Cheating Death

Combat Air Rescues in Vietnam and Laos

by George J. Marrett

They flew low and slow, at treetop level, at night, in monsoons, and in point-blank range of enemy guns and missiles. They were missions no one else wanted, but the ones all other pilots prayed for when shot down.

Flying the World War II-vintage Douglas A-1 Skyraider, a single-engine, propeller-driven relic in a war of "fast-movers," these intrepid US Air Force pilots, call sign Sandy, risked their lives with every mission to rescue thousands of downed Navy and Air Force pilots.

With a flashback memory and a style all his own, George J. Marrett depicts some of the most dangerous aerial combat of any war. The thrilling rescue of "Streetcar 304" and William Jones's selfless act of heroism that earned him the Medal of Honor are but two of the compelling tales he recounts. Here too are the courages Jolly Green Giant helicopter crews, parajumpers, and forward air controllers who worked with the Sandys over heavily defended jungles and mountains well behind enemy lines.

Passionate, mordantly witty, and filled with heart-pounding adrenaline, Cheating Death reads like the finest combat fiction, but it is the real deal: its heroes, cowards, jokers, and casualties all have names and faces readers will find difficult to forget.

First Published: 2003

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Cheating Death
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781588341044      ISBN 10: 1588341046
Publisher: Smithsonian  2003

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Cheating Death
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 9780060891572      ISBN 10: 0060891572
Publisher: Harper Perennial  2006

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Cheating Death
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ISBN: 9781588342966      ISBN 10: 1588342964
Publisher: Smithsonian  2010

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