Black Cat 2-1: The True Story of a Vietnam Helicopter Pilot and His Crew
DescriptionIn the Vietnam War, 2,197 helicopter pilots and 2,717 crew members were killed.
Black Cat 2-1 is the story of one pilot who made it home and the valiant men he served with who risked their lives for the troops on the ground. Bob Ford invites readers into the Huey helicopters he flew on more than 1,000 missions when he and his men dared to protect and rescue.
For those whose voices were silenced in that faraway place or who have never told their stories, he creates a tribute that reads like a thriller, captures the humor of men at war, and resounds with respect for those who served with honor.
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About the Author
Bob Fordflew more than 1,000 missions in Vietnam, from July 1967 to July 1968. After the first six weeks, he became an aircraft commander and took over the command of a helicopter detachment at Hue, forty miles from the DMZ-the farthest northern helicopter unit in Vietnam. His tour included the beginning of the siege of Khe Sahn and the Tet Offensive in February 1968 when he and his men manned the perimeter for a three-day and three-night ground attack. Ford made his commitment to flying helicopters when he was still in college at the University of Oklahoma. He completed ROTC training and received a commission in the US Army in 1966. He volunteered for army helicopter flight school and within one year was flying combat in Vietnam. When he completed his tour in Vietnam, he became an instructor pilot at Fort Wolters, Texas. Following his discharge in 1969, he moved to Okeene, Oklahoma, to head the Okeene division of the family flour milling business, which he still actively manages.
Serving as a crew chief in Hue was a life-changing experience. It was an op portunity to serve with the best of the best, the cream of the crop. The pilots and crews were fearless. The bonds grew so strong that today when we meet, we still feel the connection. The Hue experience and these dedicated men will always be in my heart. -- Heidi (Bud) Atanian, Crew Chief, Hue Detachment 282 Assault "Praise for Black Cat 2-1"
When Lt. Ford joined the company, he rapidly became an aircraft commander. He soon commanded a detachment located in Hue, sixty-one miles from our company. During the Tet Offensive in January 1968, Bob and his crew flew hundreds of missions in support of US and ARVN troops. On all of these missions, they were under enemy fire. Bob exemplified the best qualities of an army aviator. He never let me down. I am proud of him. -- ?Lt. Col. Chuck Ward, Retired, Commanding Officer 282 Assault "Praise for Black Cat 2-1"
I thought the book was exciting from start to finish. I feel I learned a lot about the Vietnam War and what the American soldiers, as well as the Australians and the South Vietnamese, went through. My favorite part in the first of the book was when Bob flew between two hills and got shot at. It was exciting, and I wanted to read more to find out what else would happen. The pictures were cool and helped me understand the story even more. -- Alek Winter, Age 12, Okeene, Oklahoma "Praise for Black Cat 2-1"