Official Review: Combat Jet Pilot by Lynn High

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Julie Green
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Official Review: Combat Jet Pilot by Lynn High

Post by Julie Green » 11 Aug 2018, 11:03

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Combat Jet Pilot" by Lynn High.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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If you have ever wondered what it feels like to be a fighter pilot in combat, this book will appal and fascinate you in equal measure. Lynn High always dreamed of becoming a combat jet pilot and he was able to fulfil his childhood dream during the Vietnam War. This book recounts the author's experiences as he learns to fly and is trained as a combat pilot. We follow Lynn on two rounds of duty in Vietnam where he is awarded several medals in recognition of his outstanding bravery.

Combat Jet Pilot by Lynn High offers many interesting insights into the life of a fighter pilot. I was intrigued to learn about the G-suit that pilots wear to help them manage high speeds without passing out. I was also surprised by how close pilots can fly during formation, sometimes with only three feet of clearance. In particular, I was incredibly impressed by the sang-froid shown by the author when faced with emergencies such as low fuel. On one occasion, he managed to land alongside a fellow pilot on the tiniest of runway strips and was so low on fuel that both pilots had to land in tandem, using only the noses of their planes to adjust their speeds and avoid collision.

This is not an easy book to read if you feel ambivalent about war. I make no judgement of the author as his heroism floored me at times. To face a missile flying towards your cockpit is bad enough, but the author's descriptions of flying in low at night to rescue soldiers who are under attack from enemy fire are terrifying. As a result, I swallowed my response to the occasional false note struck by the use of language such as the word 'fun' to describe gunnery. The author recognises that his fighter pilot personality can arouse sensitivities; he recalls his family's reaction to receiving a postcard of him posing alongside his armed jet.

There are some incredibly moving moments. When the author attends a celebration for receiving yet another award for bravery, he encounters a former soldier whose life he had saved during one of his more dangerous night sorties in theatre. As the two men break down in tears, I confess that I did too.

That said, I only rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The writing is not the best; it feels a little too much like a personal diary and there are times when random anecdotes appear as if they had previously been forgotten. There are also quite a few grammatical errors.

One of the biggest surprises for me was the realisation that this book was written by the author as a septuagenarian. I had pictured a young man telling his story and I strongly suspect that Lynn High remains a young man in spirit.

******
Combat Jet Pilot
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Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 12 Aug 2018, 07:16

I enjoy reading a book that is more of a personal diary. This book sounds interesting as I have just finished reading a children's book about the evolution of the aeroplane. I wonder how his experience was like as Lynn was learning how to fly a jet pilot for the first time. The fact that Lynn is a septuagenarian makes this book is appealing to me as this man has a lot of tales to share. Thank you for your review on this book.
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Post by Julie Green » 12 Aug 2018, 09:02

ParadoxicalWoman wrote:
12 Aug 2018, 07:16
I enjoy reading a book that is more of a personal diary. This book sounds interesting as I have just finished reading a children's book about the evolution of the aeroplane. I wonder how his experience was like as Lynn was learning how to fly a jet pilot for the first time. The fact that Lynn is a septuagenarian makes this book is appealing to me as this man has a lot of tales to share. Thank you for your review on this book.
Thank you for your comment. Yes, Lynn has a lived a life full of stories and his first solo flight is a thrilling moment,

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Post by FictionLover » 12 Aug 2018, 09:22

Julie Green wrote:
11 Aug 2018, 11:03
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Combat Jet Pilot" by Lynn High.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
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If you have ever wondered what it feels like to be a fighter pilot in combat, this book will appal and fascinate you in equal measure. Lynn High always dreamed of becoming a combat jet pilot and he was able to fulfil his childhood dream during the Vietnam War. This book recounts the author's experiences as he learns to fly and is trained as a combat pilot. We follow Lynn on two rounds of duty in Vietnam where he is awarded several medals in recognition of his outstanding bravery.

Combat Jet Pilot by Lynn High offers many interesting insights into the life of a fighter pilot. I was intrigued to learn about the G-suit that pilots wear to help them manage high speeds without passing out. I was also surprised by how close pilots can fly during formation, sometimes with only three feet of clearance. In particular, I was incredibly impressed by the sang-froid shown by the author when faced with emergencies such as low fuel. On one occasion, he managed to land alongside a fellow pilot on the tiniest of runway strips and was so low on fuel that both pilots had to land in tandem, using only the noses of their planes to adjust their speeds and avoid collision.

