All 2015 profits from the sale of this book will go to Fisher House Charleston, SC! Fisher House Charleston will serve the families of veterans undergoing treatment at the VA Medical Center in Charleston, SC. To make donations to Fisher House Charleston, go to and donate on line or make checks payable to Fisher House Charleston, Inc., PO Box 829, Johns Island, SC 29457.

SYNOPSIS. Six young Army pilots and green officers, all between 20 and 21 years old, arrive in Vietnam where they each become men, highly skilled pilots, and proficient officers within a few months. None of them will be the same after their first combat tour in Vietnam. All of them will bear the scars of war for life, either physically or mentally or both. All will be strengthened spiritually and none will ever be the same. Some will soon be dead and most will be injured or wounded within the next 12 months. One will become an amputee and all will suffer from varying degrees of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for the rest of their lives. All will become beloved brothers and all will honor their families, friends, and this great nation with their dedication, sacrifice, courage, and love of family, country, and God!

Kim Catanzarite, Freelance Editor and Writer (and Writers Digest Instructor) wrote: “We follow Larry and his fellow birdmen into the treacherous Vietnam landscape, hoping for their safety and amazed by their skill and bravery. These are brutally honest stories about the young men who flew 24/7 into dangerous situations and helped save many lives. You won't soon forget them. The narratives and descriptions are wonderful—very real and powerful. Blades of Thunder is literally edge-of-your-seat reading. I also have enjoyed learning about the other "characters" in the book; that is, the guys Larry went to flight school with and all who play a part in his experiences. I find myself frequently thinking about the book. It is very moving and very real, and simply heartbreaking at times. The character arc from new soldier to seasoned warrior is right on target. It should be made into a movie or mini-series!”

Major General (Ret) James Livingston, USMC, Medal of Honor Recipient wrote: “An action packed, fact filled, and provocative story about some of the bravest of the bravest in Vietnam ---- our helicopter pilots, crew chiefs, and door gunners! This book is filled with many valuable lessons and helpful advice that today’s US military services, troops, the Veterans Administration, and civilian leaders should read and remember.”

Robert Salvo, Managing Editor, Charleston Mercury wrote: “Blades of Thunder, Book I” is the sort of gripping narrative of conflict that can only be created by someone who was really, truly there. Author Larry Dandridge captures life as an Army aviator in Vietnam through stories, letters, and images, all with a pervasive commitment to detail that puts the reader on the ground — and in the air — with a wide cast of G.I.s. Beyond technical coverage — well-supplemented with multiple, thorough, appendices — we are shown the spiritual and psychological toll of a war whose long shadow is still cast across our nation. An act of service just as powerful as his military missions, Larry Dandridge’s “Blades of Thunder, Book I” is not to be missed.

MG (Retired) Rudy Ostovich, Past Army Aviation Center Commander wrote: “An interesting and accurate account of Vietnam Helicopter Crews courage, motivation, and love of the troops they supported. This work is full of factual aeronautical knowledge, gunnery information, military innovations, and lessons learned. Every military aviator, logistician, aeronautical engineer, crew chief, and door gunner serving today needs to read this.”

John Schmied (121st Aviation Co. 1966-1967 – SP-5, Maintenance) Current Secretary of the 121 Aviation Association 28 Feb 2015 Review by: Wow! Well written and well documented first-hand stories about the real lives of pilots and crews involved in the Vietnam conflict. Dandridge does a fantastic job of educating the reader who may not be familiar with the intricacies of the mechanics of helicopters and armament, and the limitations of the technologies now nearly 50 years old. Letters exchanged among fellow pilots and crewmen, expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings while experiencing the rigors of war, introduce each exciting episode. This format draws the reader into their personal stories. This book is hard, if not impossible, to put down. A must-read for anyone interested in the history of the Vietnam conflict and the men who served their country so proudly.

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