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Authored by Craig K. Collins, the nephew of B-52 pilot Maj. Don Harten, Midair is an historically important work that is about more than survival. Interwoven through Harten's dramatic story of his million-to-one struggle against near-certain death is a previously unexamined look at how America had developed an aerial battle plan that would likely have ended the Vietnam conflict in under a month during the late winter of 1965. Instead the country's war planners and politicians veered off course and into a bloody eight-year quagmire. Harten was on the February 1965 top secret mission - a massive B-52 bombing raid of railways, supply depots, and airfields in and around Hanoi - that was called off in midflight. That mission and battle plan were mothballed until December 18, 1972, when it was dusted off and dubbed Linebacker II, effectively ending the war within a week. Over 120 B-52s bombed Hanoi-area military installations for eight consecutive days. As a result of the heavy bombing, the North Vietnamese declared a truce, attended peace talks in Paris in early January, and signed the Paris Peace Accords, ending hostilities in Vietnam on January 27, 1973.
It is the gripping tale of a young air force officer's first combat mission that instantly pulls the listener in and never lets up.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jean on 02-01-17
Riveting Story of Survival
This book is non-fiction. Collins is a journalist who is telling the story of his uncle Don Harter an Air Force pilot. Harten flew more than 300 combat missions in three different aircraft, the B-52, F-105 and the F-111 over North and South Vietnam from 1965 to 1972.
In June 1965 over the South China Sea, during typhoon Dinah a category 5 storm, Harten’s B-52 bomber collided head on with another B52 bomber at 30,000 feet. Harten managed to eject from his co-pilot seat just as the plane blew up. The story is how he survived that ejection at 30,000 fee in a category 5 typhoon. The suspense increases as we read about the problems of rescue and his ordeal in the sea.
There is an underlying theme to the book that the military primarily the Air Force could have won the war if the politicians stayed out of it running the war.
This is an exciting tale of survival at sea in spite of all the odds against survival.
The author narrated the book.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 03-10-17
Amazing history and great story
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, to anyone interested in history of the Vietnam War and also deeper world history following the family of Mr. Harten.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Don Harten. Such a story.
Which scene was your favorite?
The whole book
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Two 4-hour sittings to finish.
Any additional comments?
Left me remembering my anger towards our political leaders of the time (1965 to 1969).
3 of 3 people found this review helpful