Cheating Death: Cheating Death

Cheating Death: Cheating Death

by George J. Marrett


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588342966
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date: 06/15/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 628,971
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

George J. Marrett flew 188 combat missions on the Douglas A-1 Skyraider in Vietnam and tested more than forty types of military aircraft in twenty-five years as a test pilot for the Air Force and Hughes Aircraft Company. He lives in California.

Table of Contents

2Test Pilot7
3Count Yourself Dead19
5Torture Garden64
6Roman 2 A and B73
7Nakhon Phanom81
8An Assist, a Putout, and a Balk94
9Maxims for Men at Arms106
10Night Fighting118
11Statue of Liberty133
12Panda 1142
13Not Quite Total Disaster154
14Instructor Pilot175
15Papaya 2B188
16Last Flights194

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Cheating Death: Cheating Death 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not a pilot but I am an avid reader on the subject of aviation and history and this book definitely brings them together. The book traces the tour of duty of a former jet pilot now flying "tail dragger's" on search and rescue missions over the jungles and mountains of Laos during the Vietnam war. It is an unforgiving assignment with little recognition except from their comrades and those that they help save from capture or death. There is plenty of excitement when Mr. Marrett recounts the unit's flights in support of Laotian ground forces or when keeping the enemy ducking for cover while the helicopters lift out downed airmen. For those interested in the mechanics of flying the SPAD there is plenty of detail described with a touch of humility and humor. For me it opened the door on a tight group that performed a very dangerous job with bravery and professionalism.