Marshall Harrison: A Lonely Kind of War Forward Air Controller Vietnam



An earnest and engrossing account of Mr Harrison s experience as a FAC pilot of the OV 10 Bronco in Vietnam and Cambodia He directs fighters in the air and provides close air support to the soldiers on the round engaging in slower speed turboprop flight and tight aerobatics that fill a critical operational niche between slow yet maneuverable helicopters and super fast jets This book does not What Was Lost get philosophical so if you re looking for an investigation of the morality of combat the Vietnam War or secret special operations this isn t it But if you want to understand this little noted portion of history told well andlossing over little either in heroism or fear pride or regret comradeship and sullenness this is it If you re familiar with the common literature and film from infantry and helicopter operations this will both enrich your understanding and take you someplace new I won t leave spoilers for the events at the end of the book but the fast starting opening does not disappoint toward the finish I see that Mr Harrison has also written some fiction so I m Go-Go-Go! going to check out The Delta It would beood to see his work make it into a feature film And I m Somato Respiratory Integration Workbook going to keep an eye out for the OV 10 Bronco in museums Maybe I ll evenet to Europe to see the contemporary airshow based OV 10 Bronco Demo Team in action This is the definitive book on the battles fought by forward air controllers in the Vietnam War The author weaves a compelling narrative about his first person experiences as a forward air controller in combat I have read than a hundred books on the conflict in Great read on the little known lives of Forward Air Controllers FACs during Vietnam The Author s wit really lends itself to the art of military story telling helping to capture the essence of the Aviator way of life Excellent book Guy has cojones enjoyed the beginning and the shoot down especially Forward Air Controllers had one of the most important jobs in Vietnam They made sure that troops Reine Mädchensache got airpower delivered exactly where they needed it and not off in the jungle or on friendly positions With a load of smoke rockets and areat radio network FACs coordinated the delicate dance of Animal Babies getting bombs on targetHarrison has a clean style that captures the chaos and complexity of his job while providing enough context to follow along Flying low and slow in OV 10 Broncos his pilots made sure the fast movers knew where to put their bombs He also has plenty of life in Vietnam stories including a madcap attempt toet a pair of cobras out of his hooch s bunker that involved calling in the Green BeretsAll of this makes for a far above average memoir but where this book Offenders and Detainees gets truly nuts is when Harrison is seconded to MACV SOG towards the end of his tour He was shot down supporting operations in Cambodia and hid overnight in a bamboorove while NVA troops hunted him Back in the cockpit on another mission Harrison landed his OV 10 on a jungle road to pull out a SOG team that had been blown and was out of helicopter range for extraction This is the kind of thing that qasas-ul-quran gets you the Medal of Honor Bernard F Fisherot one extracting a downed pilot with his Skyraider under similar circumstances but because it was all classified at the time Harrison ot nothing at allThere were a lot of courageous men in Vietnam I feel confident in calling Harrison a Hero with a capital H An engaging and entertaining readThis is a remarkable book of service and self sacrifice It is fast paced at times humorous and very well written A Forward Air Controller flying an OV 10 Bronco Marshall Harrison tells the compelling story of his service in South Vietnam Flying from forward often unimproved air Forward air controllers fought a tension filled three dimensional war in Vietnam uite lite.

