr.

And for a B-52 book try The Eleven Days of Christmas by Marshall Michel
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 00:15
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"The Great Game" by Peter Hopkirk. It will explain why all those over-promoted Flying Officers who say "This time it's different" haven't got a clue. Mungo. And all of his follow up books.

"Easy Target", Tom Smith. 2nd only to Chickenhawk. Much like Mason, Smith is just a grunt pilot doing a job, not a Lt-Col (Ret'd) trying to justify anything.

"Chickenhawk: Back in the World: Life After Vietnam" is an interesting follow-up. Even if you cut him some slack after Vietnam Mason was still a screw up. The first half you spend thinking "What a nobber", the second half, his time in jail, is very reflective and worth persevering towards.

Avoid anything by Randy Cunningham. Anyone who gives himself a nickname is a c0ck. Eh, Flash?
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 07:08
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Try " Fate is the Hunter " by Ernest K Gann . Brilliant book on the early days of flying and his career in flying.
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 07:30
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The Hunters by James Salter. Superbly written story of a Sabre pilot during the Korean war.
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 07:37
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Some good reads here:


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Old 19th Dec 2011, 08:10
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Is the Duke now a Queen?

Wonder if Randy got himself a nice new nickname in the slammer?

Have you tried Broughton's Thud Ridge/Going Downtown? IMHO not as elegantly written or as open as Rasimus' books but worth a read. As a rotary mate I thoroughly endorse "Low Level Hell" as a great read, be aware that Chickenhawk 2 doesn't have that much flying in it - it concentrates on the attempts to rebuild his life and the drug-running incident. Good luck with your reading on Linbacker - it's still an emotive and totemic subject for most people who find airpower studies interesting!

If you can get hold of them the USAF Monogram series written about Vietnam are worth hunting down (they often pop up on Ebay - I finished off my set thanks to ORAC!) as they're paperback, small and light - ideal for a det.

Thanks Background Noise, I was sure we'd been down this road before!

Good luck!

Last edited by Evalu8ter; 19th Dec 2011 at 08:12. Reason: spulling
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 09:05
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Many thanks for the recommendations and links everybody
I'm now off to track them down.
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 09:29
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If any of the ones you are looking at has an ISBN number such as the ones listed above, eg ISBN: 1990001725792

Google that, it will be a more accurate way to seach for the books than the title
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 10:44
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Buy a Kindle!
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 10:48
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Light Reading

If you want something light and very worthwhile, just published is "Out of the Blue", a collection of aircrew stories. All proceeds are split between RAFBF and H4H - IBSN 978-0-9570928-0-8
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 10:58
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Matterhorn, by Karl Marlantes. Not really about aviation, but one of the best Vietnam books I have ever read, very illuminating and up there with Chickenhawk.
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 11:06
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Try 'Sagittarius Rising' by Cecil Lewis, ISBN 1-85367-143-6, published by Greenhill Books
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 14:49
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Now added Out of the Blue, Matterhorn and Sagittarius Rising to the list, cheers everybody.

I have been thinking of getting a Kindle, I have the App. on my phone so have sampled some of the free books. Obviously the larger screen on an actual Kindle will be better. It'll save on weight and space for travelling, Cyprus in January, Gibraltar in February, possibly back to Cyprus in March for a longer period.
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