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Basher Five-Two: The True Story of F-16 Fighter Pilot Captain Scott O'Grady Paperback – July 6, 1998
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5 Up. On June 2, 1995, while 29-year-old Air Force Captain Scott O'Grady flew his 47th mission over Bosnia, his F-16 fighter plane was downed by a Serbian land missile. O'Grady relates the events of his six-day, harrowing adventure after parachuting from his disabled plane. Left with minimal supplies and a radio low on battery life, Basher Five-Two (O'Grady's "call sign" for the mission) avoided enemy detection, protected himself from the elements, and subsisted on a diet of leaves, ants, and rainwater. The author effectively communicates not just the details of his miraculous survival, but also how he relied on his love of family and religious faith in dealing with his fear and despair. To create suspense, the narrative is interrupted at the point that the plane is shot down with a chapter that gives details of the soldier's childhood and military training. This break in narrative flow, however, makes it more difficult for younger readers to stay with this inspirational story. Black-and-white photos appear in a 16-page center insert. The memoir ends with a satisfying account of O'Grady's rescue and subsequent treatment as a national hero, even though he claims, "I wasn't really a hero...I was a survivor."?Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 6^-10. "The Great American Celebrity Machine wanted to make me a hero. As I'd tried to explain to so many people, I wasn't really a hero, I was a survivor." O'Grady, who miraculously survived six days in enemy territory after his F-16 was shot down, returned to find a nation fascinated with his adventure. In minute detail, O'Grady, with help from French, tells his amazing story, from his parachute drop and endeavors to evade hostile Bosnian Serbs to sustaining himself by eating ants and drinking water from rain-soaked socks. Although it must have been tempting to sensationalize the fascinating events, this title is a model of restraint, and with relevant aspects of O'Grady's childhood and military training interspersed throughout the book, readers get a clear sense of O'Grady's strength of character and will to survive. A great hook for reluctant readers. Lauren Peterson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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One of the marines whom I was acquainted with told me of the bullet that went through the canteen of the guy sitting next to him, spun around on the shaking helicopter floor in front of them until the guy reached down and picked it up. An RPG also flashed by their little bubble window but missed.
The crew chief I spoke with said that capt O'Grady had his side arm in hand as he tried to climb aboard the chopper and would not follow instructions to put it away first. The crew chief was worried that a strung out O'Grady might cause an accidental discharge in the aircraft. When O'Grady continued to refuse, the chief knocked his wrist against the door edge until he let go of the gun.
Overall, it is precisely as I remember it from my position as ship's crew but it is nice finally learning his side of the operation, which of course is the more important story.