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Aeroscouts in Vietnam

Aeroscouts in Vietnam Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2013 Title Aeroscouts in Vietnam
Author Wayne Mutza Publisher Squadron/Signal Publications
Published 2012 ISBN 978-0-89747-674-4
Format 136 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $24.95

Review

Noted aviation historian Wayne Mutza has put together an interesting title covering the Aeroscouts in Vietnam. Wayne Mutza has produced a number of high quality references covering rotary-winged aviation, but this title is different. In this title, the author has compiled the first-hand stories from 32 Aeroscout veterans (his own story included) which take you inside the world of the Army's front line scouts who sniff out trouble and bring down the rain of hell from the snakes as well as other fire support.

If you've read Hugh Mill's 'Low Level Hell' which is an excellent read from another Aeroscout in Vietnam, Wayne Mutza has brought his own literary skills to bear to give voice to many other veterans of that conflict and provide a great cross-section of viewpoints from those who were there. Some of the events seem surreal as you read some of these stories, though they certainly made sense at the time.

Of course the star of the Aeroscout show is the OH-6A Cayuse - a small egg-shaped helicopter powered by a 250 shaft horsepower turbine engine. The aircraft was usually crewed by a pilot and crew chief who acted as door gunner and observer in flight. The unique construction of the aircraft, nicknamed the 'Loach', made it far more survivable in a crash than other types. The fact that these scouts were taunting their adversaries by flying low and slow in order to get them to shoot and reveal their positions didn't help their survivability, but these crews were trying to help their adversaries follow the Patton Philosophy and let them die for their country. In addition to some excellent stories, the title is well-illustrated with period black & white and color photos of the aircraft and crews, and sometimes the aftermath.

This title is definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Squadron/Signal Publications for this review sample!

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