AVietnamese Fighter Pilot in an American Warby Hoi B. Tran


Bob Anderson, , CMSgt, USAF (Ret). Author of TAC LEADER: What HonorRequires and Back To Basics: For Finding Sanity in an Insane World.

Hoi Tran’s book has significantly opened my eyes about theViet Nam WarToldfrom an uncommon perspective, the Vietnamese viewpoint I learned more aboutwhat was actually happening than I ever learned from the news media.

Hoi brought his story to life as a warrior, a refugee, andan ally with insight, poignancy and fervorHoi’swriting ability helped me walk with him down the streets of Viet Nam as the story developed.

As a former military professional, I struggled with many ofthe conflicts Major Tran dealt with and wondered – would I have had the courageto handle things the way he did.

The book reads like a television documentary, that is whatit should beThiswork begs for a competent screen writer to tell the story Hoi has laid outIt is a story thatshould be told; told to a new generation of young people that were not thereIt should also betold for the generation that was there, that lived these events – it truly istheir story.

This is a book for students of history, for those thatserved in Viet Namand for those serving in conflicts todaySomeone once said, “There arenever noble wars, but there are always noble warrior.Hoi Tran has distinguished himself asone of them.

Larry D. Engelmann, ,Emeritus Professor of History at . Author of six books among them; Tears Before The Rain,Daughter of China and Feather in The Storm.

“Hoi Tran’s memoir of his servicein all three of the Indochina Wars between 1946and 1975 provides readers with a dramatic and very passionate and personalizedversion of what it meant and how it felt to fight in the ultimate lost cause ofour timeA brave and a patriotic and talentedpilot, Tran details the sacrifices and dedication of his fellow fliers in theirnearly unending struggle to provide security for the survival of a countrytrying desperately to survive against overwhelming oddsTran’s work documents the sacrifices and the dedication as well as thefrustration of the South Vietnamese men and women who were lost to the longconflict in VietnamHis narrative is yet another in a growing library of worksthat reinforce the importance of memory against forgetting.” 

Phillip Jennings, Former Pilot USMC, Air America, Inc. Award winningauthor of Nam-A-, Goodbye Mexico, and ThePolitically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War.

A Vietnamese FighterPilot in an American War is a book all Americans should read. It’s anadventure inside a war story inside a very human story of struggle, war,and finally success in a well-lived life. People like Major Tran are why Americawent to South Viet Nam‘said, and why we should have stayed the course to their ultimate victory.

Major Tran’s story, A Vietnamese Fighter Pilot in an American War,tells of that transformation with passion for his Vietnamese heritage and palpablegratefulness to his adopted country. What makes this book important, and soreadable, is his straightforward account of how it all happened. The flightfrom Hanoi and its brutal Communist regime (he remembers being taken to a rallyfor Ho Chi as a child), his struggle to becomeaccepted by the South Vietnamese military (after all, he was North Vietnamese)and ultimately flying fighters on the wing of PremierNguyen , aflamboyant leader of South Vietnam, on raids into North Viet Nam.

It’s a perspective of the Viet Nam War (The American War asthe North Vietnamese call it) that fewAmericans have been exposed . All of the Americantragedy of the war so widely covered in the U.S.press was experienced by the South Vietnamese—to a multiple degree. For them,and for Major Tran, the outcome was always uncertain, particularly if they readU.S. news orlistened to U.S.reporters, citizens and Congressman continuouslyclamoring about the need for Americato abandon its ally.

Yet, the South Vietnamese (now of course “Vietnamese”) wereand continue to be one of the most pro-American people on earthIn A Vietnamese FighterPilot in an American WarMajorTran tells why. The story of his struggles to become a fighter pilot to protecthis country, family and friends could be the story ofany number of young American men. Major Tran’s courage and devotion to duty, tofriends, to family and his basic decency and morality give background to why America was in Viet Nam, and why we should have never left them to their fate.

A Vietnamese Fighter Pilot in an American Waris apersonal story, but it’s also a story of the Viet Nam War that Americans shouldknow.

LaurieViet Nam veteranAuthor of Godzilla at – Myths, Hallucinationsand Mirage of False History, a work in progressAlso Co-author with R.J. Del Vecchio,WHITEWASH-BACKWASH, Myths of the Viet Nam

Tran Hoi’s memoir is a must-read to comprehend the complexitiesof Viet Nam and the war fought thereTheaccount spans decades, from Hoi’s initial youthfulsupport of Ho Chi in 1945 North Viet Nam, through his eventualdisaffection, opposition and service as a South Viet Namesepilot combating Hanoi’s communistsThe accountspans decades, recounting experiences and thoughts of an insightful,intelligent manOne major mistake runningthrough America‘s involvement and extending into grossly flawed historicalaccounts is inexcusable failure to listen to the Viet Namesethemselves, to understand their views, their patriotism, their motivationsHoi’s book is a longoverdue correction to this inexcusable flaw, containing important informationunavailable in most accountsRead it, learnfrom it.

LARRYMAYES, Colonel, USAF (Retired)

Rapid City

Hoi B.Tran is a very determined, patriotic and skilled man who has penned A VIETNAMESE FIGHTER PILOT IN AN AMERICANWAR, which chronicles his life from the turmoil of growing up in NorthVietnam during the civil war with the French after WWII, entering the VietnameseAir Force, escaping to South Vietnam, training in the United States, longservice as a fighter pilot, duty as a B-727 pilot for Air Vietnam and finallyhis escape to the United States with the fall of Saigon. This book is anautobiography first and also a history of the great conflicts within Viet Nam,both under the French colonial powers and during the subsequent ideological warbetween the North Vietnamese Communists and the Republic of (South) Viet Nam.His insights as to what motivated the various factions and the errors injudgments by the many leaders are unique and sure to be intriguing to readerswhose perspectives have been developed by Western writers. His painfulintroduction to America and challenges he faces as he tries to find a vocation andhome for his family make for some stark reading, revealing a man of greatenergy and grit. In total this book is a compelling story of significantsuccesses in the face of almost overwhelming challenges.

Rear Admiral William J. McDaniel, U.S.Navy, (retired), Viet Nam Veteran

Hoi Tran’s book, “A Vietnamese Fighter Pilot in an AmericanWar,” is one that all

Vietnamese should be proud ofMajor Tran displays all of the traitsof the South Vietnamese military man that those of us who worked with them cameto admire. It is a war story, but more than that. It is a story of a struggleagainst overwhelming odds to survive and prosper after the devastating loss ofone’s country.”

Lewis Sorley, , Lt. Col. (Ret)Author of Thunderbolt: General Creighton Abrams and the Army ofHis Times, Honorable Warrior: Gen. Harold K. Johnson and Ethics of Command, and A Better War.

Hoi Tran, a patriot and man ofgood will, has produced a moving and insightful account of his long search forfreedom. It constitutes an important addition to the under-represented SouthVietnamese outlook on the history of the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Alongwith documenting the tragic consequences of the communist subjugation of theSouth, he provides an inspiring story of how heand his family, and many other refugees, have built new and prosperous lives inAmerica

MajorGeneral Larry Taylor USMC(Retired)

I honor the serviceand dedication of our Vietnamese allies, and their stories need to be toldThat is especially true of men like Major Hoi Tran,who knows the truth behind the many myths surrounding American involvement inIndo-ChinaI watched VNAF A-1s in action inthose days, and they were courageous and good.

Andrew Wiest, , Professor of History at The University of SouthernMississippi, author of many history books among them: Vietnam’s Forgotten Army,Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land and, , TheEvolution of a Commander.

Hoi B. Tran’s A Vietnamese FighterPilot in an American War, is a valuable account of the often-overlooked SouthVietnamese role in the air war in VietnamThe story is both revealing and moving, tracing Hoi Tran’slife first as a child growing up in and around Hanoi during times of greattrouble, his momentous decision to move south after the signing of the GenevaAccords, his career in the South Vietnamese Air Force, through his new post-warlife in the United StatesA Vietnamese FighterPilot in an American War is an important primary document and is mostinformative when dealing with the myriad details of life in the SouthVietnamese Air Force ranging from training to the loss of dear friends onbombing runsHoi Tran’s work is raw andunapologetic in its support of the RepublicVietnam and in its dislike of the South’s communist adversariesA Vietnamese Fighter Pilot in an American War ispowerful precisely because it is raw – for Hoi Tran the hurt of the Vietnam Warremains very near the surfaceHoi Tran’s workis an important reminder that, to the South Vietnamese expatriate community inthe United States, the Vietnam War is a living, breathing thing – not anacademic exercise as it is to so many in the west, but rather an important partof daily life.

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