Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
LBJ'S Hired Gun: A Marine Corps Helicopter Gunner and the War in Vietnam Hardcover – December 27, 2007
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
These are the matter-of-fact memories of a Marine Corps helicopter gunner. His well-told story rattles along with a seam of Marine humour. "You got all the free ammunition you wanted, endless cold beers to drink, and boom boom girls to party with. Who could ask for more? of course there were some minor problems like all the VCs and VNAs who wanted to kill us". * Soldier Magazine *
About the Author
John J. Gebhart grew up on a dead end street in West Philadelphia and graduated from Monsignor Bonnor High School. In 1964, he quit St. Joseph's College after his sophmore year to join the Marines, his childhood dream, and spent September 1965 to September 1967 in Vietnam. Returning to St. Joseph's College in 1968, he graduated with a degree in Business Administration and started an employment service, which he still runs today. He also owns Iron Triangle Paintball Club, where famous battles from Vietnam are fought in bamboo forests and muddy swamps. He was inducted into the "Enlisted Combat Aircrew Roll of Honor" on November 14, 2003 aboard the USS Yorktown docked at Patriots Point in Charlestown, SC. He currently lives with his wife Betty and his German Shepard Corporal Logan in Zionsville, PA.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Though I knew him in 1965-66, I did not know of his exploits until such time I read his book. I concur with his tales, slightly increased at times, for the sake of his story line. The book was not written as an historic piece of works, but as a wise ass he was, which comes over loud and clear. Wise ass or not, he has my respect for flying daily and over 240 combat missions. My cover is off to you, my fellow Marine Corps Sergeant, for your works about your book, as well as for all you did within our historic squadron of VMO-6.
It was this helicopter squadron, VMO-6, that first rescued a downed pilot behind enemy lines in the history of America, during World War II, that went on to fly over Iwo Jima at the Battle of Okinawa. We served, we did what was required, when it was required, just like Sgt Gebhardt did in Vietnam. Our squadron Commanding Officer, Major William Joseph Goodsell, Navy Cross winner, was killed in action over Hill 488, attempting to save then Staff Sergeant Howard and his other 17 Marines (Medal of Honor winner), and Captain Steven W. Pless, (Medal of Honor winner), both of VMO-6, join with the likes of Sgt Gebhardt for doing what was required, when it was required. It is men and Marines like Sgt Gebhart, the wise ass he probably still is, that eventually placed VMO-6 where it rightfully belongs, as evidenced by the contents within his book.
It takes a dedicated Marine to fly almost every single day, that has to face solid lead curtains of enemy rounds coming at you from everywhere at times. It is these kinds of actions that I take to heart for those who flew the daily combat missions to protect those on the ground we were flying over. We as air crew enjoyed flying and helping protect those ground pounders; and we knew they loved us being where we were, as they always gave us a thumbs up, showing their appreciation for our fire power and protection.
I recommend his work, not as a historic meaning of facts or literature style, but simply in down to earth language about what he experienced in war for two years, two months. Well done, Gebhardt. I thoroughly enjoyed your works!
For so called critics that bad mouth those that show what they have daily in combat when they write their stories, I would only suggest you grow some bigger male parts and expose yourself as Gebhardt did, and others within the Air Wing that hung theirs out to dry every single day during the Vietnam War. Only 3% of this nation has ever gone to war, when war called, and these 3% of heroes, protected your sorry asses back here in the states. Why isn't it I read of your spineless exploits within America?
Sgt Raymond L. Britt, USMC, Vietnam Veteran with VMO-6.
I don't have any idea (and really don't much care) if Gebhart was a decorated vietnam veteran or not. What I do know, is if his recollections are anything close to being accurate, then he does NOT reflect what the USMC stands for, and how I saw it conduct itself in SEA. He is not representative of the brave and dedicated, honest and moral men and women that I served with. Was there many examples of the behaviour he describes (and revels in)? Yes. There were drunks,cowards,incompetents,misfits and bigots. It was my experience they were the exception and not the rule. Some readers have described this as a "comic book". I say it wasn't even that good. Halfway thru I tossed it.
His personal accounts are for the most part interesting. However, there is some skepticism on my part as to the veracity of all of his tales. In many ways he comes across as a braggard and a bully and he leaves the reader wondering how much of his stories are not embellished to some degree. So instead of getting a big "Bang" from this book, it only went "Pop."
This is an entertaining read. If fact and fiction could have been discerned, I would have given this book another star.