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Publisher's Summary

Rattler One-Seven puts you in the helicopter seat, to see the war in Vietnam through the eyes of an inexperienced pilot as he transforms himself into a seasoned combat veteran. At the age of twenty, Chuck Gross spent his 1970-71 tour with the 71st Assault Helicopter Company flying UH-1 Huey helicopters. He inserted special operations teams into Laos and participated in Lam Son 719, a misbegotten attempt to assault and cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail, during which his helicopter was shot down and he was stranded in the field.

Soon after the war he wrote down his adventures, while his memory was still fresh with the events. Rattler One-Seven (his call sign) is written as Gross experienced it, using these notes along with letters written home to accurately preserve the mindset he had while in Vietnam.

©2004 Chuck Gross (P)2013 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Exciting reading! Chuck Gross vividly tells the dramatic account of being a combat helicopter pilot in such a way that you feel you are there. Rattler One-Seven is a compelling memoir of what it was like to fly combat helicopters in Vietnam. It is a must-read for all military and aviation enthusiasts." (Chuck Carlock, author of Firebirds)
"Gross' memoir is worth reading. His stories should find an audience among serious collectors of books about Vietnam." ( Military History of the West)
"Chuck Gross' book tells exactly what it was like to fly a Huey slick in combat in the Vietnam War. The only things missing are the smells of gunpowder and the incredible noise as he takes the reader on combat assaults into hot landing zones." (James Joyce, author of Pucker Factor 10)

What listeners say about Rattler One-Seven: A Vietnam Helicopter Pilot's War Story

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the Best Helicopter books I've listened to!

The first Heli book I listened to was Night Stalkers. That was Very informative and at the same time fed my Love for Helicopters. This book Does it all over again. Gross takes his letters he sent home and other things he wrote at the time and reads them as he progresses thru his Army stint in "Nam". He takes you from when he enters the Recruit center and adds the most Exiting and informative days in that time period and puts them in this book. He becomes one of the more revered leaders of his unit that many guys come to look up to. I hesitated b/c of not many people rating this yet but I'm glad I took a chance and got it. It is now one of my Favorites that I will be re listening to for a long time.

7 people found this helpful

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Not much substance, get "Chickenhawk" instead

Not enough substance and very few accounts of actual action. "Chickenhawk" is the definitive book on the subject.

2 people found this helpful

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The title should read,”Whining, moaning, and groaning about my choice to join the Army.”

As an Army Pilot I absolutely hated this book. It’s rancid with victimization and constant complaining. Don’t waste your time and money on this dumpster fire of a book. Download Chickenhawk or Night Stalkers instead.

1 person found this helpful

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Good story. Mispronunciations distract and annoy

This review is limited to the audio version. Mispronunciations litter this audiobook butchering both helicopter and military terminology as well as geographic locations, such as the historic city of Huế. I found this distracting as well as disrespectful to the earnest efforts of the author. I don't intend this as nit-picking. I simply expect (and hope) for better from Audible. The audio format calls for adequate preparation by the production team prior to entering the studio, with particular attention to accurate pronunciation.

That said, Mr. Gross comes across as one of those decent enough sorts, simultaneously coming of age while developing into a competent combat pilot, yet so straight-laced, pious and temperate that he routinely rubbed his commanders the wrong way and alienated himself from his peers. I respect that he was a young man from a somewhat sheltered background placed in a very difficult, life-threatening situation not of his choosing. In this respect, he performed admirably. Still, he seems to have been a bit of an odd-man-out during his brief, but unquestionably heroic, tour of duty in Southeast Asia.

I found the story compelling, thank the author for his service and urge interested readers/listeners to purchase and enjoy the book.

5 people found this helpful

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The importance of a narrator

This book's story line is about the experiences of a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. That's fine ... my problem is the narrator. As a helicopter pilot in Vietnam myself, I found narrator Gerry Burke's mis-pronuciation of several words important to the story such as "cyclic" (one of the pilot's controls), and "Hue" (one of the country's earliest capitals and the scene of vicious fighting in 1968) to be extremely off-putting. I was disappointed that neither Mr. Burke, nor publisher University Press Audiobooks, nor Audible took the time to edit the work and ensure correctness of pronunciation.

