GUTS 'N GUNSHIPS: What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam

Mark Garrison

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GUTS 'N GUNSHIPS: What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam

GUTS N GUNSHIPS What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam Synopsis In the summer of Mark Garrison had dropped out of college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale Illinois just before entering his third year He had run out of money and had to

  • Title: GUTS 'N GUNSHIPS: What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam
  • Author: Mark Garrison
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 215
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Synopsis In the summer of 1967, Mark Garrison had dropped out of college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, just before entering his third year He had run out of money and had to work for a while These were the days before the lottery and the draft soon came calling In order to somewhat control his own future, he enlisted in the U.S Army s helico SynopsisIn the summer of 1967, Mark Garrison had dropped out of college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, just before entering his third year He had run out of money and had to work for a while These were the days before the lottery and the draft soon came calling In order to somewhat control his own future, he enlisted in the U.S Army s helicopter flight school program Little did he know that this adventure would be the most profound experience of his life Garrison flew hundreds of missions for the 119th AHC, stationed in the Central Highlands at Camp Holloway in Pleiku, Vietnam He was awarded twenty five Air Medals, four campaign Bronze Stars, and The Distinguished Flying Cross among numerous other awards His narrative takes you through the whole process, from basic training, flight school, flying combat in Vietnam, and his return to the United States His description includes many incidents in combat flight, including being hit by rocket propelled grenades and being on fire in the air, over hundreds if not thousands of enemy troops But this is not all He elaborates on the daily lives, emotions, and nuances of the pilots and what they considered their mission to be GUTS N GUNSHIPS is a must read if you are to have a realistic understanding of what flying helicopters in Vietnam combat was all about Review Mark Garrison s Guts N Gunships is than just another Vietnam flashback It is a portal which will transport readers to a most painful American experience These were definitely goodbye times in America and the author bares his soul with his narrative The author reveals how he, his friends and family, like millions of other Americans were sucked into the Vietnam whirlwind while the nation s leaders wrestled with a domino theory pressed upon the nation by think tanks tied to the military industrial complex Guts N Gunships follows Garrison s true life story of being on the short list for the draft, and then going all in by signing up for helicopter pilot training After just a few months training, he found himself in the mountains of Vietnam flying Huey helicopters into small holes in the triple canopy jungle He had been assigned to duty with the Crocodiles and Alligators of the 119th Assault Helicopter Company, just a few short miles from the dreaded Ho Chi Minh Trail His one year recounting of his numbered days there is painted with blood, pathos and hilarious incidents, stemming from hard drinking and furious nap of the earth flying, while the helicopters were blown apart with the pilots and crews in them Most uplifting of all is the author s first person accounting of a unit of pilots who saw the American mission failing but renewed vows among themselves that they would give the enemy no quarter and would cut no corners in their attempts to bring home alive every American they possibly could No one has ever before addressed the American helicopter pilot experience in the way Garrison does Ron Gawthorp

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      215 Mark Garrison
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      Published :2019-01-16T08:13:03+00:00

    One thought on “GUTS 'N GUNSHIPS: What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam

    1. Jean Poulos on said:

      This is a memoir of a helicopter pilot from the Vietnam War. Garrison tells what it takes to be a helicopter pilot in combat. Garrison covers the time from his enlistment, boot camp, helicopter school to his combat missions in Vietnam. The author goes into detail about combat action and also includes wartime humor, and the loss of friends.The book is well written. I noted that the author flew hundreds of mission for the 119th AHC, stationed in the Central Highlands at Camp Holloway in Pleiku, Vi [...]

    2. Rick Colburn on said:

      Excellent readI'm a Viet Nam era VETERAN who served my country stateside never serving over seas or seeing combat. The way Mr. Harrison wrote this book I felt as if I was next to him in the choppers he flew this is an excellent read and very hard to put down.

    3. David Perrin on said:

      Gives you the feeling of being right there with him in the chopper. This tells it like it was and you can feel it. Great book! Note: I listened to the audio version and the narrator was fantastic!

