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PHANTOM LEADER (Wings of War) [Kindle Edition]

Mark Berent
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Mark Berent's first two novels of three extraordinary men in the midst of the Vietnam conflict, Rolling Thunder and Steel Tiger, met with widespread critical acclaim. The New York Times Book Review called Rolling Thunder an "unusually arresting book" and named it one of its "Notable Books' of 1989. The Washington Post Book World praised Steel Tiger as "a real tour de force," calling Berent "an experienced warrior who can artfully spin gripping, compelling tales of his craft."

In Phantom Leader (May 9, 1991) Berent, himself a highly decorated Air Force Pilot, once again captures the intensity of the most controversial war in modern history. Phantom Leader shows readers exactly what it was like to be a pilot caught between the immediate reality of death and the distant decisions of Washington.

It is January, 1968, and with the fury of the Tet offensive about to burst, Berent's courageous men find themselves at the very heart of the Vietnam War. As the Viet Cong attack in full force all over Vietnam, FAC pilot Toby Parker sees the North Vietnamese moving PT-76 tanks down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, but his attempt to acquire proof fails. Captured by the enemy, Parker finds himself trapped square in the middle of the tank attack on the Long Tri; Major "Flak" Apple, the first black Air Force Fighter to be shot down in Vietnam, becomes a prisoner in Hanoi's infamous Hoa Lo Prison; USAF Major Court Bannister needs only one more shootdown to become an ace but violations of the Rules of Engagement over North Vietnam force him to fly secret night missions over Laos, Bannister must make a decision that could make him Vietnam's first ace -- or end his military career forever. Special Forces Colonel Wolf Lochert settles accounts with an old enemy, only to meet an enemy he cannot defeat in battle; and General "Whitey" Whisenand stretches to protect the troops in the field while fighting a rear-guard action in Washington.
It is the third of the five-book Rolling Thunder series. Next are Eagle Station and Storm Flight.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2377 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001HN5L80
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,392 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mark Berent is admirably suited to have written his five-book Vietnam airwar series for he lived each story. He served four years and one day in the Vietnam war during the period from November 1965 until August 1973.
As a captain he flew 265 missions in the F 100 in 1966 from Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam. While off duty he flew with FACs in their 0-1 aircraft to better understand the war. He also spent much time with the Special Forces III Corps Mike Force including going on patrol with them in the Loc Ninh area. (Berent had earned his jump wings with the 10th SFG, Bad Tolz, Germ.)
His next tour was as a major flying F 4Ds out of Ubon Air Base in Thailand. He flew over 200 missions, first as a flight commander in the Night Owl Squadron then as commander of the famous Wolf FACs. Both units flew over North Vietnam and all of Laos. Berent spent hundreds of hours over the Ho Chi Minh Trail both as a night strike pilot and as a fast FAC controlling strikes against guns and trucks he found on the Trail.
As a lieutenant colonel he served from from July 1971 to August 1973 first as assistant air attache then as air attache in the US Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. While there, besides flying hundreds of hours in the U 10 and C 47 gathering vital intelligence, he also logged time with the Khmer (Cambodian) Air Force in their T-28, 0-1, UH-1, and AC-47 aircraft. Additionally, he spent much time with Khmer ground forces teaching them to use air power. He earned Cambodian jump wings while there. In January 1973 when the war was over in Vietnam for US forces, all of the massive air power resources were made available for use in Cambodia until August 15th when the last mission was flown. Due to a fluke in timing, Berent and his team ran the air war in Cambodia from a most unusual place.
When asked why he kept going back, he replied: "A lot of reasons; because it was there, because I wanted a MiG, because when the threat goes up the paperwork goes down and the weinies run for cover, but mostly because the guys were still fighting. Everyday I'd pick up a paper and find another buddy KIA, MIA, or POW. I just couldn't stay on the beach."
Now he writes about these men. He has five books in print; Rolling Thunder, Steel Tiger, Phantom Leader, Eagle Station, and Storm Flight. Although historical fiction, the books are about the men and women who gave everything they had in a war they weren't allowed to win. FAC pilots, Phantom crews, Thud, Hun, and Buff crews, gunship pilots and gunners, green berets, grunts, carrier jocks, MAC contract stews, boomers and tankers, from corporals to colonels; the whole nine yards about the day-to-day heroism and heros we all know and loved . . . and some we hated. By way of contrast, LBJ in the Oval Office and McNamara in the Pentagon E Ring are included and the words they spoke as they picked strike targets over lunch are included in great detail, yes indeed. As are those of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden. His books have won critical acclaim from Chuck Yeager, Dale Brown, WEB Griffin, Steve Koontz, and numerous newspaper and magazine critics.
Over the years Berent has published numerous articles for such publications as Air Force Magazine, the Washington Times, numerous defense journals, and has been the tech advisor on a TV combat series. He currently interviews aviation luminaries at the Pavilion each year during the Oshkosh airshow.
Berent now resides in Scottsdale, AZ.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read if you like flying stories 29 Nov 2009
By Comical Engineer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mark Berent is one of the better writers of flying stories. Most of Berent's books including this one relate to American pilots during the Vietnam war.

It's an enjoyable read and the action sequences are pretty good. The writer obviously served in the war and knows his aircraft pretty well.

If you're stuck in an airport then this will pass a few hours reasonably well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 13 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent read - continues with the same group of people whose paths have crossed several times. Difficult to put down once started
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VIETNAM WAR 9 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliant book could not put it down.It is a must to read all wings of war series in ORDER to get thin the mood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The action will keep you reading 1 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I have read all Marks books, when it comes to the action parts it's brilliant, once you start reading his books you will want to read them well written it's like you part of the action....more please Mark..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Third of five and excellent. 6 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mark Berent delivers his usual blend of rivetting story, incorporating realistic flying sequences and gripping background activity. Brilliant start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Aviation Adventure 29 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Since picking up 'Rolling Thunder' I've been glued to these books by this Author. The detail, exciting plot lines and main character continuity delivers a well crafted follow on to 'Steel Tiger'.

'Phantom Leader' unfolds at great pace and answers questions of 'What happened too ...?' From the first two books. Also quite amazingly a few cliff hangers are thrown in for good measure.

All in all I'm heartily impressed with this series of books that are well priced and richly deserve to take place in my library. I also salute the author for his book writing as he pieces together a stomping good read, pick it up and read only after the previous 2 novels. It's spectacular aviation adventure at its best!
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