2 people found this helpful

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Combat Veteran

I arrived in Da Nang almost to the day that Chuck did. I was a Marine KC-130 pilot. I had already heard about the crazy WO’s who flew like there was tomorrow. I never got closer than 7000 ft with a lot of assigned flare missions but I could hear most of the fight from my perch turning night into day. Call sign Basket Ball. Except for miss pronunciation of some of the places in the arena the entire book was well done and brought back a lot of memories. Thanks for that. We should call the guys like Chuck Combat Veterans. The rest of us

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due diligence

it's really not difficult to do some research and learn how to pronounce things. Most audiobooks are bad at this, but this narrator really takes the cake. when those of us who are veterans listen to this, it makes you lose interest and it's pretty aggravating. Little due diligence could go a long way. overall the story is great, but I couldn't give it five stars with the poor effort on the narrator part

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Good not great

Entertaining but some parts hard to Gey through. The pilots and crews were all real heroes.

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A book written by Commander Data

Ok, ok, so Data probably didn’t write the book but it was at least inspired by him. There’s not a single contraction that I could identify.

The story itself is not very interesting like a few others I’ve read by helicopter pilots. There’s not a whole lot to recommend the book.

The performance wasn’t too bad but some research into Vietnamese pronunciation would’ve helped.

All in all, it’s not a very well written book but I can thank the author for his service in a very unpopular war.

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Great book

very good book about the Vietnam War from a huey helo pilot that was there at the tail end of the war

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  • Ian David Williamson
  • 05-31-20

The helicopter war in Vietnam by a young pilot.

The narration and post production let this book down. The pilot was a similar age to the RAF pilots during the Battle of Britain but did not share their beliefs that the war was worth the fight. However, he flew to the best of his ability for his crew and the infantry soldiers he supported. Definitely worth listening to.

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  • Bruceybabes
  • 03-10-20

Interesting and insightful

teally enjoyed listening to this book. It is very much a personal perspective rather than a historical analysis of the war and, for that, it provides an interesting view of the personal side of being involved.
One small gripe is that some of the Vietnam place names aren't correct (Hue) being the one that sticks out for me. still really enjoyed it.

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  • Elaintahra
  • 07-17-18

Good read but missing

I enjoyed the book but what was missing completely was the training to become a pilot. Mr Gross just entered the service, and then he was a pilot. This was one part I was looking forward to. Otherwise a good read(listen)

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  • brendan harpur
  • 04-24-18

Not bad, enjoyable

Some bits of the story just end, kinda get lost in one parts
Over all wasn't to bad






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  • andysreadit
  • 04-29-15

Loved it

Thanks will listen to it again peace and love to all who were out there etc great story and nice ending me thinks

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lawrence
  • 02-07-18

Quite a ride

I have a great love of flying and especially helicopters. I have always loved the Huey and always had a respect for the pilots that flu them in the Vietnam war.I really enjoyed sharing the ride and feeling how it would’ve been hanging your arse out in the breeze to be shot at and still maintaining a level head. Much respect to you all.

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  • Daniel Foote
  • 02-27-21

Basic but clear content. Pronunciation issues.

Regular mispronunciation of both American and Vietnamese terms were a major distraction in this reading.

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  • Kate Allen
  • 12-21-20

Insight

A ripper insight to one individual’s trials and tribulations and growing up fast in Vietnam.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-05-20

Good story let down by poor narration

While an enjoyable, informative and entertaining Vietnam Huey Pilot's account of his tour, Rattler 1-7 doesn't quite reach the standard of books like "Chickenhawk" or "Low Level Hell" when it comes to the feeling of bringing you "into the cockpit" with the author. More a broad account of Chuck Gross' Vietnam experience than a progressive narrative of a tour from start to finish, anecdotal stories of different events are sprinkled throughout to keep the reader engaged, resulting in a decently enjoyable book for anyone interested in the Vietnam War or combat helicopter operations.

Unfortunately, the real problem with this audiobook is going to irritate the exact reader/listener I have just described above. The narrator's inability to pronounce very common phrases in the military and aviation world correctly takes away from the experience.