Firefly: A Skyraider’s Story About America’s Secret War Over Laos. By Capt. Richard E. Diller, USAF (Ret), Northern Illinois Chapter.
Dog Ear Publishing,
www.fireflythebook.com. ISBN 978-1-4575-1969-7. 312 pp. $22.50. Available on
Once everything is set up, I roll in.
Control stick hard left into a sharp left turn and let the nose drop quickly
but smoothly to 40° down. Down. My heart is pumping hard. I'm in a sharp dive.
I have to do it right and fast. Line up the target in the sight. It's getting
bigger as I get closer to the ground. Airspeed is increasing! Quick! Right
there! Pickle at 8,000 feet, only 2,000 feet from roll-in altitude. Not much
time. NOW! Pull out! Pull hard, but don't over G! All the remaining ordnance is
trying to pull the airplane toward the ground. Smoothly pull to four Gs. Watch
the artiﬁcial horizon. It's the only visual reference I can count on. Pull! Get
the nose up! Don't go below 7,000 feet because rocks can be anywhere below
seven. There's level. Bring it on up. Twenty-ﬁve degrees nose high. I have
plenty of speed, so keep the nose up. Here comes 8,000 feet. Then 9,000. I can
let the nose down a little now and look around to see if anyone is shooting.
It is 1969 and Dick Diller is on his way to flying warplanes in the Vietnam
conflict. He is commissioned to fly A-1 Skyraiders in sometimes harrowing
nighttime missions over Laos-surviving not only the danger of the missions he
flew, but also the bureaucracy of the air force, from fitness testing to
additional duties assigned, to attacking impossible-to-find targets in the dead
of night-with minimal fuel supplies.
At once entertaining and riveting, as well as thought-provoking, Firefly is the
story of one man's journey in a world at war, and a day-to-day description of
the fighting force that was flying A-1 Skyraiders in combat. Firefly contains
actual transcriptions of dialogue of pilots locating a target and making a
strike in northern Laos.
Threats and Challenges: Strategies in a New Century. By
Lt. Col. Edward Corcoran, USA (Ret). ISBN 978-1-62407-476-9. 144 pp. $9.99. $2.99 (Kindle).
An overview of the threats and challenges to life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness. The book puts them in perspective with each other,
identifying major programs addressing them as well as opportunities they
represent. The disappearance of the Soviet Union and the rise of the internet
and globalization have dramatically changed the strategic situation facing the
nation, intensifying the need to fashion a new system for developing a
comprehensive National Strategy.
Tours of Duty. By Cmdr. Gary K. Cline, USN (Ret), Life Member.
208 pp. $14.
privileged to have served in all three military services, Army, Navy and Air
Force and held 13 ranks. These included: Airman Recruit, Airman, Army Private,
Private First Class, Specialist 4, Specialist 5, Warrant Office 1, Chief
Warrant Officer 2, Ensign, Lieutenant (Jg), Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander,
and Commander. I completed over 30 years of service and would love to do it all
again — with a few changes.
The Whole Truth: The Tainted Prosecution of an American Fighter Pilot. By Col. Robert Harvey, USAF (Ret), Cape Canaveral
(Fla.) Chapter. Viper
Pilot Press. ISBN 978-0615933634. 336 pp. $15.95. $5.99 (Kindle version).
The Whole Truth details the politically motivated,
wrongful conviction of USAF Fighter Pilot Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, his
subsequent acquittal and the political upheaval in Washington that resulted.
Colonel Bob Harvey, (USAF retired) exposes a callous disregard for policy,
ethics, and the law by Air Force investigators, prosecutors and commanders in
the overzealous prosecution of the high-profile case and reveals how the US
military is sending innocent men to prison in the name of political
Night Work: A Novel of Vietnam. By Lt.
Col. Dennis Foley, USA (Ret). Ballantine
Captain Jim Hollister ended his first
tour of duty in Vietnam laid up in a field hospital. His most serious wounds
were deep inside. Back home in America, he often woke up in the middle of the
night in the grip of terrifying nightmares. But nothing—not even his
long-suffering fiancée, Susan—could stop him from going back to serve his
This time around, Jim serves as operations officer for Juliet Company, a Ranger
squad with high demands placed on it to find and eliminate Viet Cong forces
slipping across the Cambodian border. Fighting the enemy in the rice paddy
terrain between Saigon and the border requires even more planning, training, and
battlefield guile than do the tropical rain forests of the Central Highlands.
Night Work brings to vivid life the courage and selfless dedication of
the Army Rangers in Vietnam—and the profound costs of war.
A Poem From Punk:
Selected Poems. By Capt. Alfred “Punk”
Fowler, USN (Ret), Life Member. New Hanover. ISBN 978-1-939132-05-5.
From Punk is a selection of poems Al wrote to his sweetheart,
Katie Shadle, in high school before they graduated together in 1944 and married
in 1945. A documentary of the miracle of young love, A Poem From Punk tells the story of a young man’s expression of the
love experienced by two young people who grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, fell in
love as teenagers and waited for the end of World War II.
The Saga of the Mackinnon Clan. By Capt. Jerry Love, USN
(Ret), Life Member, Central Florida Chapter. Xlibris, www.xlibris.com. ISBN
978-1-4931-7642-7. 268 pp. $16. Available at www.amazon.com and www.bn.com.
This novel begins in the eighteenth century with the
first generation of an imaginary extended family and how well documented
historical events prompt the family to seek a better way of life. The family
initially resides in the British Isles and with the passage of time migrates to
the new world in the United States.
It continues with the adventures and experiences of two
brothers who, after four years of combat in the Civil War, decide to establish
a new life in the Wyoming Territory where they meet and marry two beautiful
young ladies. The sensual love shared by one of the brothers and his beautiful
bride on their wedding night is described in detail, a deep love they
experience throughout their adult life.
After building a successful cattle ranch, they are faced
with challenges associated with protecting their property from politically
active large ranching interests determined to annihilate them with every means
at their disposal, whether inside or outside of the law. The determined intent
of the large ranchers to destroy the small ranchers results in an all out war
that is eventua1ly won by the small ranchers with the support of the duly
elected law enforcement officials, determined to wipe out all illegal
activities such as lynching’s and cattle rustling.
The principal activities of the novel occur in the
northeastern frontier area of the Wyoming Territory, where the breathtaking
Bighorn Mountains cast a shadow over the Powder River Basin, long recognized as
one of the most desirable cattle grazing areas in the country.
Although life on an isolated frontier ranch is often
thought of as being very boring with an aster life style, there are many
available amenities that the two brother and their two families thoroughly
enjoy as described in the novel. These include country style dancing such as
the polka, waltz, and the two step, hunting big game including elk, bighorn
sheep, and antelope, horse-back riding, bird hunting, fly fishing for trout,
and enjoyable experiences associated with visits to large western cities such
as Denver and San Francisco.
Take Back the Night: A Novel of Vietnam. By Lt. Col. Dennis Foley, USA (Ret). Ivy Books. ISBN
the increasingly divided Juliet Company, racial tensions are running high and
morale is at an all-time low. Combat readiness seems tenuous. Captain Jim
Hollister’s first order of business is to bring his company back into fighting
shape. To survive hot LZs, sleepless nights, and a tireless enemy, the men of
Juliet Company have to train hard and then fight harder—and watch out for their
brothers in arms.
commander Captain Jim Hollister makes extreme demands on his Rangers to enhance
their combat expertise and survivability through rigorous training and
preparations for each operation. As the US begins its withdrawal of troops,
Hollister and his men are entrusted with gathering the critical intelligence
needed to save American lives while attempting to eliminate or capture as many
enemy soldiers as they can with their small teams of Rangers.
infiltration patrols into Viet Cong camps deep in Cambodia to critical
oversight by a chain of command without much understanding of ranger patrol
techniques, Hollister even has to protect his men from higher headquarters. The
operations he oversees reveal the physical and psychological wounds of a war
that can never be forgotten.
Back the Night is
the searing final chapter in Dennis Foley’s acclaimed Jim Hollister Trilogy.
Tears for Cambodia. By Lt. Col. Ed Mooney, USA (Ret). Dog Ear Publishing,
www.edmooneybooks.com. ISBN 978-1-4575-2400-4. 292 pp. $15.99.
Lt. Colonel Max Donatello left the military decades ago, but
his experiences serving in Cambodia never left him. As the story in this new
novel relays, his beloved wife, Emily, left him after years of marriage because
he refused to share his pain or get professional help that might allow him to
move beyond the trauma of his past. Now
Max and his children, Chris and Melissa, are grieving Emily’s untimely death,
and Max finds himself reliving past mistakes and looking for a way to make his
future (and his relationships with his children) better.
For years, Emily had urged Max to go back to Cambodia, to
face the nightmares head on and possibly overcome them. Max resisted, but now
he feels compelled to revisit the country that was nearly destroyed by the
Khmer Rouge so many years ago. Max’s story is told in flashback, as he relives
his former life while visiting the Cambodia of today. Max plans to spend nearly
a month in Southeast Asia; will he be able to put the horrors that haunt his
dreams to rest, or will they overcome him, destroying his foundering
relationship with his family?
Tears for Cambodia
is a sympathetic portrait of an officer helplessly following orders, even
though he knows they will result in tragedy. Max’s pain and the courage with
which he faces his demons are compelling, and readers will be rooting for Max
and his redemption.
Blue-Eyed Boy: A Memoir. By Capt. Robert Timberg, USMC
(Ret), Life Member. The
Penguin Press. ISBN 978-1-59420-566-8. 384 pp. $17.68.
