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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

WINGS OVER NAM/SEALS


WINGS OVER NAM/SEALS
My fellow enthusiast who dig the paperback original men’s adventure series from the ‘70s and ‘80s will understand when I talk about falling down collecting rabbit holes. As soon as you think you’ve filled all the holes in your various collections, you invariably uncover another cool looking series for which you need to look. Owning full runs of various series is gratifying, but the obsession is actually in the chase—the pursuit of elusive, affordable, titles as you willingly descend into the rabbit holes of used bookstores, thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales everywhere you go.

Three years ago, I became hooked on the war novels of Douglas Reeman. This led to a minor obsession with submarine fiction. Then I was bitten by the Western bug—an obsession from which I am not yet fully recovered (the Wilderness series by David Thompson, aka David Robbins, is 70 books long and I’ve got a lot of missing titles).

However, I thought I had things under control. But, in the middle of 2018, I started rereading the Saigon Commandos series featuring a unit of MPs assigned to Saigon during the hottest part of the Vietnam war. The books were as good as I remembered and I decided to try and pick up the half-dozen titles in the series I was missing.

This was a rookie mistake.

The Saigon Commandos led me to other series by the same author: Chopper—1, War Dogs, Little Saigon. Those in turn got me hooked into a number of other Vietnam and military based men’s adventure series, a sub-genre I hadn’t mined before: Night Stalkers, The Black Berets, The Black Eagles, Tunnel Rats, Strike Fighters, etc. I even began to recollect the Wingman series, which is the one post-apocalyptic series I’ve ever been serious about. My wife sometimes looks at me askance, but since I don’t smoke, drink, gamble, or chase loose women, she’s pretty tolerant about my used paperback jones.

Recently, I’ve posted about most of the above series and the authors behind many of the series pseudonyms. My most recent post was about the long running Vietnam: Ground Zero series and its precursor series, Scorpion Squad. Those books, written under the pseudonym Eric Helm were actually penned by co-writers Robert Cornett and Kevin Randle.

Doing the research on those series put two other series, written exclusively by the prolific Kevin Randle, on my radar—the six book Wings over Nam series (originally written under the pseudonym Cat Branigan), and  the fourteen book Seals series (originally written under the pseudonym Steve MacKenzie). The cool thing is, both series are currently available as e-books on Amazon under the author’s real name, Kevin Randle.

WINGS OVER NAM
They were America's elite, battle-hardened flyers...Men who came from every service and every corner of the war. They lived with the agony and irony that was Vietnam and flew with courage and commitment. Wings Over Nam is their story.

CHOPPER PILOT
From the thundering B-52 bombing raids on Hanoi to inserting search-and-destroys in the jungle, from wielding a death-spewing Spooky to taking out SAM missile sites in the North, the skies above Vietnam were a hell of deadly million-dollar machinery, split-second decisions, and death-lock engagements with the enemy. Now nineteen-year-old David Anderson is a raw pilot in an Assault Helicopter Company, slamming straight into the strength of the VC. But from his first mission to Charlie's first invasion it doesn't take Anderson long to discover that this is a whole new kind of war. With no support from behind and only death in front of him, Anderson knows that there's only one way to fight in Vietnam—and that's to do it your own way.

THE WILD WEASELS
There was no terror like a SAM launch. There was no vengeance like a weasel…Every pilot knew the NVA was building radar-guided SAM missile sites, but Washington prohibited any strikes until the death rockets were up and blowing American fliers to pieces. At the Gunfighter's Club in Saigon the cold beer, blaring rock 'n' roll, and bare-assed girls can't wash away the bitterness, and Air Force Major William Taylor knows that something has to be done fast. What he doesn't know is that stateside, a bunch of green volunteers are testing a modified F-100 fighter. Their mission: learn to fly their killing machines into the very teeth of the NVA missile sites—and destroy them. Their code name: the Wild Weasels. When the untested, undertrained Weasels arrive in country, Major William Taylor will be the first to join them in the blood-red skies of Vietnam—for a death-defying mission of revenge.