    4. Ben Willardson on said:

      Great and Informative BookI liked the way the author covered his experience in Vietnam. His story shows the determination of men trying to save one another and stay human under the most trying of circumstances.

    5. Travis Derby on said:

      Very interesting book. My father was a door gunner on a huey in Vietnam for a tour and never spoke in detail about it. He is now passed, so I picked this book up to maybe get a better understanding of what he had gone through.The Author had very interesting stories, however I was looking for possibly more depth of some of the specific missions.This is not a knock on the book however, although at times it was breezy, it is still very worth a read. It is beyond crazy to think of 22 year old kids, [...]

    6. James T Siple on said:

      ExcellentThe book really seemed to come from the heart! And I know my uncle credited his survival to some of these pilots. Sadly he was was diagnosed with cancer as a result of agent Orange and is fighting for his life right now. I loved the book and feel that the service men who fought over there were never given the credit and respect they deserve.

    7. Dorcas brekel on said:

      This is a truly fantastic read. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to read about your experiences. The author's dedication to the mission of protecting and saving the lives of his fellow soldiers is truly inspirational. I am so thankful for our country's warriors.

    8. James Bell on said:

      Very fine and accurate depiction of gunship flying This book tells it just like I remember from my time in Vietnam. Enjoyed reliving the experience in this book. Hard to believe it's been 46 years.

    9. Dkettmann on said:

      Very much enjoyed the author's stories. I would thank him for his service. Packed full of action and the subsequent decompression after full days after combat missions. Was a great read, and did a good job of putting you in the action. Not too long ago I also read "Bonnie Sue" by Stuckey and there is some comparison to be made. Bonnie Sue was regarding Marine aviators vs the Air Corps pilots in this book. It is hard to tell if the Marines just had a harder time, in a harder area, but I left the [...]

    10. Glenda Stonecipher on said:

      Helicopter PilotHere's a guy doing what I always wanted to do and made a really good book of it. One of my cousins and a neighbors kid both became helicopter pilots during the Vietnam War. I never could pass the physical due to vision problems and wound up working for the Navy on jet attack aircraft at NARFJAX. A lot of my friends died in that shithole country and I always thought if JFK hadn't been assassinated, we wouldn't have been in that war.

    11. Kenny on said:

      This is a great book!!!!!Having been in Vietnam my self during the same time period, I can totally relate! I was in artillery on many of these LZs he was describing! Any where we were sent it was by slick, food, mail, all resupply was by slicks! Guns were moved by Chinook s with gunships as escorts!So yes I have met these heroes first hand, up close! Thanks to all Vietnam pilots both rotor and fixed wing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    12. Peter Lupien on said:

      Superb recounting of a Vietnam War gunship pilot.I really liked all the detail that got recorded in this book. Mr. Garrison also manages to scare the crap out of anyone who really considers what he wrote about and lived through while he was in the air fighting for his countrymen. Sir, thank you for your service, and thank you for sharing your story with us.

    13. Dennie Fugitt on said:

      Outstanding!True story of helicopter aviation in Viet Nam Told in the first person with hindsight, humor and honesty. Tells what it takes to make it through the rigors of pilot training to earn the coveted pilot's wings and then what it took to fly in combat day after day, and the ways pilot's bled off the stress and tension after a hard day's flying.

    14. Jeri L Gauthier on said:

      An eye opening true story.A well-written memoir about helicopter pilots in Vietnam. As a Nam veteran myself, I can believe the harrowing exploits. I too drank too much after returning home. I also quit and have terminal cancer from agent orange exposure. But in spite of the seriousness, this story is very entertaining and at times, very humorous. It is really enjoyable.

    15. wallace gunter on said:

      The title says it allGritty true story about the helo pilot heroes in Vietnam. Having met a few of these remarkable men, this story matches their casually told tales of heroism beyond belief that leave the rest of us with our eyes agog and our mouths gaped open.

