TO THE LIMIT. An Air Cav Huey Pilot in Vietnam. Helicopter pilots in Vietnam kidded one another about being nothing but glorified bus drivers. But these “rotor heads” saved thousands of American lives while performing what the Army classified as the most dangerous job it had to offer. One in eighteen did not return home.
Tom A. Johnson flew the UH-1 “Iroquois” — better known as the “Huey” — in the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion of the First Air Cavalry Division. From June 1967 through June 1968, he accumulated an astonishing 1,600 flying hours (1,150 combat and 450 noncombat). His battalion was one of the most highly decorated units in the Vietnam War and, as part of the famous 1st Air Cavalry Division, helped redefine modern warfare.
With tremendous flying skill, Johnson survived rescue missions and key battles that included those for Hue and Khe Sanh and operations in the A Shau and Song Re valleys, while many of his comrades did not. His heartfelt and riveting memoir will strike a chord with any soldier who ever flew in the ubiquitous Huey and any reader with an interest in how the Vietnam War was really fought.
About The Author:
TOM A. JOHNSON is a businessman living near Atlanta. For his Vietnam War service, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal (with five Silver Leaf Clusters), and the Bronze Star.
"'I am touching my first dead person, and unfortunately I know him. . . .' When you strap into a Huey with Tom Johnson, you’re in for the real thing. TO THE LIMIT is a first-person journey into the grit, grimness, and chaos of war, told by a helicopter hero in a way that nails the feel, the mood, and the talk of Air Cavalrymen in battle. No one has previously captured the Vietnam helicopter experience with such gripping authenticity." --Robert F. Dorr, author of CHOPPER: A HISTORY OF AMERICAN MILITARY HELICOPTER OPERATIONS FROM WWII TO THE WAR ON TERROR
"This is the real thing: helicopter combat at its birth. No wonder Army helo drivers were among the most decorated aviators of the Vietnam War. Tom Johnson truly shows us what the rank-and-file Huey crews experienced." --Peter B. Mersky, author of FROM THE FLIGHT DECK: AN ANTHOLOGY OF THE BEST WRITING ON CARRIER WARFARE and U.S. MARINE CORPS AVIATION: 1912 TO THE PRESENT
"Always leery of superlatives in book reviews, I feel compelled to use them in describing Tom Johnson’s TO THE LIMIT. It is an intense, compelling, gut-wrenching narrative--by far the best account of helicopter warfare I have read." --William Smallwood, author of STRIKE EAGLE: FLYING THE F-15E IN THE GULF WAR and WARTHOG: FLYING THE A-10 IN THE GULF
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