Step through this unique looking-glass into the volatile crucible of combat in Vietnam. Taste the danger and fear, the madness and passion, and experience the love and brotherhood shared by the pilots and aircrewmen of the "Bonnie-Sue".
©1996 Marion F. Sturkey; (P)1999 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"This is our story, told some twenty to thirty years later, but as chilling and touching to us who were there as if it took place yesterday." (Marine Corps Aviation Association)
"The detailed history of the Marine helicopter pilot has never been written in such a hard, cold-steel, factual way as this great book reveals." (Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association)
I am a Marine Recon Veteran familiar with the areas of operation written about and the units involved. The narrative is so well crafted that I could smell the jet fuel, feel the vibrations and the deafening sound inside the 46s. After visiting the Bonnie-Sue website I could also see the faces of the men involved. I especially appreciated the after action reports as they described the action in the dry terse terms of Marine Corps History.
I found this to be an interesting book to listen to, it not only discribed the danger of the Chopper pilots but also the grunts and Recon teams that they flew all over Nam. It also describes the willingness to risk their lives to help the Grunts on the ground. Thats what it was really like. I am a Viet Nam Vet, and I was in Recon. These Pilots could fly. It was a feeling like no other. Listen to this book.
My Dad was in Vietnam and flew the H-46, and for me this book brought life to stories and places my Dad has told me about. Sturkey was in Vietnam after my Dad, but the accounts of Marble Mountain, Dong Ha, Khe Sahn, and Danang were very much like they were when my Dad was there.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook.
There were several evenings when I had to 'just keep listening' to find out if the daring helicopter pilots would be able to rescue the grunts!
As entertainment, on a scale of 1-10, this book gets a 2. It is like listening to a textbook rather than a novel. On top of that, the narrator is horrible...Don't waste your time or money on this.
Unfortunately, the history of engagement is sparse while the story is sketchy-let's have one or the other, please.
"Though provoking account of Marines in Vietnam"
Do look past the title, because it doesn't really do the book justice. "Bonnie Sue" was the call sign of Marine helicopter squadron HMM-265. This book actually covers quite a bit of the US Marines' involvement in Vietnam, from the viewpoint of the helicopter crews who flew them into battle. Very comprehensive and truly edge-of-the-seat stuff in places, the only reason it didn't get 5 stars from me is my slight annoyance with the narrator who had to repeat details and over-emphasise certain names and places (although this is probably a fault of the original book). Otherwise, a great listen.
"Crash Landing...Big Time"
As a devotee of military history, audiobooks and anything to do with helicopters I felt I was on to a winning combination when I found this book whilst browsing for 'more of the same' after just having listened to the excellent 'Matterhorn'. Unfortunately, and without wishing to take anything away from the professionalism and heroism of the author and his colleagues, and the sacrifices they made, I have heard more interesting recitations of a shopping-list. Dennis McKee should consider a career in hypnotism, so deadpan and monotonous was his 'reading' of a script that didn't help him with its all-to-frequent inclusions of semi-related quotes, its rambling narrative and its ability to reduce the actions of accomplished professionals in the face of danger to the level of reading aloud the instructions for assembling a piece of Ikea furniture - in Swedish.
A flat tedious monotone of the narrator renders a potentially good book unlistenable.
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