This is not an easy book to read if you feel ambivalent about war. I make no judgement of the author as his heroism floored me at times. To face a missile flying towards your cockpit is bad enough, but the author's descriptions of flying in low at night to rescue soldiers who are under attack from enemy fire are terrifying. As a result, I swallowed my response to the occasional false note struck by the use of language such as the word 'fun' to describe gunnery. The author recognises that his fighter pilot personality can arouse sensitivities; he recalls his family's reaction to receiving a postcard of him posing alongside his armed jet.

There are some incredibly moving moments. When the author attends a celebration for receiving yet another award for bravery, he encounters a former soldier whose life he had saved during one of his more dangerous night sorties in theatre. As the two men break down in tears, I confess that I did too.

That said, I only rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The writing is not the best; it feels a little too much like a personal diary and there are times when random anecdotes appear as if they had previously been forgotten. There are also quite a few grammatical errors.

One of the biggest surprises for me was the realisation that this book was written by the author as a septuagenarian. I had pictured a young man telling his story and I strongly suspect that Lynn High remains a young man in spirit.

******
Combat Jet Pilot
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

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Awesome review. It definitely makes me want to read this memoir. I think your description of his night flights and rescue missions are vivid and make the essence of the book come alive. Applause!

However, my personal taste does not run toward these diary-like narratives. (Especially if they include poetry!)
So, I will probably pass on this one, but I'm sure many readers will be charmed by it.

I look forward to reading more of your reviews!

:tiphat: :tiphat:
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Post by sanjus » 12 Aug 2018, 12:53

Nice review about the book that shows the experiences of the combat air pilot right from his childhood dream to actual commissioning in the war.
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Post by Bonnie Shelby » 12 Aug 2018, 15:22

I loved your review! Well done :) This book sounds fascinating, especially since reading about wartime heroes always piques my interest. I've yet to read one about a fighter pilot though, so I might give this one a shot, even though the writing isn't the best.

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Post by Julie Green » 13 Aug 2018, 01:49

Bonnie Shelby wrote:
12 Aug 2018, 15:22
I loved your review! Well done :) This book sounds fascinating, especially since reading about wartime heroes always piques my interest. I've yet to read one about a fighter pilot though, so I might give this one a shot, even though the writing isn't the best.
Thank you! Yes, this one opened my eyes about the life of a fighter pilot and is worth the read.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 13 Aug 2018, 12:24

I like your observation about the author's young-at-heart writing style. Despite the diary style and the errors, it sounds intriguing. Thanks for your candid review.

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Post by Julie Green » 13 Aug 2018, 12:56

Cecilia_L wrote:
13 Aug 2018, 12:24
I like your observation about the author's young-at-heart writing style. Despite the diary style and the errors, it sounds intriguing. Thanks for your candid review.
While not always a sympathetic character, the author's personality really did come across well. Thank you for your comment.

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Post by Julie Green » 14 Aug 2018, 14:46

sanjus wrote:
12 Aug 2018, 12:53
Nice review about the book that shows the experiences of the combat air pilot right from his childhood dream to actual commissioning in the war.
Thank you for stopping by to comment :D

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Post by Helen_Combe » 14 Aug 2018, 16:30

Wow, that sounds like a nerve-racking read. I suppose you need a gung-ho sort of personality to be able to get through such dangers. Great review.
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Post by Julie Green » 15 Aug 2018, 01:53

Helen_Combe wrote:
14 Aug 2018, 16:30
Wow, that sounds like a nerve-racking read. I suppose you need a gung-ho sort of personality to be able to get through such dangers. Great review.
Thanks! Yes the author definitely has a larger than life personality.

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Post by stacie k » 15 Aug 2018, 15:41

One of the things I love about reading is the opportunity to learn about people, things, events I will never experience myself. I’m glad Lynn High recorded and shared his experiences. Thanks for your review!
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Post by Julie Green » 15 Aug 2018, 16:14

stacie k wrote:
15 Aug 2018, 15:41
One of the things I love about reading is the opportunity to learn about people, things, events I will never experience myself. I’m glad Lynn High recorded and shared his experiences. Thanks for your review!
I so agree with you about the pleasure of learning about experiences we will never face. Thank you for your comment!

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Post by Supergirl1 » 22 Aug 2018, 14:05

I love, love, love memoirs. But war, not so much. So now I’m torn. To read, or not to read? Well done on the great review. I enjoyed it!

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