Most helpful positive review
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Viper Pilots Ranks Among the Best
on October 5, 2012
As a young Air Force lieutenant, I read Jack Broughton's "Thud Ridge." After my career was over, I read "Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail" by Rick Newman and Don Shepperd. After completing the latter, I asked, "What could be better?" On October 4, 2012, I found my answer. These two classic works of non-fiction about aerial combat have been nicely complemented and, dare I say, surpassed, by Dan Hampton's "Viper Pilot: Memoir of Air Combat." In every respect, Lt. Col. Hampton captures the bullet-sweating fear and exhilaration of air combat in the modern age against enemies conventional and uncoventional. Simply put, I ordered my two hardback copies as soon as I found out I could.
Dan Hampton is the "real deal." He's irreverent. He's cocky (and I personally never had any use for a USAF pilot who didn't think he was the best thing to ever come down road). He's hilarious. Most of all, he is possessed of a deadpan, gunslinger mentality and a sense of purpose focused on doing the things he promised his country he would do in its defense...without hesitation and with lethal determination. I have known "2Dogs" for well over two decades. He is everything I trained him to be as a USAF student pilot and he became everything I knew he could be as a fighter pilot.
For those who have worn the wings of a U.S. Air Force pilot, or the wings of any other military aviator, Dan Hampton's tale will take you back to places in your memory that are familiar, regardless of aircraft flown, and will be a part of you, forever. For those who have never had the privilege of aviation service, Lt. Col. Hampton's vivid and graphic recollections of war against a new type of enemy will make you marvel at the lengths to which America's current generation of sky-warriors will go to protect their countrymen from the horrors of modern terrorists and those who harbor and aid them.
Dan Hampton's marvelous work comes with my highest recommendation. "Viper Pilot" is destined to become an aviation classic!