Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Firebirds: The Best First-Person Account of Helicopter Combat in Vietnam Ever Written Hardcover – January 1, 1995


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$12.00 $1.45
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$19.75

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 285 pages
  • Publisher: The Summit Publishing Group; 1st edition (January 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565301978
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565301979
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #956,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"One rocket had hit dead center between the shoulder blades of a VC, and as it exploded, his commie soul was left in a geyser of mud, blood, and human debris." With remarks like these, Carlock brings to gruesome life his stint in Vietnam, 1967-1968, flying gunships and "slicks," or troop-carrying choppers, for the Army. A 19-year-old volunteer who expected adventure with a spice of danger, Carlock instead found horror and learned fear. He flew fragile machines without parachutes, with no limit on the number of missions, in a war whose purpose was opaque. He is brutally frank about his feelings and actions. To Carlock, Vietnamese on the ground were targets, and he describes his kills in the tone of a big-game hunter. But if his enemies were faceless, they were human as well: eager to shoot him down, to burn him alive in the wreckage of his ship or to execute him should he try to surrender. This grim narrative is a compelling reminder that the essence of war is killing from fear of being killed, and that killing is never a remote process, even when done from the air. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Chuck Carlock volunteered to become a helicopter pilot in August 1966, convinced that by the time he finished training, the Vietnam War would be over. Little did he know that he would see some of the war's most intense action, including the Tet offensives. Carlock portrays countless dangers, from an elusive enemy and treacherous terrain to blinding weather, faulty equipment, and friendly fire. He rides the pendulum between fear and fearlessness during his many brushes with death. Along with the danger and tension, Carlock tells us about the camaraderie and humor shared by men who lived on the edge. Carlock's stories will sometimes shock you, sometimes bring a smile to your face, and sometimes make you angry. Learn about "secret" missions into a neutral country. Discover how the Walker spy ring cost American lives. Most of all, find out what it was like for a twenty-one-year-old farm boy to find himself suddenly immersed in vicious daily combat, making decisions that determined the fate of hundreds of lives. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I enjoyed it, very detailed and kept my interest throughout.
Michael P. Holahan
Captured by Carlock are the human emotions, machines, strategy, tactics, operations, as well as the excitement, dangers and the combat scenes, which are all excellent.
Russ Warriner
I've read many military aviation books through the years and this is really the best.
Allen Goh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David L. Eastman on February 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
While I find the title a bit presumptious, I did note that Chuck Carlock experienced a lot of bullet holes in the olive drab fuselages of the Charlie models he flew in his area of Vietnam. My experiences were in the Delta, where I think we had a greater variety of tasks and episodes to discuss and carry out. My time with the Outlaws of the 175th Avn. Company were far more enjoyable that being "up-north" with these American units described. I know what I missed. Still, it is good that some of us helicopter pilots have recorded our flying deeds in this once-in-a-lifetime experience, one we treasure now that we survived it!! Chuck salutes many of his fellow pilots at the end of the book and shows that many Vietnam vets are now successful men of stature and success in their communities.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Brewer on March 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a Vietnam War buff and a student helicopter pilot, I absolutely loved this book! The accounts are very engaging; I never wanted to put the book down. Carlock's writing is great: my "mind's eye" always had a running image of the book as I read. Definitely recommend it!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By T. Whigham on June 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
Chuck Carlock is a veteran of the Vietnam War and a member of a military helicopter pilots association, which gives him access to both his memories and those of his buddies. Fly with him as he takes you out on missions in Huey gunships and slicks (so named because they carried no guns, hence their sides were 'slick') as he crisscrosses some of the hottest spots in the theatre. And when he's done with you, his buddies step in and take you on med evac hops and Special Forces inserts deep inside Cambodia. Hands down, this is the best book of 'Nam chopper flying I've read (except for perhaps 'Chickenhawk'). And after you've read this book, pop 'Apocalypse Now' or 'Platoon' in the VCR (or DVD) and get the total 'Nam experience.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
The book Firebirds tells of the dangers of being a firebird helicopter pilot. This book tells of both the comical side and the cold hard truth about flying helicopter gunships in vietnam
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Vislocky on September 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book by an author who was there and lived it. Great personal insight by the author into the Vietnam helicopter pilot experience.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DAN RODGERS on September 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am Dan Rodgers author of Call Me Sergeant Rock (How a Boy Becomes a Man in Vietnam.) I am constantly requested to review books of this genre. The author describes what happens in the air in Vietnam. My book describes what we did on the ground. I am not here to promote my book, but our books parallel each other so much that I have to mention it. I was a Sergeant squad leader grunt. As a grunt we thought that the chopper pilots had it made, as a matter of fact I volunteered for becoming a door gunner. After reading Chuck Carlock's book I am glad the army did not allow me to get out of the field and into a chopper. The author and I must have met up lots of times in Vietnam. My unit, the 196th LIB, was always north of Chu Lai. All the way to the DMZ we traveled. How many times did Chuck Carlock help us? Firebirds is a great book.

Dan Rodgers (Author)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By illinizam08 on August 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This story matches up well with other first-hand accounts Vietnam Veterans have shared with me. Have travelled to Danang myself, so this book speaks a special message to me about a dark point in history of such a beautiful country.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jetmech on July 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down. I read it in one day. One of the best first person accounts from a helicopter pil;ot that I have ever read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?