A Pilot's Dramatic Story of His Secret Missions Over Laos During the Vietnam War
Like Jarhead, We Were Soldiers Once..., and Young, John T. Halliday's combat memoir is gripping, novelistic, and startlingly candid, taking readers through the devastating trials and hard-won victories of flying in the Vietnam War.
The year is 1970, and John T. Halliday has just landed in the middle of the Vietnam War, primed to begin his assignment with the 606 Special Operations Squadron. But there's a catch: He's stationed in a kind of no-man's-land. No one on his base flies with ID, patches, or rank. Even as Richard Nixon firmly denies reporters' charges that the U.S. has forces in Laos, Halliday realizes that from his base in Thailand, he will be flying top-secret black ops night missions over the Laotian Ho Chi Minh Trail.
A naive yet thoughtful twenty-four-year-old, Halliday is utterly unprepared for the horrors of war. On his first mission, Halliday's aircraft dodges more than a thousand anti-aircraft shells. Nothing is as he expected-not the operations, not the way his shell-shocked fellow pilots look and act, and certainly not the squadron's daredevil, seat-of-one's-pants approach to piloting. But before long, Halliday has become one of those seasoned and shell-shocked pilots and finds himself in a desperate search for a way to elude certain death.
A powerhouse fusion of pathos and humor, brutal realism and intimate reflection, Flying Through Midnight is a landmark contribution to Vietnam War literature, revealing previously top-secret intelligence on the 606' s night missions. Fast-paced, thrilling, and bitingly intelligent, Halliday's writing illuminates it all: the heart-pounding air battles, the close friendships, the crippling fear, and the astonishing final escape that made the telling of it possible.