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Uthor whose prose is elegant and plot structure specific to rabbing the reader in the beginning telling the nuts and bolts of the operation and finishing with an action packed crescendo that is worthy of any fiction novel of action and adventure These types of books are a Dead-End Road Mysteries great kind of history for theeneral public because not only do they educate readers about the realities of an important part of American history but they do so in an entertaining fashion that compels the reader to finish the book and not Hear the Wolves give up part way through Historians appreciate a serviceman who keeps a diary or plans to write a memoir From remembering conversations to mission details living history like this book is ofreat value to both historiography and the average reader alike As a result we have a piece of history that can tell the story of those who served in Vietnam and sacrificed their lives for both contemporary and future citizens The men and women who served in Vietnam deserve if nothing else to have their stories told and Marshall Harrison s A Lonely Kind of War accomplishes this Valors Measure goal First a uibble has the author s name wrong It is Marshall Harrison SheeshThis is one of the truly outstanding accounts of one man s wartime experience Harrison was a junior and later fieldrade Air Force officer and former jet pilot who was assigned as a Forward Air Controller FAC in Vietnam These are not the memoirs of a BFI Film Classics general and that makes this book all the betterHarrison and his team lived in the mud the bugs and the bombs in advanced airstrips from which they flew support forround operations Juggling fighter bombers directing artillery and performing battle damage assessment these pilots flew low and slow overhead and were subjected to intense Tni Tata Dunia Baru Sistem Pertahanan groundfire on a regular basis Harrison describes in vivid terms what his life was like during that yearlong deployment that included a stint flying covert missions over Cambodia and Laos Harrison is not a revisionist and has no political axe torind He simply tells his story in a way that transcends tactical descriptions or euipment nomenclature From one of the most ripping starting chapters I have ever read Harrison leads us into a story that will keep readers raptAlthough his efforts are uite serious Harrison possesses a wicked sense of humor The snakes in the bombshelter story never fails to leave me laughing hysterically Just as adroitly we catch an eually striking limpse of terror when he Fiend gets shot down in Cambodia This is an honest easy to read and captivating account of wartime experiences recounted through the eyes of a everyday member of the military I have probably read it ten times and find it just as enjoyable with every reading I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone seeking a different perspective on Vietnam or even war ineneral My dad loaned this book to Mark and I We both enjoyed it though I thought it was a bit technical for me at times the book starts off with a 2 paged list of military acronyms and their meanings and several times in reading I had to refer to the list and found that it wasn t comprehensive enough Though it did paint a vibrant picture of life as a FAC pilot in Vietnam The risk the dangers and the laughs it Voice of Conscience gave a clear picture of the relatively sheltered USAF life in Vietnam and was very interesting to contrast with the recent book I read Matterhorn which paints an incredibly uglyrimy and desperate picture of life as a soldier on the round in the Vietnam war I also enjoyed reading A Lonely Kind of War because it makes me think of my dad who served in the Air Force during the war and kind of explaines a lot about his sense of humor and professional career. A dangerous life as they flew low and slow always a prime target for enemy small arms fir.

Trips he helped protect troops in enemy contact and directed fighter aircraft dropping bombs I enjoyed the narrative in this book although I felt the ending was way too much of a hollywood action movie I uestion whether the events he described all really happened Still it was enjoyable as heck Author Marshall Harrison served in the United States Air Force for three tours of duty during the Vietnam War from 1965 to 1970 His autobiographical book A Lonely Kind of War depicts his uniue job as Forward Air Controller in a Bronco OV 10 aircraft Harrison and his few colleagues as FACs coordinated air strikes by fighter bombers in support of round troops and bombing bunkers and other The Pedlar and the Bandit King (Scarlet and the White Wolf, ground targets of opportunity Often working with a wide myriad of officers radio operators and pilots this job reuired a range of skills including communications navigation piloting and attackinground targets As a result the FAC duty was assigned to a select Marvins Room group of Air Force pilots who as the title of this book suggests were alone in their mission to support the armed forces in Vietnam Harrison made over five hundred sorties as Air Laison OfficerForward Air Controller 1st Infantry Division and 1st Cavalry Division in the Vietnam area He become well decorated with medals and awards for his service which include the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross Fortunately many of the sorties he made to earn the medals are included in the book Why is such a history valuable than secondary sources or entertaining than an fiction action novel Mostly because the fiction novels have the same action but it is not real Here it is real but no less exciting to read about The book also informs and educates audiences A Lonely Kind of War throws the reader directly into the the elements of a page turning thriller novel action with bombing andetting shot at by enemy antiaircraft Roberto to the Dark Tower Came guns Harrison has many choices of missions to include in this title and it is interesting to note that this book could have been well over a thousand pages if he included every exciting mission he experienced and the anecdotes from base and flying on the over five hundred sorties that he made while on active duty However he chooses the most exciting missions to include because they make forood story telling But he also includes typical every day experiences to inform the audience about what daily life was like in Vietnam for military personel Therefore both the exciting and the mundane remembrances are worth including After the initial adventure in the skies over South Vietnam the reader is taken back to the basics of becoming an FAC The author s keen sense of storytelling is apparent here because if told in strict seuential order the book would not be as attention Polyphemus grabbing to the reader who might become bored if started with training and not combat The training is vital to the story because without it the book would be nothing than anecdotes typical of storytelling to curious children andrandchildren Marshall Harrison was shot down and spent a night in the jungle while being hunted by the enemy Viet Cong At the end of his tour as FAC he reluctantly flew for the Special Forces who were operating in Cambodia These make for a reat crescendo to the story There are many memoirs written about the Vietnam War and authors usually need to decide what to include and what to omit when editing down to size Given the daily non stop reuirement of American servicemen in Vietnam this leaves historians and authors with a lot of material anecdotes and information to process in order to create a compelling story Fortunately Marshall Harrison was not only a decorated Air Force pilot but also an effective Rally running the air war on the battlefield where they coordinated all air strikes It was.