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Old 22 February 2016, 18:34
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Viper Pilot - A Memoir of Air Combat

I really enjoyed this book. The author is retired Lt Col Dan Hampton, who was a career fighter pilot. He flew F16s and performed combat missions in both Iraq wars as well as Kosovo.

If you liked the movie Top Gun (with all its imperfections), you will love this book. Hampton's descriptions of action from the cockpit almost have you feel like you are in the back seat; a configuration which he very much opposed, btw. He flew single seat fighters only.

His credentials are impressive: over 150 combat missions, four Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor, Purple Heart, eight Air Medals with Valor, a graduate of both the USAF Fighter Weapons School and USN Top Gun School.

His attitude and manner of speech are closer to a grunt than "Ice Goose" (nod to the Ranger Up boys), and he believed strongly in CAS for the troops. He also despises the modern trend of "drones for everything".

The last couple chapters got a little redundant on the action descriptions, and he does come off as an arrogant AF pilot sometimes - but, hey, I guess it comes with the territory.

Highly recommended.
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Old 22 February 2016, 21:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmc_3m View Post
I really enjoyed this book. The author is retired Lt Col Dan Hampton, who was a career fighter pilot. He flew F16s and performed combat missions in both Iraq wars as well as Kosovo.

If you liked the movie Top Gun (with all its imperfections), you will love this book. Hampton's descriptions of action from the cockpit almost have you feel like you are in the back seat; a configuration which he very much opposed, btw. He flew single seat fighters only.

His credentials are impressive: over 150 combat missions, four Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor, Purple Heart, eight Air Medals with Valor, a graduate of both the USAF Fighter Weapons School and USN Top Gun School.

His attitude and manner of speech are closer to a grunt than "Ice Goose" (nod to the Ranger Up boys), and he believed strongly in CAS for the troops. He also despises the modern trend of "drones for everything".

The last couple chapters got a little redundant on the action descriptions, and he does come off as an arrogant AF pilot sometimes - but, hey, I guess it comes with the territory.

Highly recommended.
I was disappointed that he really doesn't cover ops over Bosnia and Kosovo.
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Old 23 February 2016, 02:26
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Just bought it a few days ago but haven't started it yet. If it's half as good as some of the reviews it got on Amazon, it'll be great!
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Old 23 February 2016, 12:41
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I was disappointed that he really doesn't cover ops over Bosnia and Kosovo.
Agree. Those locations are only mentioned a few times throughout the book, and never is the story told.
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Old 24 February 2016, 15:09
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His stories of his time in Saudi were interesting too. The tactics and even some of the aviation politics of the OIF invasion were pretty damn cool.

I got his newer book on the history of Wild Weasel community for Christmas. I have not gotten around to it, there's a lot in my queue to read right now.
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Old 24 February 2016, 16:20
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A37A Vipers? My friendMax flew those in Nam.
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Old 24 February 2016, 18:38
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His stories of his time in Saudi were interesting too. The tactics and even some of the aviation politics of the OIF invasion were pretty damn cool.

I got his newer book on the history of Wild Weasel community for Christmas. I have not gotten around to it, there's a lot in my queue to read right now.
What's the name of the new book?
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Old 25 February 2016, 06:56
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The Hunter Killers: The Extraordinary Story of the First Wild Weasels, the Band of Maverick Aviators Who Flew the Most Dangerous Missions of the Vietnam War

Just had to google that...read "Viper Pilot" as well, did not know he had a book out on Wild Weasels. Added to the reading list...
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Old 25 February 2016, 09:52
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Bombs over Bosnia: The Role of Airpower in Bosnia-Herzegovina
http://www.au.af.mil/au/aupress/digital/pdf/paper/t_0013_beale_bombs_over_bosnia.pdf

AU Press has other books and reports too

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I was disappointed that he really doesn't cover ops over Bosnia and Kosovo.
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Old 25 February 2016, 14:52
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What's the name of the new book?
Hunter Killers as mentioned is the Wild Weasel book. He also came out with a history of air combat called "Lords of the Sky" if you haven't heard of that one. He has also written two novels I haven't read.
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Old 1 July 2016, 10:15
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I'll have to have a look at this one. One from a previous generation I enjoyed was the late Jack Broughton's Thud Ridge.

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A37A Vipers? My friendMax flew those in Nam.
The -37 would be the Dragonfly. Some examples are still in the inventories of several Third World air forces, and a few more are floating around demil'ed for civilian use by a handful of flying museums and airshow performers. The last USAF-operated examples (OA-37s) were retired circa 1988. I'd definitely love to have one for myself!
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