    16. John on said:

      Very good book on the life of 70's helicopter gunship pilot in Vietnam. By no means as good as "Chickenhawk" but for those interested in combat pilots life in general during the war this is a good go to book.

    17. William B. on said:

      Great Writing by A Great PilotMark Garrison used the discipline he learned in pilot training to write a great book. I do wish he had mentioned the name of the town he was from in Southern Illinois; I am from West Frankfort.

    18. Larry Barr on said:

      Well written!A must read for anyone who is interested in what flying a gunship in Nam was like. The story flowed really well unlike many books of the same genre which have a tendency to bog down between the "action" stories. Well done Mr. Garrison and thank you for your service.

    19. Kelly Burgin on said:

      G and GThis is a good read, with a humble accounting of flight training and war experience in a diary format. There is humor and tragedy. How he survived amazes me. His greeting by protesters upon return home is shameful.

    20. Susan Jarosz on said:

      I was there too.I wore US AF blue, but I remember asking the SAME questions after almost every flight in my trusty air machine. Your story was really well written. I got in country in 1964 and left for the last time in 1969. I left my youth and my innocence behind.

    21. David Brookshire on said:

      Being a VN Veteran I enjoyed this book. The author took pains to explain how we served our country as it asked us to. Factual and you could recognized that he was an authentic author. I felt a bond with him as all of us supported or rescued during the war by helicopters and men who operated them.

    22. Don Paske on said:

      While the book was entertaining, it was poorly written (and, apparently had no proof-reading done). Mr. Garrison repeated himself, repeatedly. Mr. Garrison was at Pleiku and Dak To about the same time I was in Chu Lai. I wish he would have shipped some of the beer he guzzled up to us!

    23. Jim Bjornstad on said:

      Excellent read!Anyone who has an interest in flight and the ugliness of war should read this book. Hats off to Mark Garrison and everyone else like him who never got the respect they deserved.

    24. Daniel Callaghan on said:

      A fascinating insight Not as well written perhaps as chicken hawk which i read previously but it is none the less a fascinating insight into being a pilot in Vietnam.

    25. Anne E. Floyd on said:

      SpellbindingThis was a book I could not put down. I've read books before where the technical jargon was numbing but not with this one. There was enough to teach and get the point across and move on. Dr. Garrison's wry humor and honest appraisals strongly carried the narrative. At the first mention of Agent Orange I feared he was going to be affected by it. My thoughts and prayers are with him in his continued fight. Thank you, Dr. Garrison for your service to our country, especially in such a ne [...]

    26. Dennis on said:

      This book tries to give you a feel for what it was like to fly helicopters during the Vietnam War. It's a pretty amazing read and I would very much recommend the book to anyone who wants a taste of what it was like.

    27. MARILYN Cook on said:

      Good read, held my interest wellEnjoyed this book very much. I learned so much about flight school, flying in Nam and what it meant each time they were able to extract the troops out of harm's way. I didn't want the book to end, terrific read from start to finish. Garrison is a great writer!

    28. Byron Edgington on said:

      Here we have the latest in a recent spate of Vietnam combat books, a sudden gush of novels/memoirs/autobiographies & literary recollecta that seem to signify a resurgent desire by those who participated in the war to etch its artifacts in the collective shrine of remembrance. This book is a good one, as these things go, not a great one, but highly readable, at times tendentious and so reasonably representative of the times in which its stories were gathered and even fun in places, when Garri [...]

    29. John Podlaski on said:

      I thoroughly enjoyed "Guts N' Gunships by Mr. Mark Garrison. The story begins with the author volunteering for the draft in 1968 and signing up for helicopter training. The author takes us through his training, flight school and then on to Vietnam. One thing I enjoyed was that the author has a flare for entertaining as much of his writing is filled with witticism that will make readers smile. War is also funny, especially in the antics these soldiers pull on one another. Although chopper pilots [...]

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