Robert Timberg’s extraordinary, long-awaited memoir of his struggle to reclaim
his life and find his calling after being severely burned as a young Marine
lieutenant in Vietnam.
In January 1967, Robert Timberg was a short-timer, counting
down the days until his combat tour ended. He had thirteen days to go before he
got to go back home to his wife in Southern California. That homecoming would
eventually happen, but not in thirteen days, and not as the person he once was.
The moment his vehicle struck a Vietcong land mine divided his life into before
He survived, barely, with third-degree burns over his face and much of his
body. It would have been easy to give up. Instead, Robert Timberg
began an arduous and uncertain struggle back—not just to physical recovery, but
to a life of meaning. Remarkable as his return to health was—he endured
thirty-five operations, one without anesthesia—just as remarkable was his decision
to reinvent himself as a journalist and enter one of the most public of
professions. Blue-Eyed Boy is a gripping, occasionally comic
account of what it took for an ambitious man, aware of his frightful appearance
but hungry for meaning and accomplishment, to master a new craft amid the
pitying stares and shocked reactions of many he encountered on a daily basis.
By the 1980s, Timberg had moved into the upper ranks of his profession, having
secured a prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard and a job as White House
correspondent for The Baltimore Sun. Suddenly his work brought his
life full circle: the Iran-Contra scandal broke. At its heart were three fellow
Naval Academy graduates and Vietnam-era veterans, Oliver North, Bud McFarlane,
and John Poindexter. Timberg’s coverage of that story resulted in his first
book, The Nightingale’s Song, a powerful work of narrative
nonfiction that follows these three academy graduates and two others—John
McCain and Jim Webb—from Annapolis through Vietnam and into the Reagan years.
In Blue-Eyed Boy, Timberg relates how he came to know and develop a
deep understanding of these five men, and how their stories helped him
understand the ways the Vietnam War and the furor that swirled around it
continued to haunt him, and the nation as a whole, as they still do even now,
nearly four decades after its dismal conclusion.
Like others of his generation, Robert Timberg had to travel an unexpectedly
hard and at times bitter road. In facing his own life with the same tools of
wisdom, human empathy, and storytelling grit he has always brought to his
journalism, he has produced one of the most moving and important memoirs of our
Hurricanes to Antarctica: Tales of a Naval Aviator. By
Capt. Alfred N. Fowler, USN (Ret) Life Member. New Hanover. ISBN 978-1-939132-06-2.
his book Hurricanes to Antarctica,
Fowler takes the reader on a ride, flying low, and into the eye. Before
satellites were available, low-level aircraft penetration was the procedure
used to accurately observe the size and strength of hurricanes, measure the
lowest pressure, and locate the center. The author describes his experiences
flying in the Navy hurricane hunter squadron during the 1950s and also his
experiences in a leadership role in Antarctica — both on and off the ice.
addition, Captain Fowler served as executive officer in an aircraft carrier,
the USS Kearsarge, during the Vietnam
War. He completed his naval career in command of Operation Deep Freeze in
Antarctica. Then his service “down on the ice” continued as the deputy division
director of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation where he shared
responsibility for the United States Antarctic Program. Following retirement
from NSF, he was employed by the American Geophysical Union in Washington,
D.C., where he served as the first executive secretary for the Council of
managers of National Antarctic Programs.
Just an Ordinary American Extraordinarily Blessed. By
John T. Reeves. Xlibris.
ISBN 978-1-4771-2165-8. 146 pp. $26.99.
This book is about the journey of a
lifetime of just an ordinary American who was extraordinarily blessed with life altering opportunities to grow and serve in the highest levels of Government, the Church, and elsewhere and lived to share these stories.
author is extremely grateful for the successes he has enjoyed in
life and for the “doors of opportunity” opened to him. His desire to
encourage others by sharing his experiences from a humble beginning in
the foothills of North Carolina to the highest levels of Government, the
Church, and travels to ancient cities of the world is the reason for
It is a book appropriate for all ages – children and
young adults who need inspiration and encouragement; more mature persons
who are in their parenting and working years; and senior citizens who
will be blessed by a stroll down memory lane as they recall their own
The Lieutenant Don’t Know: One Marine’s Story of Warfare and Combat Logistics in Afghanistan. By Capt. Jeff Clement, USMC. Casemate. ISBN 978-1612002484.
Jeff Clement's first
book is an account of his time as a US Marine Corps Logistics Officer and truck
platoon commander running convoys in Afghanistan's Helmand Province in 2010.
The book follows his platoon on treacherous patrols across rugged
terrain, weathering dozens of enemy attacks. The platoon perseveres to provide
vital supplies to friendly units. This is the first book about the
Marines’ combat logisticians in Afghanistan. The Lieutenant Don’t Know provides a refreshing look at the gritty
challenges our Marines face in Afghanistan, from the perspective of a young
officer who was willing to learn and take responsibility for his unit in a