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Download The Hunter Killers: The Extraordinary Story of the First Wild Weasels, the Band of Maverick Aviators Who Flew the Most Dangerous Missions of the Vietnam War Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Hunter Killers: The Extraordinary Story of the First Wild Weasels, the Band of Maverick Aviators Who Flew the Most Dangerous Missions of the Vietnam War Audiobook, by Dan Hampton Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dan Hampton Narrator: John Pruden Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2015 ISBN: 9780062395351
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A gripping chronicle of the band of maverick fighter pilots who signed on for the suicidally dangerous top-secret “Iron Hand” program during the Vietnam War—which used revolutionary tactics to combat Soviet missile technology—from bestselling author Dan Hampton

On July 24, 1965, Soviet advisors to North Vietnam launched an SA-2 surface-to-air missile (SAM), blowing an American F-4 Phantom out of the sky—the first of several US kills using this fearsome new technology. To counter this new weaponry, stunned Pentagon officials created a classified program—“Iron Hand”—that offered a small group of maverick pilots a chance to counter this deadly threat.

Fifty years later, Dan Hampton provides a cockpit view of this highly classified military program that was a radical departure from practiced tactical jet aviation—and carried a fifty-percent casualty rate. Yet despite the odds, a band of courageous, daring, and skilled pilots—warriors who took the name Wild Weasels—risked their lives to save their Air Force brothers.

Using first-hand accounts and declassified documents from both sides of the conflict, The Hunter Killers takes readers into the skies and up close to the bloody duels that left half the Weasels dead or captured. At its center are the men who risked everything to be a part of history. Hampton brings them into focus, exploring their lives, personalities, and the characteristics—a combination of ego, bravery, heroism, and duty—that motivated them. He also looks at their legacy, which continues to influence the military today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An in-the-cockpit air-combat chronicle…Hampton uses the words of surviving Wild Weasel aviators to imaginatively recreate dramatic and dangerous missions over enemy territory…Gripping.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Hampton uses first-hand accounts from surviving Wild Weasels to tell their stories…[and] also provides insight into the fateful political decisions that prolonged the Vietnam War, making it clear that it took an exceptional person to be a Wild Weasel…His overall writing style is excellent; in particular, his vivid, fast-paced combat narratives. His latest work will appeal to military history fans or anyone looking for an absorbing read.

    Library Journal

  • “Hampton’s command of the nuances of technology, in addition to his knowledge of the Vietnam War on the ground and in the air, renders this book both informative and moving. A fast-paced Vietnam War story that cheekily employs the pilots’ vernacular as well as plenty of technological terminology.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “In a distinctive baritone, John Pruden nearly flawlessly delivers this amazing account of heroism, initiative, and sheer guts…These men have been given a splendid account by author Hampton, who was a ‘Wild Weasel’ himself in the post-Vietnam Air Force. Pruden’s voice is strong, steady, and confident in delivery. He enunciates splendidly…A splendid reading of a history that needs to be told.”


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About the Author

Dan Hampton (US Air Force, Ret.) flew more than 150 combat missions during his twenty years as a Wild Weasel fighter pilot. For his service in the Iraq War, Kosovo conflict, first Gulf War, and elsewhere, Hampton received four Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor, a Purple Heart, eight Air Medals with Valor, five Meritorious Service Medals, and numerous other citations. He is a graduate of the USAF and USN Fighter Weapons Schools and the USAF Special Operations School. A recipient of several awards for tactical innovation, Hampton pioneered air-combat tactics that are now standard and was named his squadron’s Instructor Pilot of the Year six times. A graduate of Texas A&M University, he has published articles in the Journal of Electronic Defense, Air Force Magazine, and Airpower, as well as several classified tactical works for the USAF Fighter Weapons Review.

About the Narrator

John Pruden is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator. His exposure to many people, places, and experiences throughout his life provides a deep creative well from which he draws his narrative and vocal characterizations. His narration of The Killing of Crazy Horse by Thomas Powers was chosen by the Washington Post as a Best Audiobook of 2010.