Chickenhawk by Robert MasonChickenhawk by Robert Mason


byRobert Mason

Paperback | March 29, 2005

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A true, bestselling story from the battlefield that faithfully portrays the horror, the madness, and the trauma of the Vietnam War
More than half a million copies of Chickenhawk have been sold since it was first published in 1983. Now with a new afterword by the author and photographs taken by him during the conflict, this straight-from-the-shoulder account tells the electrifying truth about the helicopter war in Vietnam. This is Robert Mason’s astounding personal story of men at war. A veteran of more than one thousand combat missions, Mason gives staggering descriptions that cut to the heart of the combat experience: the fear and belligerence, the quiet insights and raging madness, the lasting friendships and sudden death—the extreme emotions of a "chickenhawk" in constant danger.

"Very simply the best book so far about Vietnam." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Robert Mason was born in 1942 and grew up on farms in New Jersey and Florida. His boyhood dream of becoming a pilot was finally realized when he earned his private pilot's license prior to his graduation from high school. After studying at the University of Florida from 1960 to 1962 and then working at a variety of jobs for the next tw...
Title:ChickenhawkFormat:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 7.72 × 5.1 × 0.86 inPublished:March 29, 2005Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143035711

ISBN - 13:9780143035718

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Couldn't put the book down! It was gripping from start to finish.
Date published: 2018-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! The helicopter started to have an impact on the battlefield in Korea and then revolutionized warfare in Vietnam with the iconic "Huey." The author recounts his experiences and stories that makes it very difficult to put this book down!!!
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What an amazing story. It just grips you and you won't want to put it down for anything. A must for anybody interested in Aviation. Robert Mason wrote his story so well I felt like I could fly a "Huey" by the end of the book.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good read if your into war story's also good insight into flying the helicopters in the Vietnam war
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chickenhawk One of the best wartime memoirs around, equal to "With the Old Breed"
Date published: 2013-04-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great True Story! Robert Mason takes us on a detailed life of a Huey Gunship pilot during the mid-60's in war-torn Vietnam. The battle scenes, jungle warfare, facing the VC, Saigon brothels, post-traumatic stress and more are vivid and unforgettable. Mason summarizes the war as wrong despite the valiant efforts of so many US soldiers. A great account of what Nam was really like.
Date published: 2012-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Helicopter Combat At It's Best! This book abruptly puts you in the cockpit of a Huey Gunship helicopter during the early days (1966) of the Vietnam WarGunbird Driver: A Marine Huey Pilot's War in Vietnam (Blue Jacket Bks) Robert Mason, in "Chickenhawk" takes you on a graphic month by month tour of helicopter duty starting in August, 1965 and concludes with Mason's disillusionment with a war that would ultimately claim more than 65,000 American lives. Laotian Highway Patrol Mason vividly elucidates his paralyzing bouts of P.T.S.D., alcoholism and ultimately, like other returning Vietnam Veterans, unemployment upon return to civilian life. Hence is the tie in to his second book, Chickenhawk: Back in the World: Life After Vietnam As the reader discovers in Mason's second installment, he descends into criminal activity and lives the life of a drug smuggler transferring his military skills to illegal gains. Needless to say, it is interesting to note Mason's gradual change from an aggressive "pro-war hawk" supporting wholeheartedly the Vietnam War to his change after his D.E.R.O.S (military slang for "Date of Estimated Return from Overseas Service, i.e. when a soldier returns from his Vietnam tour and goes back to "The World" (the U.S.).Walking Wounded: Men's Lives During and Since the Vietnam War (Frontiers in Psychotherapy) Upon Mason's early days of adjustment transitioning from flying combat missions to the boredom of civilian life, he describes paralyzing anxiety of dying, P.T.S.D., and flashbacks of the war. For his flashbacks Mason condescendingly brands himself a "chicken". That's why he named this book "Chickenhawk". Mason was a soldier in regards to his exterior. However, his "insides" (being a coward) and his "outsides" didn't match! Mason angrily asks the reader a question he has been perplexed with for years: "Why didn't the South Vietnamese fight the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese like the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army fought the South Vietnamese? Mason asserted that without the support of "our allies" (the South Vietnamese) the U.S. was going to (and ultimately did) lose the war. However, since it was blatantly obvious to everyone that the South Vietnamese for the most part were corrupt and couldn't care less about victory, why was the U.S. there in the first place and continued until 1973 to fight a war that could not be won?How We Lost the Vietnam War Mason insists in "Chickenhawk" that the people in Washington must have known this. Counsel to the President: A MemoirThe signs were too obvious.Unheralded Victory: The Defeat of the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army, 1961-1973 Most American plans were leaked to the V.C. and N.V.A. . The South Vietnamese Army was rife with reluctant combatants, mutinies,and corruption. Mason wrote about an incident where an A.R.V.N. detachment of soldiers at Danang in I Corps squared off in a pitched firefight with South Vietnamese Marines! There was the ubiquitous South Vietnamese sentiment that North Vietnam, with it's leader, Ho Chi Minh, would persevere to victory. Everything We Had: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Thirty-Three American Soldiers Who Fought It Regardless, all these ideas are intertwined in a personal story chock full of raging madness, frightening extractions of wounded being dusted off, fierce combat and death. Dustoff: The Memoir of an Army Aviator This is one book I will reread many times!
Date published: 2010-05-12

Editorial Reviews

"Very simply the best book so far about Vietnam." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch"[Chickenhawk]'s vertical plunge into the thickets of madness will stune readers." -Time"Mason's gripping memoir . . . proves again that reality is more interesting, and often more terrifying, than fiction." -Los Angeles Times"More than any other writer, Mason has been able to capture the feeling of what it was like to be there." -The Philadelphia Inquirer "A hypnotic narrative." -The New York Times"Better than any movie about the war." -Boston Herald