Black Cat 2-1: The True Story of a Vietnam Helicopter Pilot and His Crew

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9781612548968: Black Cat 2-1: The True Story of a Vietnam Helicopter Pilot and His Crew
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In the Vietnam War, 2,197 helicopter pilots and 2,717 crew members were killed. Black Cat 2-1 is the story of one pilot who made it home and the valiant men he served with who risked their lives for the troops on the ground. Bob Ford invites readers into the Huey helicopters he flew on more than 1,000 missions when he and his men dared to protect and rescue. For those whose voices were silenced in that faraway place or who have never told their stories, he creates a tribute that reads like a thriller, captures the humor of men at war, and resounds with respect for those who served with honor. Black Cat 2-1 is a #1 non-fiction bestseller and Oklahoma Book Award finalist. ''This memoir is hard to beat.'' Air & Space/Smithsonian; ''Capably written.'' Publishers Weekly; ''Refreshing . . . evocative descriptions of combat flying. '' The VVA Veteran; ''. . . fills a gap in the genre of Vietnam literature.'' Foreword Reviews; ''They came in at 2:00 a.m. without any warning. The screaming roar from the rockets propellant was deafening, and all my senses froze as I tried to figure out what was happening. When the rockets came over our hooches on their way to our helicopters 150 meters north of our living quarters, they were no higher than one hundred feet above us. . . . At that instant, a rocket struck in the middle of the compound. . . . I was suddenly floating eight feet in the air looking down at some guy on a bunk.''

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From the Inside Flap:

From July 1967 to July 1968, Bob Ford flew over one thousand missions in Vietnam. After the first six weeks, he became an aircraft commander and took over the command of a helicopter detachment at Hue, forty miles from the DMZthe farthest northern helicopter unit in Vietnam. His tour included the beginning of the siege of Khe Sahn and the Tet Offensive in February 1968 when he and his men manned the perimeter for a three-day and three-night ground attack. Ford made his commitment to flying helicopters when he was still in college at the University of Oklahoma. He completed ROTC training and received a commission in the US Army in 1966. He volunteered for army helicopter flight school and within one year was flying combat in Vietnam. When he completed his tour in Vietnam, he became an instructor pilot at Fort Wolters, Texas. Following his discharge in 1969, he moved to Okeene, Oklahoma, to head the Okeene division of the family flour milling business, which he still actively manages.

Review:

''In the annals of war, no braver men have taken to the field of battle than the pilots who flew the iconic Huey helicopters during the Vietnam War. I saw their unwavering resolve time and again as they flew through withering gunfire to carry us safely away from the gates of eternity and bring us home. Bob Ford's account of his year in the command seat of his ship of salvation is a priceless contribution to the literary canon of that war.'' --David A. Maurer, Special Forces Veteran, Author of The Dying Place

''Serving as a crew chief in Hue was a life-changing experience. It was an op­portunity to serve with the best of the best, the cream of the crop. The pilots and crews were fearless. The bonds grew so strong that today when we meet, we still feel the connection. The Hue experience and these dedicated men will always be in my heart.'' --Heidi (Bud) Atanian, Crew Chief, Hue Detachment 282 Assault

''When Lt. Ford joined the company, he rapidly became an aircraft commander. He soon commanded a detachment located in Hue, sixty-one miles from our company. During the Tet Offensive in January 1968, Bob and his crew flew hundreds of missions in support of US and ARVN troops. On all of these missions, they were under enemy fire. Bob exemplified the best qualities of an army aviator. He never let me down. I am proud of him.'' --Lt. Col. Chuck Ward, Retired, Commanding Officer 282 Assault

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