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Publisher's Summary

Ed "Fast Eddie" Cobleigh served two tours of duty during the Vietnam air war, logging 375 combat sorties in the F-4 Phantom fighter/bomber.

In War for the Hell of It, Cobleigh shares his perspectives in a deeply personal account of a fighter pilot's life, one filled with moral ambiguity and military absurdities offset by the undeniable thrill of flying a fighter plane. With well-crafted prose that puts you into his Phantom's cockpit, Cobleigh vividly recounts the unexplainable loss of his wingman, the useless missions he flew, the need to trust his reflexes, eyesight, aggressiveness, and his survival instincts in the heat of combat. He discusses the deaths of his squadron mates and the contradictions of a dirty, semi-secret war fought from beautiful, exotic Thailand. This is an unprecedented look into the state of mind of a pilot as he experiences everything from the carnage of a crash to the joy of flying through a star-studded night sky, from the illogical political agendas of Washington to his own dangerous addiction to risk.

Cobleigh gives a stirring and emotional description of one man's journey into airborne hell and back, recounting the pleasures and the pain, the wins and the losses, and ultimately, the return.

©2016 Ed Cobleigh (P)2016 Ed Cobleigh

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

From a fellow Vietnam fighter pilot

Outstanding writing into the deep emotion of
Combat flying in a war where most all warriors attempting to deal with returning to face an ungrateful nation. Returning were more pissed at their own government than the enemy sent to fight.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well done!

I was stationed at Udorn RTAFB - his stories took me back to the crazy times. This is the real deal, really well told.

Wish we required military service as a prerequisite for political office - Vietnam Vets would have kept us out of the Iraq mess.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I am jealous

this book is very similar to viper pilot. If you liked viper pilot you will enjoy this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Vietnam from the cockpit

There are a lot of books written about the war in Indochina and I have read many. However their are few from the perspective of that of a pilot. That is what I found intriguing about the book.

I liked the characterization of what it was like to pilot the F4. The loss of fellow pilots and the inner workings of what was felt flying , bombing and then coming back and having to go from danger to a safe place in a matter of hours.

The frustration of politics both in D.C. as well as military. The secret wars.

This is a book I can recommend if you are interested in the war as a combatant or a citizen and witnessed the changes in the USA as a result.

I was given this book to review and the opinions are my own and my honest thoughts on the book .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What would happen if Emerson was a fighter pilot

Any additional comments?

Ed Cobleigh is a very gifted writer with extraordinary descriptive powers. He also has a gift for simile. It doesn't read like any other war memoir that you have ever read and Eric Martin does a great job reading it. Although it has some campy fighter pilot snark, it is kept at a minimum and he tells a very internal story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting, Candid, and Well-Written

What did you love best about War for the Hell of It?

It was a very well written military history candid biography. I loved the pilot's experience's and lessons he was able to draw from it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

The narrator did a great job. I was kept interested.

Any additional comments?

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well-Told Portrail of Combat Aviation in Viet Nam

Would you listen to War for the Hell of It again? Why?

Sure. I'm a retired post-Viet Nam, Naval Flight Officer and although there are differences, I could very easily put myself in the story. I 'knew' virtually every character and I was some of them.

What did you like best about this story?

Well written and read. I actually most thoroughly enjoyed the chapter where the author went aboard an aircraft carrier and personally, listening to his [initially naive] USAF explanation of aircraft carrier operations, I found it extremely entertaining and downright funny.

What does Eric Martin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I thought Eric did an excellent job of bringing the stoic, cynical, hubris of the junior officer, fighter pilot persona to the telling of the story.

Any additional comments?

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jared
  • Prosper, TX, United States
  • 07-11-18

Engrossing and Fascinating!

Technically fascinating, the stories of a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War are conveyed both thoughtfully and compellingly. I only wish there were a second and third volume to read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent book

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the narration was spot on for the subject matter. Made you feel like you were there.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Checco
  • Iowa City, IA United States
  • 04-05-18

More meditation than action

This is not your typical narration of adrenaline loaded moments in the dry style of a military report. The author focus on his meditations, feelings, sensations during his deployments in Vietnam during the war. Sure there are plenty of interesting stories about missions over the Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, etc. A lot of insights about details of the air war only few experts know about, but the focus is on demonstrating the point expressed by the title: there was practically no point in wasting so much money and lives! The performance is not bad and I like the general tone of voice but the book pace is slow and meditative, so I enjoyed listening when I wanted to chill. Perhaps you want to read Olds' and other accounts before getting to this one...

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MR J R Stagg
  • 04-09-18

slow

its a slow book, it feels as if to be building towards something but it never comes.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • A J TYLER
  • 01-19-18

Perhaps too in-depth

A very in-depth writing of his experience. Tends to focus on everything and anything. Narration can be a bit monotone and at times irritating.
It’s more of a pilots psychological monologue regarding alcohol and the need for sex, more than anything.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-20-17

my favourite audio book.

I have read many many autobiographies of pilots, mostly of ww2 rather than more modern conflicts like this. This book stands out. I really got a sense of what it was like to live on the base, to fly the missions and of what the author was thinking. the author was humble and open and honest. i think its really well written and verging on poetic at times. the narrator was good too. There's no jet on jet dogfighting and this isn't a complete chronological narrative of the pilots career but I think it's a very good book and I came out really liking the author.

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  • Alastair
  • 06-08-17

Excellent book !

Excellent book, well written and excellent narration. thoroughly enjoyed it. An honest account, straight from someone who was there and done it, no going-ho stuff. Would recommend. 😃

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Williams
  • 04-20-17

Not adrenaline fueled but fully authentic

Very well written and performed. Great story with some funny and thought provoking moments of an experienced fighter pilot's 2 tours during the late 68-72 bombing halt. Most missions flown over Laos, many at night.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-12-18

Great listen.

Extremely good account of the Vietnam War from the eyes of a fighter pilot, and expertly delivered by Eric Martin.