LINEBACKER
They brought death and destruction to the north—and every mission could be their last...Washington wanted a safe war, where no American died and the enemy was pounded into submission. In Guam and Thailand a handful of men were chosen to fight that kind of war. The operation was Linebacker, and the mission was to use the big, bomb-ladened B-52s to strike terror deep behind the DMZ. For the men of the long-range, high altitude bombing squads it was a nerve-racking, soul-scorching journey over hostile territory, dodging flak while the North Vietnamese gunners honed their skills. And as the war went from bad to worse, and the bombers became Washington's weapon of choice, every B-52 man knew he was the enemy's most hated target—and that being shot down meant a fate worse than death...

CARRIER WAR
Navy lieutenants David Kincaid and Douglas Bakker honed their flying skills over the Nevada desert. Assigned to a carrier on the South China Sea, they soared through South Vietnam's skies, whetting their appetites for the real thing: a dogfight in the North. But on their first ride over the DMZ the two hotshot flyers found out that an undertrained, underfed North Vietnamese pilot can kill like a top gun in the cockpit of a MiG. Knocked out of the skies for the first time, Kincaid and Bakker would return on a mission of their own. Soon in the SAM-littered airspace over Hanoi they'd be hunting for a MiG-21 with a cobra painted on the tailwhile in Saigon's Gunfighter's Club the other pilots would drink a toast and wonder how far two men can go for revenge...

BIRD DOG
Put the dog on Charlie...They were point men of the air war, and wherever they went the hammer of death came down…American firepower could deliver pure destruction in Charlie's lap, but someone had to find him. That's where the daredevil pilots of the single-engine Cessna 0-1 Bird Dog recon planes made their mark in Vietnam. Flying unarmed into the enemy's front yard, the Bird Dog pilots shot flares down on Charlie and spotted him for destruction. And every once in a while these hardened flyers took their antiquated prop planes even farther into the heat... like the time a team of sidearm-shooting Bird Doggers fought a personal duel with a die-hard VC unit in Hobo Woods. Using a one-two punch with troop-laden Huey's, the Bird Dog pilots planned to spring an ambush. But in the death and blood of Hobo Woods, it was hard to tell who was out to ambush who...

EAGLE EYE
Another day of death...You don't hold grudges in Vietnam. One minute you're flipping someone the bird, the next minute he's fighting by your side—tomorrow you'll both be hoisting a toast to the dead at the Gunfighter's Club in Saigon. That is, if you're an elite, war-hardened airman. Alexander Anderson is one—a renegade aircraft commander who did the suicidal: volunteered for a hit-and-run operation called Eagle Eye. Flying and fighting with a group of five helicopters, each carrying six soldiers, the men of Eagle Eye went from the boredom of their Cu Chi base camp to the mind-numbing terror of VC-infested III Corps. And then the war-mad fighters did their job too well—and took on a company of two hundred NVA. Like Anderson said, the next beers would be on him...

SEALS
In the deadly world of modern warfare, the art of combat is taken to its awesome limits. Only one fighting unit has the skill and ruthlessness to handle all this killing power, making every corner of the globe its field of fire; using with chilling efficiency every method of infiltration, demolition, deception and destruction this side of Hell. They're Navy. Those who know about them speak in awed whispers of the men they call the SEALs...

AMBUSH
Hobo Woods, Vietnam. Under a devastating attack from a vicious and seemingly countless enemy, Fire-Support Base Crockett is doomed in spite of the heroism of the GIs. Bravery is not enough. Neither is air power. There's only one way to stop the bloodiest assault since Heartbreak Ridge, and that's something nobody's ever had the imagination, the guts or the damned fool craziness to try before...

BLACKBIRD
The supersonic SR-71 is a state-of-the-art profile of American military engineering. So when a top-secret spy flight comes to a crashing end in the African jungle, someone has to make sure there aren't any pieces for the Reds to pick up. Someone able to get in where no Westerner has ever gone. Do the job. And maybe, with luck, even get back out alive....

