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April 14 , 2009

A Lonely Kind of War

Forward Air Controller, Vietnam


From retired Air Force pilot Marshall Harrison comes a remarkable memoir of aerial warfare in Vietnam. In his third combat tour, Harrison found himself “converted” from the high performance world of jets to the awkward-looking OV-10 Bronco and assigned as a FAC—forward air controller. A captivating tale of valor, brotherhood, and patriotism unravels in the pages of A Lonely Kind of War, Forward Air Controller, Vietnam, a posthumous release by this published author through Xlibris. Harrison is a born story teller. There is excitement, suspense, and humor in this account of the life of a FAC. They were a small group of dedicated pilots flying lightly armed prop-driven aircrafts in South Vietnam. Considered to be the eyes and ears of the attack aircraft, their job was to fly low and slow, find, fix, and direct airstrikes against an elusive enemy concealed by the heavy rainforest and jungles, an area the FACs referred to as “the Green Square”. The flying scenes are riveting: learning to fly the maneuverable Bronco, clearing in the “fast-movers” to drop massive 750-lb bombs without causing injury to the “friendlies” and conducting covert operation into Cambodia – -“over the fence with the mad men in the green beanies”. On one of these secret missions, he is shot down and spends a harrowing night in the jungle. FACs lived with the troops in the field and flew from unimproved airstrips; they virtually controlled the aerial battlefields of South Vietnam. Their losses were staggering and they usually died alone.
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