A true, bestselling story from the battlefield that faithfully portrays the horror, the madness, and the trauma of the Vietnam War More than half. Chickenhawk has ratings and reviews. Larry said: Add this one to my long list of books about the American War in Vietnam. I am the right age to. Mar 28, The Paperback of the Chickenhawk by Robert Mason at Barnes & Noble. FREE Shipping on $ or more!.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Chickenhawk by Robert Mason. Chickenhawk by Robert Mason Goodreads Author. Now with a new afterword by the author and photographs taken by him during the conflict, this straight-from-the-shoulder account tells the electrifying truth chjckenhawk the helicopter war in Vietnam.

A veteran of more than one thousand combat missions, Mason gives staggering descriptions that cut to the heart of the combat experience: Paperbackpages.

Robert Mason (writer)

Published March 29th by Penguin Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Chickenhawkplease sign up. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [I’ve listened to this book multiple times, but I can’t figure out if there’s a reason why Chickenhawl and his buddy don’t like Morris.

The scene chapter 12, I believe when Morris is shot and killed, Mason describes having trouble holding back a smile when talking about Morris’ death. Kat This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [ I read their smiles as grimaces, not true happy smiles in the normal sense of the word, but more a combination of shock and horror and an inability to …more I read their smiles as grimaces, not true happy smiles in the normal sense of the word, but more a combination of shock and gobert and an inability to process the situation appropriately.

Thus resulting in these twisted nervous awkward smiles which they know are not a normal response.

See 2 questions about Chickenhawk…. Lists with This Book. Add this one chickenhhawk my long list of books about the American War in Vietnam. I am the right age to have been drafted for that war, but was not due to a variety of deferments and a high lottery number.

The short story is that Chickebhawk was considering fleeing to Canada if I was drafted but never had to make that momentous decision that would have significantly changed my life. I never came to that fork in the robrrt so will always wonder what I would have done if I was actually faced with that choice. The book Add this one to my long list of books about the American War in Vietnam. The book was published inthe year Robert Mason was forty-one years old, eighteen years after he was a twenty-three year old in Vietnam.


This is a personal narrative of what I saw in Vietnam and how it affected me. The events all happened; the chronology and geography are correct to the best of my knowledge. The names of the characters. Movies and books about Vietnam always have the Huey choppers coming and going from LZs delivering and picking up supplies and men.

They are often taking ground fire and sometimes coming down as a result. But this is my first book that I have read that puts the reader in the head of the helicopter pilot, on the ground and in the air. Vietnam made an impression on those who fought there; Mason is writing about events and feelings years later and it seems like you are right there. Mason has been criticized for being too technical. There is a diagram at the beginning of the book of a helicopter with all the major parts named.

There is also quite a bit of detail about how to actually maneuver a helicopter using hands and feet simultaneously. It is way harder than patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time.

But it does let you know that being a helicopter pilot in a war zone is a complex job. Apparently you volunteer to be trained as a helicopter pilot cchickenhawk you are in this incredibly dangerous occupation by choice. The old man said nothing about Morris except that we ought to get some money together for flowers for his wife, but Sherman took it upon himself to give a little speech that night.

It was only a matter of time.

Chickenhawk by Robert Mason

It looks like the overall ratio is one in five. One pilot out of five will get killed.

Now we were delinquent in our deaths. Running behind in our proper death ratio were we? Short scenes and events strung together.

Moments in the lives and deaths of a group of men in a war. The big story is the war. The real stories are the individual actions and interactions between the men. And then there is some occasional sane thinking: I had never heard of a gook or a slope-head or a slant-eye or a dink who did anything but eat rice and shit and fight unending wars.

These tools and that waterwheel convinced me that there was a successful way of life going mson around us, but all we saw were savages, backward savages roert against the Communist hoards from the North. Why were all the men of this beautiful village gone just when the Americans were right outside? Or was I seeing the wrong way? Maybe the only people who wanted us around were the Saigon politicians who were getting rich from having the Americans here. The village was a long way from Saigon.

Robert Mason had over helicopter missions during his year in Vietnam. Some moments were peaceful, many were not. At the first sound of the returning ships, I went outside and watched.

The Hueys snaked out of the mist and with increasing noise gathered on the field west of the camp. Huey after Huey hovered to a landing. The field became a complicated dance of whirling rotor blades, swinging fuselages, and swirling mist.


The roaring rush of the turbines, and the rotors swing lazily as the ships shut down. The crew wandered up to the camp. They all had come back. The ships were shadows in the early morning mist. We took off singly to join up out of the fog. Climbing over vague trees, we saw the earth disappear. Riker, who knew where he was going, told me to turn left.


Just as I did we saw the phantom of a Huey cross immediately in front of us. I lurched back on the controls, but that was not what saved us from the midair collision.

Luck had been with us. As he began to suffer from the accumulated stress at the end of his tour, he found he was most comfortable when he was flying. When I was flying, my life chickennawk in my own hands.

When I was back at the camp, the army was in control of my destiny. He suffers from textbook PTSD that eventually drives him out of the air, then out of the army. The nightmares go on and on, sleep comes with the help of alcohol. And his life spirals down.

Death is almost always gruesome as it is described by Robert Mason in this most gruesome book. There is the intensity of heroism too. Eventually there is the heroism of going on with life having experienced so much death.

This book is so distressing, more than most war books I have read. Lots of blood and guts and shattered bodies that were sometimes left to rot for several days so they could be more easily located in the tall elephant grass — by the smell. Vietnam was a chhickenhawk in so many ways. Now we have unmanned drones that kill from the air and humans that blow themselves up in a crowd. Robert Mason writes about his experience of the brutality of a war he fought when he was young.

He wrote about his time in Vietnam in For a while those fighting thought they were winning a war that would go on for years longer and claim many more victims. Chickenhawk is, I think, a regrettable title for an unforgettable book. He flew men on his chopper to their death and lived to be haunted chickengawk it.

This book may be too raw to give five stars. Too many mangled bodies and destroyed minds. Too surreal a world for too many men.

Chickenhawk by Robert Mason | : Books

War is not the answer. View all 7 comments. Apr 03, Steven Z. During the war about 12, helicopters were deployed by the United States military. Of that number 7, were Hueys, almost all of which were US Army.