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To the Limit: An Air Cav Huey Pilot in Vietnam Hardcover – June 1, 2006
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"Johnson's description of flying the venerable Huey 'to the limit' and sometimes beyond is indeed riveting."
". . . .an absorbing book. Whether or not you served in the military or ever flew in a helicopter, it will grab you and hold your attention."
"A riveting, well-written book that puts the reader right there in the cockpit. . . . To the Limit is worthy of its own screen rendition. What makes [it] such a credible work is that it is not just blood and guts. Johnson writes with passion and earnestness regarding these character-building episodes that helped define him. . . . The only whining you will hear is the powerful engine of the Huey that Tom Johnson describes so vividly that you can almost feel the ground shake."
“ ‘I am touching my first dead person and unfortunately I know him. . . .’ When you strap into a Huey with Tom Johnson, you’re in for the real thing. To the Limitis a first-person journey into the grit, grimness, and chaos of war, told by a helicopter hero in a way that nails the feel, the mood, and the talk of Air Cavalrymen in battle. No one has previously captured the Vietnam helicopter experience with such gripping authenticity.”
“This is the real thing: helicopter combat at its birth. No wonder Army helo drivers were among the most decorated aviators of the Vietnam War. Tom Johnson truly shows us what the rank-and-file Huey crews experienced.”
“Always leery of superlatives in book reviews, I feel compelled to use them in describing Tom Johnson’s To the Limit. It is an intense, compelling, gut-wrenching narrative—by far the best account of helicopter warfare I have read.”
From the Publisher
A nineteen-year-old learns to master a helicopterand his courageduring intensely dangerous and innovative air assault missions
A seat-of-the-pants Vietnam War helicopter-flying adventure in the tradition of Robert Mason's bestselling Chickenhawk
Highlights such key actions of the Vietnam War in 1967 and 1968 as the Song Re Valley, Hue, Khe Sanh, the Tet Offensive, and the A Shau Valley
Top customer reviews
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Back to Tom's book, I was greatly moved by his descriptions of wounded and dying young men he risked his life to save, and the interactions with other men who accompanied them. The tears welled easily in my eyes as I read the words of a man who certainly could have lost his own life in those efforts. His ability to fly the Huey made a difference in the lives of so many, and he certainly deserved the accolades received for his skill and daring. His descriptions of flying into tiny LZs lit up by mortar and small arms fire --- in darkness! --- were fascinating and heart stopping. For a man so young at the time, his experience, compassion, and leadership skills were exemplary. His love for his wife was also extraordinary, and I am so glad that he survived the war to go back to her. He will always be a hero to me, and I thank him for his service, and taking the time to write this excellent book. I wish him a long life and happiness. email@example.com
This was my first book to read about a soldier's experiences in Vietnam. My dad, who served in the 1st Air Cav, has told me some stories of his experiences as an infrantryman in Vietnam. I searched for a book on Amazon that was written by a veteran who served around the same time my dad served (but was not gruesome) and found Tom A. Johnson's To The Limit. Every minute of the book was captivating! I enjoyed hearing the stories of his experiences, and feeling the triumphs, losses, pride, and pains he felt as he served out his duties as a helicopter pilot for the 1st Cav. I enjoyed it so much that I re-read some chapters to make sure I got every detail of the story. It is easy to read a little at a time, put it down, and pick it back up seamlessly. I wished the story wouldn't have ended, but it ends with a courageous serviceman being able to return home to those who love him. I appreciate Mr. Johnson's service and sacrifice for my freedom. I HIGHLY recommend this to MOTHERS, WIVES, SISTERS, AND DAUGHTERS of Vietnam Veterans who would like to learn, feel, celebrate, mourn, and find humor at times. I am certain you will feel blessed to know Mr. Johnson's story and proud to be an AMERICAN!