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Viper Pilot : A Memoir of Air Combat
by Dan Hampton


Overview -

151 combat missions21 hard kills on surface-to-air-missile sites4 Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor1 Purple Heart

Sure to rank as one of the greatest aviation memoirs ever written, Viper Pilot is an Air Force legend's thrilling eyewitness account of modern air warfare

From 1986 to 2006, Lt.  Read more...


 
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More About Viper Pilot by Dan Hampton
 
 
 
Overview

151 combat missions21 hard kills on surface-to-air-missile sites4 Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor1 Purple Heart

Sure to rank as one of the greatest aviation memoirs ever written, Viper Pilot is an Air Force legend's thrilling eyewitness account of modern air warfare

From 1986 to 2006, Lt. Col. Dan Hampton was a leading member of the Wild Weasels, the elite Air Force fighter squadrons whose mission is recognized as the most dangerous job in modern air combat. Weasels are the first planes sent into a war zone, flying deep behind enemy lines purposely seeking to draw fire from surface-to-air missiles and artillery. They must skillfully evade being shot down--and then return to destroy the threats, thereby making the skies safe for everyone else to follow. Today these vital missions are more hazardous than direct air-to-air engagement with enemy aircraft. Hampton's record number of strikes on high-value targets make him the most lethal F-16 Wild Weasel pilot in American history. This is his remarkable story.

Taught to fly at an early age by his father, Hampton logged twenty years and 608 combat hours in the world's most iconic fighter jet: the F-16 "Fighting Falcon," or "Viper" as its pilots call it. Hampton spearheaded the 2003 invasion of Iraq, leading the first flight of fighters over the border en route to strike Baghdad. In the war that followed, he engaged in a series of brilliantly executed missions that earned him three Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor; he notably saved a U.S. Marine unit from certain death by taking out the surrounding enemy forces near Nasiriyah. Two years earlier, on 9/11, Hampton's father was inside the Pentagon when it was attacked; with his dad's fate unknown, Hampton was scrambled into American skies and given the unprecedented orders to shoot down any unidentified aircraft. Hampton also flew critical missions in the first Gulf War, served on the Air Combat Command staff during the Kosovo War, and was injured in the 1996 Khobar Towers terrorist attack.

With manned missions rapidly giving way to remote-controlled UAV drones, Viper Pilot may be the last memoir by a true hero of the skies. Gripping and irreverently humorous, it is an unforgettable look into the closed world of fighter pilots and modern air combat.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062130358
  • ISBN-10: 0062130358
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co
  • Publish Date: October 2012
  • Page Count: 337
  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Military
Books > History > Military - Aviation
Books > History > Military - Iraq War (2003-)

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-03-04
  • Reviewer: Staff

Hampton, one of America’s most renowned fighter pilots—a retired, decorated Air Force lieutenant colonel—shares a brash and bold account of his 20 year military service in this fast-paced adventure memoir. He recounts his early education at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, his personal experience of September 11th, and the hair-raising missions of two Gulf wars. A member of the Wild Weasels, an elite group of pilots who fly into enemy territory to draw fire so that threats can be exposed and eliminated, Hampton has amassed an almost unbelievable collection of tales, including how he survived the Khobar Towers bombing and countless other experiences "seeing the Elephant" as he engaged in close calls that forced him to acknowledge the probability of his demise. While military buffs and those who have endured combat will enjoy Hampton’s fast, unfiltered tales, civilian readers may have a more difficult time, as each chapter contains so much military jargon that a glossary of terms has been appended at the end of the book. Still, Hampton’s honest, audacious style makes for an entertaining read, and those instances where the author digresses, offering unfiltered opinions or a rare glimpse of life outside of the cockpit, are especially intriguing. (Oct.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews