They were America's brave men-seasoned veterans and young daredevil pilots with dreams of glory in the air: Court Bannister, an Air Force captain overshadowed by his famous father, driven to prove his worth to his comrades-and himself; Toby Parker, the brash first lieutenant who gambled his innocence in the flames of war; Wolf Lochert, the Special Forces major who ventured deep into the jungle to rescue a downed pilot-only to discover a face of the enemy for which he was unprepared.
About the author:
Lt Col Mark E. Berent, USAF (Ret), was born in Minneapolis, graduated from Cretin High School in St. Paul, and Arizona State University with a BSME.
Berent began his Air Force career as an enlisted man then pilot training at Columbus and Laredo. He served three combat tours, completing 452 combat sorties, first in the F-100 at Bien Hoa then the F-4 at Ubon. He spent two years in Cambodia flying things with propellers and, through a fluke, ran the air war for a few weeks.
He has logged over 4300 hours of flying time, 1084 of those in combat missions in the F-100, F-4, C-47 and U-10 over South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He has flown 30 different aircraft.
His decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star, Air Medal with twenty-four oak leaf clusters, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Cambodian Divisional Medal, and numerous Vietnam Campaign ribbons. He also earned US Special Forces and Cambodian jump wings.
Since retirement, he established international operations for the sale of spares for combat aircraft; flew foreign aircraft such as the Swedish Viggen and RAF Jaguar and Hawk; wrote numerous articles for the Air Force Magazine; and was a pilot/reporter for the Asian Defense Journal.
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