I was moved to write COMBAT CONTRAILS: VIETNAM, after hearing many friends' stories, none of which had been captured in print. Almost four decades, after the war ended, Vietnam vets are aging and departing at an ever-increasing rate. Several of the vets whose stories are featured in this book have passed away.
Recent bestselling books have honored World War II and Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, but warriors who fought in Vietnam largely have been overlooked or ignored. Yes, authors Stephen Coonts, Mark Berent and others have written superb fiction and nonfiction accounts of their Vietnam combat experiences, but thousands more are disappearing.
I’m a Vietnam-era vet, but I didn’t fly in-country. Still, I witnessed the demeaning, unwarranted nastiness friends and colleagues endured, when they returned to the States. Consequently, most of those warriors simply clammed up and never talked about the war. I wondered, "How many silent Vietnam veterans are going to the grave, taking their untold stories with them? What experiences and valuable lessons learned in that ugly war are not being passed on to new generations of America's fighting forces?"
Those Americans stepped up and did what their nation required, regardless of how senseless the war and many of its campaigns and missions might have been. I'm determined to honor those warriors, by recording their stories. In so doing, the book shows what it was like to serve in Southeast Asia.
Tales featured in this, the first of what may be a series of COMBAT CONTRAILS:
* ARE YOU READY? - Stephen Coonts
* STEEL STORM: A PIVOTAL BATTLE KEPT SECRET TO PROTECT A PRESIDENT - W.B. Scott
* AW S*** SHACK! - "Farmer"
* MIRACLE MISSION - W.B. Scott
* SCRAMBLED EGGS -- VIETNAM STYLE - Tony Geishauser
* NIGHT BOMBER: THE B-57G - Ad Thompson
* KILLING TRAINS - Ed Rasimus
* THE THREAT INSIDE MY AIRCRAFT - Tom Menza
* U.S. MARINE 'SCOOTER' - "Hawk"
* LOCKED ON: TIGER FAC NEARLY NAILS A CELEBRITY - Skip Holm & W.B. Scott
* SCRAMBLE THE SEAWOLVES - Sam Feola
* HELL HITS THE INDEPENDENCE - Robert F. Klotz
* FLY HARD, PLAY HARD - Rick Couch
* BAILOUT AND RESCUE...AGAIN - John Casper & W.B. Scott
* RESCUE THE RESCUERS - Jim Brennan & W.B. Scott
* COMBAT MISSION WITH DAD - Francis "Rusty" Gideon
* FREEDOM LAND - Randy DeAngelis