The complete three-volume series following Hamilton "Hamfist" Hancock in Vietnam. Hamfist flies his small, unarmed O-2A Forward Air Control aircraft over the Ho Chi Minh trail during his first tour, and then graduates to the top-of-the-line F-4 Phantom fighter aircraft for his second tour. He arrives in theater just as Operation Linebacker starts. And he plans to fly 100 missions and bag a MiG! More
The complete Hamfist series: Hamfist Over The Trail, Hamfist Down!, and Hamfist Over Hanoi.
Hamfist Over The Trail: It’s 1968. Hamilton Hancock is the Distinguished Graduate at his Undergraduate Pilot Training class at Laughlin Air Force Base. He is on the fast track to become a fighter pilot, slated to fly an F-100, F-105 or F-4 in Vietnam. Then, the “needs of the service” intervenes, and he is assigned to fly one of the smallest, slowest aircraft in the Air Force inventory, the O-2A.
Hamilton becomes a Forward Air Controller (FAC) in Vietnam, based at DaNang Air Base, and picks up the nickname “Hamfist”. While Hamfist flies in air combat over the Ho Chi Minh Trail and battles an enemy gunner with a deadly record, on the ground he must also battle his inner fears and personal demons.
When he repeatedly loses friends shortly after reconnecting with them, Hamfist becomes convinced there is a “Hamfist curse”. He becomes a virtual hermit, and tries to avoid interacting with his friends. Then he receives a letter that devastates him.
Just when his personal life reaches its lowest point, Hamfist goes to Tokyo on R&R and meets his soul mate. They had lost an opportunity to meet six years earlier, and now Fate has given them another chance. Hamfist returns from R&R with a renewed sense of optimism.
His life is taking a turn for the better. But first he must make it through his Vietnam duty unscathed.
Hamfist Down!: It's August, 1969. Hamilton “Hamfist” Hancock has been shot down over Laos, and must use all his skill, and luck, to avoid capture and certain, violent death. To facilitate his rescue, he must become a ground FAC and direct airstrikes against North Vietnamese targets on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. And, to survive, he must engage in hand-to-hand combat.
But Hamfist may face his greatest battle after his rescue. Back in Vietnam, while recuperating at the hospital at Cam Ranh Bay, he experiences a sapper attack. And, following his return to the air, Hamfist is tormented by a flying error, an error which may have cost a comrade his life.
Only time will tell if Hamfist can regain his self-respect and passion. On his final flight, Hamfist faces a brutal enemy in a life-or-death duel that will determine if he will be shot down once again or return home to his soul-mate. The rescue, the airborne mistake and the final battle force Hamfist to reevaluate his priorities in his career, in his flying, and in his life.
Hamfist Over Hanoi: Air Force pilot Hamilton “Hamfist” Hancock thinks he has left the Vietnam War behind him, after completing a hazardous tour of duty as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) flying over the Ho Chi Minh Trail. He is based at Yokota Air Base, in Japan, and becomes comfortable flying generals and other VIPs around Asia in his Sabreliner executive jet. He is adjusting to his new marriage, and aside from the stress of TDY assignments, life is placid.
But the war returns with a vengeance when Hamfist suffers a personal loss at the hands of the North Vietnamese. Hamfist knows that the only way he can find inner peace is to go back for another combat tour, to try to bring the horrific war to a speedy end. And this time, he will fly a fighter, the top-of-the-line F-4 Phantom II.
Hamfist checks out in the F-4 and arrives at his base in Thailand just in time for the start of Operation Linebacker, the bombing offensive over Hanoi. He soon finds himself flying over the most heavily defended area in the world, dodging Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and dueling with enemy aircraft, the vaunted MiG-series fighters. And along the way he has picked up two new goals: completing 100 missions over North Vietnam and defeating a MiG in aerial combat.
Only time will tell if Hamfist will achieve his 100 missions, score a victory over a MiG and, most important, help end the war.
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