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The Night Stalkers Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 28, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, December 28, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly

Until 1980, Special Forces (Delta, SEALs, Rangers, Green Berets) relied on ad hoc transportation from other units to get to every operation. That led to disaster in 1980, when the failed Iranian hostage rescue left hulks of five helicopters in the Iranian desert. The U.S. Army decided to do it right the next time, resulting in the creation of SOAR, the Special Operations Aviation Regiment, a highly trained, aggressive unit of helicopter pilots and crew. Durant (In the Company of Heroes) and coauthors recount half a dozen SOAR missions from Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1989 to Afghanistan and Iraq today, all with abundant fireworks and casualties. However, in this account, bravery occurs only on our side, while opponents are gleefully cackling comic-book villains blown to smithereens by America's deadly firepower. Readers who wonder why our magnificent troops are assailing, say, the Panamanian army, which no one would mistake for the Wehrmacht, have picked up the wrong book. It's written for those who love vivid tales of battlefield heroics and seek no more insight from books than they do from video games. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

Three authors, all army veterans, join forces for this history of their service's Special Aviation Regiment. Founded in the 1970s, the unit received a boost from the Iran hostage fiasco. It first went to war in Grenada in 1983 and since then has flown, usually by night, hence the name Night Stalkers, everywhere army special-ops troops have needed to be delivered and supported. Durant and coauthor Robert L. Johnson are veterans of the regiment itself, so they can retell, vividly but discreetly, what it feels like to go into action against what are frequently blood-chilling odds. Sometimes the Stalkers use state-of-the-art stealth helicopters, in whose development the regiment played a significant role; at other times, they use more conventional "birds" and rely on darkness and skill. The book's action scenes are numerous and spine-tingling, its portraits of men living a life of danger absorbing, and the regiment's sadly long roll of honor distinctly moving. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (December 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399153926
  • ASIN: B000RW9DK4
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,936,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Douglas H. Mcconnell MD on January 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have just finished this book in a great 4 night read. I found the book to be well written, exciting and a great tribute to the men and families of the Night Stalkers. I served at Fort Campbell as an Army Surgeon during the creation of this unit (1980-81) and saw the first "Little Bird" conversions. One of the authors (LtCol Bob Johnson) was my guide on that day. Until then, I had never seen a helicopter with seats on the OUTSIDE! My thanks to the authors for providing insight into a very secret and special military unit and some of its famous operations.
My family and I are glad that we have the men and the will to create, deploy and support a unit such as this. I hope that we can all learn what it means to be an American from this book and the Night Stalkers.
Read this book - you will not be disappointed! NSDQ
Doug McConnell, M.D. Long Beach, CA
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Format: Paperback
As the child of a former Little BIrd pilot this book taught me a lot about what my dad did as I was growing up throughout the 80s and 90s. I was always told he's a helicopter pilot but we couldn't know where he was going or what he was doing-it was secret. What does a little girl know? That just meant I couldn't know where he was going or what he was doing-since he had been doing this since I was 3 it was normal. As a little girl in the 80s I had no idea that my dad was a "real" hero (much to his dismay his name is actually mentioned in this book-as is the nature of most of these men, they like to keep their identities to themselves, and bragging is usually not in their nature). It wasn't until I found out he was working with Navy Seals when I was around 14 that I realized there was more to my dad's job then a lot of my friends who's dads were 101st helicopter pilots. It was at this time that my mom told me a little more about the importance that his unit/company actually played in top secret missions. Still, she gave no details (as she never knew any herself)-which is where this book has filled in the blanks. Great military history in this book-much of which the regular American will never know even happened.

I am keeping this book (i received a free copy) for my son so when he is older he can read about what his grandfather did and about the silent heroes who put their lives on the line to keep America safe. I would actually purchase this book if I hadn't received the free copy, and would love to see it on the Kindle-it would definitely be worth having! It's also neat to read about men who I knew and to think about their families whom I was/am close to.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a excellent account of the early history of those visionaries who brought the 160th into being. The short bio of each individual serves to underscore the tenacity of the founding Night Stalkers, and those who man the Regiment today. "Night Stalkers Don't Quit!" is not just another catchy slogan, it's a way of life within the Regiment at all levels.
It's really a shame that the American taxpayer cannot see all they are getting for their tax dollars from the members of the 160th, and the units they support. SPEC OPS is perhaps the biggest bang for the buck in the military today. I'm glad some of the declassified missions were able to come to the light of day. NSDQ! Night Stalker 1986 - 1998
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The authors are presenting a brief and bit shallow overview of the history of the US Army's Special Operations Aviation Regiment, from it's first missions after Vietnam to Afghanistan, through short chapters, each one dealing with one particular mission and with extensive narrative from the participants.

As a former member of this regiment, Mr. Durant is evidently well prepared to tell the stories "from within". Unfortunately, as with so many books dealing with the rather secretive Special Forces, the need to keep (still widely used) tactics and procedures secret means that sometimes many interesting facets of the operations are kept untold. At least I found myself (too) many times asking "why" and "how", without finding any answers in the book.

Nevertheless, the brief glimpse that the reader is allowed into this secretive world reveals a long succession of very professional men (and women) with a strong dedication to their job and a deep sense of duty and honor. The overall reading experience is positive and interesting, it's just that many times you wish the authors would be allowed to tell us more of the full story behind the few facts uncovered. In case you wonder, only the truly gripping description of the (failed) mission in Afghanistan is well worth the price of the book!

Overall, the authors provide us with a unique insight into an area of the US military forces that is usually invisible for us "mortals", and does so in an interesting and engaging way - recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the kind of book that get you reading for hours.

Already among my favourites.

I think this is one of the most descriptive accounts about what the Night Stalkers do and a very detailled description of the few missions that can be talked about.

An excellent book.
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