Rattler One-Seven puts you in the helicopter seat, to see the war in Vietnam through the eyes of an inexperienced pilot as he transforms himself into a seasoned combat veteran. At the age of twenty, Chuck Gross spent his 1970-71 tour with the 71st Assault Helicopter Company flying UH-1 Huey helicopters. He inserted special operations teams into Laos and participated in Lam Son 719, a misbegotten attempt to assault and cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail, during which his helicopter was shot down and he was stranded in the field.
Soon after the war he wrote down his adventures, while his memory was still fresh with the events. Rattler One-Seven (his call sign) is written as Gross experienced it, using these notes along with letters written home to accurately preserve the mindset he had while in Vietnam.
"Exciting reading! Chuck Gross vividly tells the dramatic account of being a combat helicopter pilot in such a way that you feel you are there. Rattler One-Seven is a compelling memoir of what it was like to fly combat helicopters in Vietnam. It is a must-read for all military and aviation enthusiasts." (Chuck Carlock, author of Firebirds)
"Gross' memoir is worth reading. His stories should find an audience among serious collectors of books about Vietnam." (Military History of the West)
"Chuck Gross' book tells exactly what it was like to fly a Huey slick in combat in the Vietnam War. The only things missing are the smells of gunpowder and the incredible noise as he takes the reader on combat assaults into hot landing zones." (James Joyce, author of Pucker Factor 10)
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Good story. Mispronunciations distract and annoy
Balanced but a Little Holier Than Thou at Times
So, before I say anymore, go ahead and get it. Overall it is a great read or listen. It is a very balanced (between story telling and technical details) memoir that goes by very quickly as it is pretty well written. The only downside of the story is that the author very often paints himself as the perfectly balanced hero in all of the situations which I found a little tiring by the middle of the book. The narration is classic Audible, which is to say, pretty amateurish. I can't believe that nobody proof listens to this stuff. The narrator pronounced rations as "rayshuns" and the city of Hue as "Hue" as in the color not like "whey" which even a cursory visit to Wikipedia would have corrected. One chapter about the city was almost unlistenable due to how may times he called it Hue. Having said all that, it is still a very good book overall.
- Michael Richards "History buff and Heraldic Artist..."