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Publisher's Summary

Over 12,000 helicopters were used in the Vietnam War, which is why it became known as "The Helicopter War". Almost half of the helicopters, 5,086, were lost. Helicopter pilots and crews accounted for nearly 10 percent of all the US casualties suffered in Vietnam, with nearly 5,000 killed and an untold number of wounded. Lew Jennings flew over 700 Air Cavalry Cobra Gunship Helicopter missions and received three Distinguished Flying Crosses for Valor.

This memoir describes first-hand the harrowing experiences of helicopter pilots and crews in combat operations, from the far South to the DMZ, including the infamous Ashau Valley, Hamburger Hill, LZ Airborne, and others. 19 Minutes to Live illustrates the incredible courage and determination of helicopter pilots and crews supporting those heroes that carried a rucksack and a rifle in Vietnam.

©2017 Lew Jennings (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible

As a Coast Guard retiree, many years ago I had the privilege of working with several Viet Nam era pilots that were every bit as exceptional as the aircrews outlined in Lew’s book. There are two distinct phrases that define the careers of most military aviators... number one “timing is everything” and number two, “there but for the grace of God, go I.” The second phrase can be good, or bad depending on how your day is going. 19 Minutes To Live is an incredibly accurate portrayal of some of the finest military aviators in history, a true joy to read! My hat’s off to the many service members recognized by name in this book! Gentlemen, thank you for your service.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It Was Good To "Meet" Lew Jennings

I was there as an Army aviator, in country 1965 - 1966, spent some time living with forward outfits but also enjoyed some air conditioned villas. I spent every day in support of combat operations in one way or another, day and night - listening to their cries of victory as well as their pain, anguish and calls for fire support, napalm and med-evac. I am always interested in first hand accounts of this very dark period of our history. Mr Jennings joined Army Aviation the same way I did, that is to say that Air Force and Navy required a college degree. The army did not and I wanted to fly. Jennings was one hell of a pilot and he earned every commendation he received. His story was my story in many details. I also flew out of Travis AFB. I can't imagine missing the flight due to misreading departure schedule in military time. Pan Am was the charter 707 going over and Northwest Orient was my freedom bird coming home. Both Mr Jennings and I were different guys after that year in combat for sure.

I could have done without the chapter on the history of Vietnam. I believe most of the readers who chose this book were already familiar with it. I wanted more day to day operations. Mr Colacci's narration was not very well suited to this book. Not boring like some have said, rather it seemed like he was teaching a Sunday School lesson. I can recommend the book, especially for younger readers who may not know the history regarding Vietnam and other nations wishing to control it. Worth the reasonable price, but perhaps not a $15.00 credit.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not my style of storytelling.

I can’t give a bad review based on preferences.I gave all five stars because it certainly was a nice piece of work.If I had to explain my review title,I would say that some of the information and explanations made the stories drag on a bit.While the author surely experienced incredibly exciting situations. I didn’t feel I was along for the ride.It May have been the narrative style that made this selection seem sort of monotone history book read at times.Preferences vary and my review is simply a comment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

should be more exciting than it is.

felt more like a lesson on military structure and lists of equipment, troops and locations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Awesome stories!

I picked this book because my father was a door gunner in the Vietnam war. After reading this book I feel I have a much better idea of what my pop went through during his term in Vietnam. I really enjoyed reading this and highly recommend it to anyone interested in war books and stories. Thank you to all that served and serve our country.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful "read"

Great book by an American patriot made even better with the prefect narrator. THANKS Lew and David!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing

I loved the book if you did too try rattler 1-7 about combat huey pilots

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent book

An excellent oral history of helicopter combat in Vietnam, and the people who sacrificed for the wellbeing of others.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating subject, sleepy narration.

Following Viper Pilot, Fighter Pilot, Guts and Gunships and others I was excited to find the story of an AH-1 pilot. The subject is fascinating, and the writing is not bad, the delivery of the narration makes it hard to stay awake though. Whereas the narrator of a book like Viper Pilot clearly studied how pilots talk and even the sounds and warnings heard in the cockpit which makes for a powerful immersion into the story. It seems that David went into this narration cold. The radio calls as a result sound like goofy caricatures, and the sleepy delivery will have you nodding off. I like the book, but I can’t recommend the audiobook.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Vivid

Enjoyed the stories of helicopter combat in Vietnam from different perspectives.
The detail to which the author described the technical aspects of flying painted a vivid picture for an old Huey guy.