A Vietnam War Story

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When Stephen Coonts and aviation historian Barrett Tillman appeared at The Poisoned Pen recently, they were there to bring the history of the Vietnam War to life through their book, Dragon’s Jaw. You can order a signed copy of that book through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2X6zUkG

Here’s the description of Dragon’s Jaw.

A riveting Vietnam War story–and one of the most dramatic in aviation history–told by a New York Times bestselling author and a prominent aviation historian

Every war has its “bridge”–Old North Bridge at Concord, Burnside’s Bridge at Antietam, the railway bridge over Burma’s River Kwai, the bridge over Germany’s Rhine River at Remagen, and the bridges over Korea’s Toko Ri. In Vietnam it was the bridge at Thanh Hoa, called Dragon’s Jaw.

For seven long years hundreds of young US airmen flew sortie after sortie against North Vietnam’s formidable and strategically important bridge, dodging a heavy concentration of anti-aircraft fire and enemy MiG planes. Many American airmen were shot down, killed, or captured and taken to the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” POW camp. But after each air attack, when the smoke cleared and the debris settled, the bridge stubbornly remained standing. For the North Vietnamese it became a symbol of their invincibility; for US war planners an obsession; for US airmen a testament to American mettle and valor.

Using after-action reports, official records, and interviews with surviving pilots, as well as untapped Vietnamese sources, Dragon’s Jaw chronicles American efforts to destroy the bridge, strike by bloody strike, putting readers into the cockpits, under fire. The story of the Dragon’s Jaw is a story rich in bravery, courage, audacity, and sometimes luck, sometimes tragedy. The “bridge” story of Vietnam is an epic tale of war against a determined foe.

*****

Now, you can watch Coonts and Tillman discuss the history and their book.