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It’s 1968. Hamilton Hancock is the Distinguished Graduate at his Undergraduate Pilot Training class at Laughlin Air Force Base. He is on the fast track to become a fighter pilot, slated to fly an F-100, F-105 or F-4 in Vietnam. Then, the “needs of the service” intervenes, and he is assigned to fly one of the smallest, slowest aircraft in the Air Force inventory, the O-2A.
Hamilton becomes a Forward Air Controller (FAC) in Vietnam, based at DaNang Air Base, and picks up the nickname “Hamfist”. While Hamfist flies in air combat over the Ho Chi Minh Trail and battles an enemy gunner with a deadly record, on the ground he must also battle his inner fears and personal demons.
When he repeatedly loses friends shortly after reconnecting with them, Hamfist becomes convinced there is a “Hamfist curse”. He becomes a virtual hermit, and tries to avoid interacting with his friends. Then he receives a letter that devastates him.
Just when his personal life reaches its lowest point, Hamfist goes to Tokyo on R&R and meets his soul mate. They had lost an opportunity to meet six years earlier, and now Fate has given them another chance. Hamfist returns from R&R with a renewed sense of optimism.
His life is taking a turn for the better. But first he must make it through his Vietnam duty unscathed.
Inspired by actual events.
This novel is the first book in the Hamfist Trilogy. The combat action continues in the sequel, "Hamfist Down!".