Snake Pilot: Flying the Cobra Attack Helicopter in Vietnam
Based on audiotapes he recorded during the war and also sent out home to his family, Randy Zahn's Snake Pilot recounts his experiences flying AH-1 Cobra helicopters throughout the Vietnam War. Initial deployed in Vietnam in 1967 as well as filled with a formidable arsenal of weaponry, the Cobra was the first helicopter designed from creation as a strike airplane. It drastically changed the nature of the battle in Vietnam by supplying the Army, for the first time, its very own effective as well as very accurate tools platform for close-air-support missions. Randy Zahn arrived in Vietnam quickly before the 1970 U.S. intrusion of Cambodia, among the most impressive presentations by the Cobra in the war. He describes his sensational improvement from an ignorant, middle-class young adult from southerly California to a hard awesome throughout his trip in Vietnam. Unlike the pilots that flew the fast-moving strike jets, Zahn experienced the war "up close and personal," witnessing the grisly results of the Cobra's firepower on adversary soldiers. The author does not glorify eliminating however instead clarifies in sharp alleviation the kaleidoscope of emotions related to fight: worry, revenge, hate, remorse, pity, as well as euphoria. He records many of the paradoxes and also subtleties integral in Vietnam, especially during the last years of the dispute. Zahn presents a sensitivity hardly ever located in memoirs created by battle-hardened warriors. This human aspect, combined with the substantial quantity of historical research study as well as interviews with participants of his former unit, ensures that Snake Pilot will become the conclusive account of the function helicopters played in Vietnam.