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Chariots of the Damned: Helicopter Special Operations from Vietnam to Kosovoby Mike Mckinney
Synopses & Reviews
When F-16 pilot Scott O'Grady was shot down over Bosnia, a rescue mission was launched immediately. It involved nearly 100 aircraft, but succeeded in plucking him to safety in broad daylight. The pilot of the only F-117 Stealth bomber to have ever been shot down was spirited away with equal success. The USAF's elite special Operations Group is the product of many years of hard experience, but only now is it possible to reveal how many of its most famous missions were conducted.
Major Mike McKinney and Mike Ryan investigate the origins of the Special Operations Group and the experience of early rescue missions in Vietnam. The grisly fate awaiting captured American fliers spurred the USAF to develop new weapons and tactics to fight their way through intense enemy anti-aircraft fire. Sometimes the rescue of a single man would escalate into a major military operation — one was later filmed as BAT-21 starring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe. If the ultimate Vietnam rescue mission, the Son Tay raid, was a failure, it did demonstrate how far techniques and equipment had evolved.
From disaster at Desert 1 to the Gulf War, Bosnia and the tragedy in Somalia, Chariots of the Damned takes you on an edge of the seat ride into some of the most incredible battles of recent times.
"Despite the experience the authors bring to this account, they render a terrifically exciting subject only sporadically interesting with superficial political analysis and occasionally lifeless prose." Kirkus Reviews
"McKinney...aims to impress upon the reader the skill, nerve, and will of the pilot who flies into heavy fire. This combination of technology and courage structures the stories but, unfortunately, never quite succeeds in raising this work's literary level. Practically all the reader learns about the pilots who died is their bravery and their rank." Booklist
In this riveting account, Capt. McKinney describes incredible missions from the early days of helicopter rescue in Vietnam to the ill-fated attempt to rescue hostages in Iran. Two 8-page color inserts.
About the Author
Major Mike McKinney is an instructor pilot in the US Air Force who currently flies the MH-53 Pave Low. He has over 2,500 hours in the UH-1H, UH-1N and the MH-53 and has participated in operations Restore Democracy in Haiti (1994), Deliberate Force in Bosnia (1995), and with the Allied Force in Kosovo (1999). He has served with the 20th SOS at Hurlburt Field and 21st SOS at RAF Mildenhall, UK. He lives in Florida with his wife, Sherry, son AJ and daughter Rachel.
Mike Ryan is the President of the American advanced concepts company Avpro Aerospace. He has co-authored two other aviation books, Warplanes Of The Future and X-Planes. He frequently appears on TV as a defense and aerospace expert and is a technical consultant to the film industry. Ryan serves in the British reserve forces as an army officer. He is married with two children.
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