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Spectre Gunner: The AC-130 Gunship Hardcover – January 30, 2013

3.8 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David M. Burns joined the US Navy in 1951, at the age of fifteen. He retired in 1978 as a master sergeant after a distinguished career in both the navy and air force. He flew 287 combat missions in Vietnam and is a heavily decorated veteran. He has three children and now lives in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, with his wife. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 138 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (January 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475969740
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475969740
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,973,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patrick Cook on February 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Master Sergeant Dave Burns wrote an awesome account of his days in Spectre during Vietnam. I am a fellow career Spectre Aerial Gunner and can definitely vouch for the accuracy and validity of this work. Dave gives all the detail and relives some incredible Spectre AC-130 factual events that have always been legend in our squadron. I have heard some of these accounts but never knew who actually did the deeds until now. I have met Dave numerous times at annual Spectre reunions since my retirement from this great brotherhood and am proud to have him as my friend and fellow Lead Gunner. It was so cool to read this book and walk in Dave's flight boots during the early years of Spectre! This is a MUST READ for anyone interested in the life of a Special Operator and a Enlisted USAF Aircrew Member. Great book and thanks to Dave again for his years of service to America and the United States Air Force. -PJ Cook
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of many many experiences from the Vietnam War. All are valuable stories which help document the individual journeys through the conflict. Having said that, this otherwise readable diary of the author's experience is marred by apparent lack of editing. As noted in other reviews, the use of exclamation marks is just crazy. I had to train myself to ignore them because the book itself is very readable but for the excess number of these. Hopefully a future edit can clean this up.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's all about the author by the author. There's very little about the aircraft systems, how the missions dovetail with conducting the war, and why a gunner temporarily in an elevated platform is better than a "ground pounder". The grandiose self image is ridiculous. I have far more respect for the "ground pounder" sleeping in the jungle in a monsoon than a self absorbed gunner two miles above the action who goes back to a soft bed, air conditioning , and a free bar. Jeez get over your self. No wonder so many troops bad mouthed them.
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Format: Paperback
My tour overlapped Dave's and when we stationed together with the 16th SOS. Brought back a lot of memories. A good read from a crew dog persecutive. I don't think most USAF folk realize how much AAA was fired at us, I recall flying a mission with one of the F-4 jocks who took a ride with us, he remarked we took more AAA in one night than he did his entire previous tour. It could get quite hairy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
He did a very good job of showing what they went thru. I would never have been able to do his job as it was so similar to what a B17 went thru in WW2. Like him, I also kept staying till I was sent home during the draw downs. I am sure that he and the others in his job may have saved my life. It was also being able to see the enlisted side compared to it he other Spectre book done by an Officer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my husband for Christmas because he was also a Spectre gunner when he was in the AF. I had no idea that he knew the author David Burns and my husband remembered many of the people and missions from the book. He read it in a couple of days and is sharing with a VA group.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a story of a truly great group of air warriors, Air Force Spectre AC-130 Aerial Gunner's, and the outstanding crew members they flew with in Southeast Asia. During my 22 years of active duty and 16 years of Air Force civil service I've met a lot of the real hero's who served our Country, Special Forces, fighter pilots, PJ's and other air combat crewmembers. MSgt David M. Burns has written one of the best testimonials I've read about enlisted air crewmembers and dangers they faced in flying combat missions in SEA, and they can stand proud among those who served as aerial gunners in the B-17s, B-24s, B-25s and naval aircraft of WWII. I appreciate how well this was written, had to catch my breath a couple of times, the action was real, and heart breaking at times. I also appreciate the fact that very little profanity was used in the writing of this book and recommend it to any reader 12 years and up who are interrested in the air portion of the Vietnam War.
Gene Foster, SMSgt, USAF, Retired.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the book to be just okay when compared to ther personal experiences of other Vietnam veterans. While the author described his experiences and how the experiences affected his family life as a result of his decision to go on deployment after deployment. I found it to be a trite shallow in that, while memorializing his fallen comrades and describing the differences in the various AC-130s and their growth, there was just something missing. I know that in a hostile environment it is 99% routine and boredom and 1% pure terror but still in all I only found it to be average at best.
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