Quoth the Raven
Humor and danger intertwine this memoir of the secret air war over Laos.
Joining the Air Force in 1968, Jim becomes a Covey Forward Air Controller. He
pilots low and slow spotter planes over the Ho Chi Minh Trail, directing
airstrikes on North Vietnamese trucks and guns. He flies daring missions helping
super-secret Studies and Observations Group (SOG) reconnaissance teams, who
routinely run into large enemy forces.
One by one, Jim's friends die. Cynicism builds. Jim realizes the futility of his efforts in a war where the U.S. has become its own worst enemy. He volunteers for the Top Secret Steve Canyon Program, the Raven FACs. Civilian clothes, unmarked airplanes, and bloody missions in close support of Laotian forces around the capital of Luang Prabang mark this phase of Jim's war, where larger-than-life characters fight a vicious enemy. Death strikes close, and Jim's mission becomes survival.
Aardvarks and Rangers
Jim Roper's second book is another intense military memoir written like an action novel. He begins in a warm and dry F-111 cockpit, then descends into the cold and wet misery of the infantry. As in Quoth the Raven, Jim takes you into the shadowy domain of special operations. When the Air Force threatens to convert the fighter pilot protagonist into a chair-bound bureaucrat, his warrior identity responds. Jim grabs a liaison job with the Army’s elite Rangers and learns the meaning of hooah: hello, goodbye, yes, I agree, anything but no.
Culture clashes inject authentic humor and suspense into this true story of modern American warriors. Colorful characters dominate a risk-taking world where Jim dashes supersonic over remote deserts and slogs armpit-deep in dark swamps with the First Ranger Battalion. Finally, Jim shows you the chaos of the short-notice parachute jump into combat on Grenada, Operation Urgent Fury.
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