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Vietnam: A Tale of Two Tours  By  cover art

Vietnam: A Tale of Two Tours

By: James C. Mooney Jr.
Narrated by: David de Vries
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Publisher's Summary

This is a US Army helicopter pilot's candid, firsthand account of his Vietnam experience in the air and on the ground at the height of US troop strength and then again when he returned for a second tour of duty at the very end of the war. It is a nonpolitical description of what life was really like for him and others who served in Vietnam. There is no embellishment or any secondhand stories from anyone else about their experiences in Vietnam.

The author describes a first tour in the Central Highlands supporting an Infantry Division as a pilot in an Assault Helicopter Company flying the UH-1H (Huey) and later during his first tour as an OH-6A Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) pilot assigned to an Infantry Brigade. The book includes a description of combat assaults; the Cambodian Invasion; ground and air tactics; people he met and worked with; helicopter operations; rescues; combat in the air and on the ground; leadership; unit life and living at four different locations; everyday camp life and conditions; as well as many vignettes as to things both good and bad he witnessed during his first tour. The author continues his book with a history of his second tour around Saigon while assigned to an Air Cavalry Troop and how much the war and other things had changed from his first tour. Events recounted include the Air Cavalry Troop mission and life at Bien Hoa, the cease fire and post-cease fire support missions, moving to Saigon and experiences living there, meeting his former enemy, the prisoner-of-war exchange, being shot down after the cease fire began, and being on the final flight out of combat troops that closed out the war for America. He closes with his overall reflections on his wartime service. 

This is a must-have for those who want to know what it was really like to have been there without the hype, politics, or hidden agenda that usually is part of any Vietnam War story.

©2017 James C. Mooney, Jr. (P)2019 Tantor

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no action, just talk

I expected to hear stories of war, not prostitutes and r&r, girls and clubs. Disappointed.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Vietnam: A Tale of Two Tours

Excellent book a different take on what a r how the inside of a war is run. Author had a great experience to share and did it well. Narration great.

3 people found this helpful

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Fact or Fiction

I was there and flew in the same areas and time as the author. I was a Warrant Officer first trained as a fixed-wing pilot. After a flying tour in Korea, I went through the Rotorwing Q Course at Fort Rucker. From there I spent 1964 flying Uh-1s at Benning. That unit practiced and developed helicopter tactics forArmy Aviation. We flew missions all over the world. I flew the Huey in Cono, Nigeria supporting NASA for the Gemini missions. From there to Johnson Island working for US Navy ( secret stuff ). I was involved in developing gunship tactics in the B Model Huey. I then went to CH-47 Qualification and flew multiple deliveries of them to West Coast ports where they shipped by sea to Viet Nam. It is a long way from Ft. Benning to Stockton, Ca. The A model CH-47 was a lot slower than the later models. By the time I got to Veit Nam, I was a 24-year-old Chief Warrant with a ton of flying experience.
I think this qualifies me to cry BS on Mr. Mooney.


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Not a lot of flying stories, but well written.

The most interesting part of this book to me is the fact that the author was in country right up until the very end of the war. That's a perspective that I have not read much of.

The writing focuses a lot more on what went on between the men and locals on base and in town than much actual flying. It's there sure, but just seemed far from the focus of the writing.

There's also a whole lot of "I'm a genius, my commanders were idiots" kind of stories which does get a bit tiresome and repetitive.

It's well written, but if you're more interested in flying than barracks politics I'd recommend Guts and Gunships or Low Level Hell over this one.

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Thank you, James.

This book is an authentic telling of the story of war. We offer blood. You poured it out, and so at in it. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

2 people found this helpful

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great book worth the read

loved this book it captures the war from both the hight and the end well worth it

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Factual Vietnam chopper pilot read

Exceptional. 2 tour, Vietnam, chopper pilot account. One of the best. Honest and insightful.No axes to grind. I will pass it on to friends.

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Following

As an individual who came of age for the Vietnam conflict just as it started de-escalating, then went on to become a successful dual rated pilot, I'm always seeking others experiences who went through where I easily could have been.
An EXCELLENT presentation. Thank you, many times over.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-24-22

A very unique story about flying.

Most stories are about the ubiquitous Huey or even the Cobra gunship, but if you know you're history or were one of the veterans, then you will know there's many more to hear about.
To hear about the "Loach" and the missions it was tasked with was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the way tasking was completed.
It was also interesting to note that the writer and pilot always tried for his mates first, something I as a veteran of early years in Afghanistan also believed in. I can see that self reflection afterwards is something that we all seem to have in common. 😊
I felt there was something missing in the between years, but understandably it was not an office story, so I did not really feel that I missed too much.
I am glad that life treated you well and you were doing fine as of 2017.
From an Aussie veteran to an American Vietnam veteran welcome home, rest easy now.
My oldest cousin was an RAAF Huey pilot in 9 Sqn SVN 1970-1971, I was 6 years under age then. I did 30 yrs in Australian Army.