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Flying Through Midnight: A Pilot's Dramatic Story of His Secret Missions Over Laos During the Vietnam War Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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The Amazon Book Review
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When John Halliday arrived at Thailand's Nakhon Phanom Air Base in 1970, he thought the next year would bore him out of his skull. He believed his mission in the Vietnam War would be to fly cargo around Thailand. What could be easier? A couple of nights later, Halliday found himself dodging dozens of anti-aircraft shells in an aging cargo plane over the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Flying Through Midnight is his riveting account of his top-secret black-ops assignment--one of the most dangerous of the war.
Halliday flew slow propeller-driven relics at night deep into guerrilla territory in the "unofficial" war in Laos. His task with the 606th Special Operations Squadron was to help pinpoint guerrilla truck convoys for U.S. planes to bomb. Meanwhile, President Richard Nixon denied U.S. forces were fighting in Laos. Halliday wasn't even supposed to tell his wife what he was doing. His mail and phone calls were monitored, and soon he went from being a jittery FNG ("f---ing new guy") to a decorated war hero who logged 800 combat flight hours in Vietnam and the Gulf War. He was awarded the Air Force's Distinguished Flying Cross for one particularly amazing feat of bravery--a nighttime crash-landing on an unlit airstrip amid soaring mountains, which saved his crew. Flying Through Midnight does a remarkable job bringing to life Halliday's dramatic combat experiences, the foibles of his superiors, the brutalities of war, and the colorful quirks of his fellow flyboys, including his roommate whose favorite hobby was reading canned-food labels. There's not much here about the deeper rationale of the Vietnam War, but it's a gripping read. --Alex Roslin --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
From Publishers Weekly
If a major part of any good reading of a memoir is engendering the belief that the reader's voice could, theoretically speaking, belong to the person who had actually lived through those events, Dufris's reading of Halliday's Vietnam War memoir fails on all counts. Halliday's account of his service flying top-secret missions over Laos combines war reportage with accounts of jovial military camaraderie straight out of a 1930s Hollywood film, and Dufris's mannered, overenthusiastic reading fails to convey any of the grit or good humor of Halliday's story. Grasping onto each anecdote like a drowning man clinging to a lifeboat, Dufris manages to suck out all of the meager energy of Halliday's already familiar narrative. One is left wishing for a more nuanced, careful, low-key reading, in the hopes that such an approach might have been able to salvage some of the value of Halliday's war stories.
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