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16 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent account of a forgotten war
First of all I should start by saying that when this book gets going, (which doesn't take long)it is an absolutely rip-roaring, continual page-turning, nail-biting, midnight-hour passing.....masterpiece !

The author is an unsuspecting transport pilot who is posted out to Thailand, assuming he'll be flying safe 'airline' style missions inside Thailand rather...
Published on 16 Mar 2010 by Siko

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, but how much is true?
The first two thirds of this book were a very good read; however, towards the end it became increasingly difficult to believe, and one of the first things I did after finishing the book was to read up on the places where the author said he was and the events that he said he was involved in.

Unfortunately that research very much failed to corroborate much that...
Published on 22 Jan 2011 by Amazon Customer


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent account of a forgotten war, 16 Mar 2010
By 
Siko (Shropshire, England) - See all my reviews
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First of all I should start by saying that when this book gets going, (which doesn't take long)it is an absolutely rip-roaring, continual page-turning, nail-biting, midnight-hour passing.....masterpiece !

The author is an unsuspecting transport pilot who is posted out to Thailand, assuming he'll be flying safe 'airline' style missions inside Thailand rather than Vietnam. When he gets to his new assignment, he finds out to his surprise that he will actually be flying combat missions as a Forward Air Controller in the secret war inside Laos. Flying an outdated transport aircraft he is quickly given command as he is given unofficial (and highly illegal) training on how to survive, rather than fly to the rulebook.

The book covers many of his incidents but a large portion of it focusses on one particular event in incredible detail, which I found impossible to stop reading. I still find it incredible that he survived with his crew and there are a few interviews scattered around the internet with the author backing up what happened.

The only downside I found with my paperback was a total lack of photos or illustrations and particularly given the complex nature of what happened to him, a little map or diagram would have helped. As it is though, this doesn't spoil things and a quick google of the location brought up some good photos etc.

If you have any interest in aviation, Vietnam or just want a rip-roaring read, buy this...but Caveat Emptor....you won't put it down till you finish !
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unusual and complex aviation memoir, 17 July 2010
John Halliday has written a sensitive and thoughtful account of his time flying clandestine missions over Laos during the Vietnam War. The book is unusual in that it succeeds in delivering a mix of factual first person account from the pilot's perspective with a narrative with the reader of how the system in place in Vietnam undermined the morale of the guys in the squadron and the effect it had on him over time. In some strange way, it reminded me of Ernest Gann's classic "Fate is the hunter" because of the writing style perhaps.

This is my first Amazon review, although I'm a voracious reader of aviation literature, and I think the reason why I'm writing this review is because I think you could overlook this book for other more well known titles. But don't, because if you are a pilot, or fan of military memoirs, this book is worthy of a place on your bookshelf.

postscript - Having gone over to the Amazon.com site to read reviews from the U.S., it appears that several people who served in that area around the same time as the author pour considerable scorn on the accuracy of his account. However, I'll keep my review as is and trust the author has had the integrity to tell the truth. I just wanted to add a little balance to my review.
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5.0 out of 5 stars YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK. IT WILL WAKE YOU UP., 6 April 2010
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Yes, this book is an absolute page-turner, yes it will keep you awake at night reading just one more page. But it is much more than that. It paints a sequence of images that show how the author was shown The Light, decided to follow it, rose up and fulfilled his duties to both his country and his comrades. An exceptional book, for me is a new genre that combines a riveting adventure telling with insights that have industrial psych, group theory, management and motivational implications. I don't know how to signal this to everyone interested: THIS COULD BE THE TOP NON-FICTION BOOK.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 10 Dec 2013
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Robert Archer "Kodakman" (Bury St Edmunds) - See all my reviews
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I have read this three times, as it a book that you simply cannot put down. One of the most enjoyable books to cover a tiny portion of the South East Asia conflict.
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5.0 out of 5 stars MASH meets Air America meets Zen and the Art of combat flying - great read, 21 July 2013
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This review is from: Flying Through Midnight: A Pilot's Dramatic Story of His Secret Missions Over Laos During the Vietnam War (MP3 CD)
This has to be one of the best if not the best Vietnam era aviation book I have ever read (of many). It is a mixture of commentary on the craziness of the military system (shades of Catch 22), crazy characters doing crazy things (shades of MASH), philosophy - (Zen and the Art of Combat Flying), and some of the most riveting descriptions of combat flying ever. It really does put you in the pilot seat on hair raising Forward Air Controller missions over the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos - a place where there were no US combat forces according to Richard (Tricky Dicky) Nixon. Really worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good book, 2 Nov 2011
Is a really good and surprising book, that shows the difficulty he went through, and how good a pilot he is. Only bad thing was it was over to quick, it was so good i couldn't put it down
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 16 Sep 2011
Very good book. So pleased the author managed to get the book published. A credit to the author and all those involved.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A stonking good read, 30 Nov 2010
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K. Mclean "VW Freak" (Gt Dunmow ESSEX) - See all my reviews
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A good read showing the clandestine side of activities in Vietnam.

Enjoyed every page of this book
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surprising..., 20 Nov 2010
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Aldonio Silva (Madeira, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This book has been a surprise even after reading the other reviews. This book has been a very good susprise! Reading this book you could be seating side by side in the cockpit with the author. Excellent! Worth your money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 10 OUT OF 10., 25 July 2010
This is the best book i have read so far, I could not put it down...
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