Book 4


The Gunships







Page Updated
October 10, 2011

Contact: Bill Petrie
CMSgt, USAF, Ret.

Guest Book




A Favorite from
The Book Hootch

Shadows of Saigon

by Elton "Larry" Fletcher, Xlibris Corporation
ISBN: 0738869295, 514 pages, $25.
Can be found at Barnes & Noble book store

Shadows of Saigon

Shadows of Saigon blends fact and fiction to tell the story of Air Commando covert Special Operations in Vietnam and in Cambodia after the American Incursion in 1970.

Attack C-119 Shadow gunships of Fighting C Flight stationed at Saigon's Tan Son Nhut Airport provide round-the-clock close air support for the new Republic of Cambodia. Former teacher and ninety-day wonder, Lieutenant Paul Knight, fresh from pilot training volunteers to fly unconventional air warfare in antiquated, propeller-driven transports converted to side-firing attack-gunships.
Flying low and slow in the face of the enemy to encircle targets with four Gatling-type miniguns, the Shadows rain death and destruction on the North Vietnamese Army and the Khmer Rouge. Three of Knight's pilot training classmates are also stationed in Vietnam; two are fellow- Air Commandos, the third pilots F-100 fighter/bombers. Exploits of the four Lieutenants lead to unexpected consequences, not only from flying combat over the battlefields of Cambodia and enemy infiltration routes on the Mekong and Ho Chi Minh Trail; but in relationships with the women they love back home in the states and those they love in the war zone.
Four major factors affect the survivability of Knight and his buddies: aircraft reliability, monsoon weather, daylight missions, and enemy anti-aircraft guns. Designed primarily for night missions, the big black AC-119 Shadow and Stinger warplanes are inviting targets for Communist ground gunners during daylight. Rich with historical and technical detail, Shadows of Saigon upholds the legacy of Air Commandos who fly and fight; anytime, anyplace!

Author and Former United States Air Force Captain, Dr. Larry E. Fletcher flew 177 combat missions as a pilot in AC-119 Shadow gunships during his tour of duty in Southeast Asia. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Air Medal with eight Clusters. Nominated for Pacific Air Forces Outstanding Junior Officer of the Year, Fletcher was assigned to Fighting C Flight of the 17th Special Operations Squadron at Tan Son Nhut Air Base; Saigon, Republic of Vietnam.

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