RESCUE
For the new president of a South American country, the worst has happened. His 19-year-old daughter, ripped from the seclusion of a private school, vanished into thin air. His greatest hope in seeing her alive lay with help from the U.S. But in this Yankee-hating hotbed, it would take nothing less than super-soldiers to move fast enough to make the rescue before they were noticed. It was a mission made to order for the SEALS!

TARGET
Zeroing in on the enemy—through the deadly scope of a sniper’s rifle...When an ominous traffic change on the Ho Chi Minh Trail signals a bloody repeat of the Tet offensive, the SEALS are assigned a secret mission across the Vietnamese border... and into the jungles of Laos. Struggling through this Cong-infested inferno could put them on the endangered species list. But infiltrating the hidden enemy stronghold and terminating its leadership—might make them extinct.

BREAKOUT
Making Hell hotter for the VC is work the SEALS thrive on. But when a bloody ambush uncovers the secret location of a Cong camp of POWs, search-and-destroy quickly becomes a desperate mission of mercy. To get the American boys out, Mark Tynan launches a dangerous clandestine operation into the very heart of the inferno... only to discover that rescue means infiltrating forbidden territory—and defying orders from the Washington brass!

DESERT RAID
The clock is running out for the captive Americans. Walled up in a Mideast hellhole, they don't stand a chance unless the SEALS can reach them in time. Quick and quiet as the night, the SEALS start their suicide mission to infiltrate the hostile desert stronghold—only to learn that the hostages have been scattered throughout the entire city—whereabouts unknown! It's the eleventh hour, and unless the SEALS can find a solution, the mission will be aborted—and innocent blood will flow.

RECON
Screams... Gunfire... Sudden silence! It was the last radio transmission from American archaeologists on the trail of a fabled Mayan city... and the beginning of a SEALS manhunt through the green hell of the Honduran jungle. As the search stumbles on the scene of human sacrifice and the drums of blood beat once more, it's up to the SEALS to turn these "ancient adversaries" into... history!

INFILTRATE
With the U.S. poised on the precipice of renewed air attack, keeping Charlie from playing hide-and-seek means sending someone into Hanoi to snatch State secrets. For the SEALS, it's an underwater suicide mission—from a camouflaged sampan off the Haiphong coast, down a deadly river run, through the maze of Hanoi's canals, to the very heart of Oriental darkness. But getting there is the easy part...

ASSAULT
When it comes to trouble, there's no place like home! What started out as a stateside bash for Tynan's super-soldiers was now the most desperate search-and-rescue mission they had ever faced. The kidnap victim: their own Jack Lancer. At stake: their most vital secrets. The battleground—a jungle called Chicago.

SNIPER
What started as a secret test was now a Navy nightmare! The project: probe the ESP communication capabilities of Tynan's troops. The result: short-tempered sailors who'd rather be fighting than telling fortunes. Except for one—who thinks he can actually see the future... and believes he must commit an atrocity to save the world. Mystic or madman, Tynan must stop him—whatever the cost.

ATTACK
In the deadly world of modern warfare, the art of combat is taken to its awesome limits. Only one fighting unit has the skill and ruthlessness to handle all this killing power, making every corner of the globe its field of fire; using with chilling efficiency every method of infiltration, demolition, deception and destruction this side of hell. They're Navy. Those who know about them speak in awed whispers call them SEALS.

STRONGHOLD
In the deadly world of modern warfare, the art of combat is taken to its awesome limits. Only one fighting unit has the skill and ruthlessness to handle all this power, making every corner of the globe its field of fire; using with chilling efficiency every method of infiltration, demolition, deception and destruction this side of Hell. They're Navy. Those who know about them speak in awed whispers of the men they call the SEALS.

CRISIS
In the deadly world of modern warfare, the art of combat is taken to its awesome limits. Only one fighting unit has the skill and ruthlessness to handle all this killing power, making every corner of the globe its field of fire; using with chilling efficiency every method of infiltration, demolition, deception and destruction this side of hell.

TREASURE
Tynan's on leave from the Navy and hadn't planned on searching the Arizona desert for gold. But he' out there now, stumbling over the bodies of those who came before him. And trying to catch up with the ruthless bunch of killers, before they kill again.



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