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Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat
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Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  481 ratings  ·  76 reviews
151 combat missions
21 hard kills on surface-to-air-missile sites
4 Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor
1 Purple Heart

Sure to rank as one of the greatest aviation memoirs ever written, Viper Pilot is an Air Force legend's thrilling eyewitness account of modern air warfare

From 1986 to 2006, Lt. Col. Dan Hampton was a leading member of the Wild Weasels, the elite Air Forc...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by William Morrow (first published September 1st 2012)
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Miles
I bought this for my 15 year old son who has a particular interest these days in books about combat and war, in Iraq and Afghanistan. For my part, the only war stories that have ever really interested me involve airplanes. So I thought I could get something we'd both like.

The story of Dan Hampton's air force career is filled with cockpit narratives of electronic warfare and aerial combat, and much discussion of training and education and career building in the air force. It's also VERY full of...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
First of all I wanted to say that having men like Dan Hampton in the Air Force and military for the United States of America is what makes our country the greatest nation in the world! I could not believe the stories that Dan has told throughout the book about all of the missions he has been on, along with all of the other fighters in his unit and in Iraq! From the moment you read this book, you get a thrill ride that puts you in the back seat (if there was one) of the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” or...more
Paul
As an aircraft geek, I'm not a huge fan of the F-16; gimme an F-15 variant any day. But I still have much respect for the men and women of our armed forces that fly these and other machines, and more so for the "Wild Weasels", the small cadre of aviators whose primary mission is seeking out and destroying the AAA and SAM sites that other pilots generally go out of their way to avoid. From F-100Fs, to F-105Gs, to F-4Gs, and now F-16CJs, the Weasels have made it their business of playing cat and m...more
Cheryl
I am a fan of aviation and military history that is focused on aviation. Thus the reason that I wanted to check this book out. I found this book very informative and Mr. Hampton has a talent for story telling. Even though what he is sharing about are real life events. He makes the reader feel like they are viewing everything though his eyes. This is what I liked so much about this book.

Reading this book I did not feel like events or information was glossed over to hide. With other military type...more
Christine
I received the book Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat By Lt. Col.Dan Hampton From A GoodReads giveaway.
Thank You.

There was a lot of technical information about combat aviation and the aircraft used by these pilots but I felt that this was important to the story he told. The meat of the book was indeed the thrilling, terrifying and deadly combat missions that Lt. Col. Dan Hampton was involved in. These were so descriptive that you felt a part of the event. I truly cannot imagine what Hampton...more
Steve Crane
I love military books in general but more so the ones that are anecdotal and read like fiction. This book is one of those. The author is not only a gifted pilot, but a funny guy too and I found myself chuckling in many places.

I listened to the audiobook version from Audible read by John Pruden who did an excellent job. No mispronunciations of military terms one sometimes finds in similar audiobooks and the combat scenes are read in a way that have you feeling you're in the cockpit.
Ru
Lt. Dan Hampton gives a pretty thorough account of his time in the Air Force, and does so with a great mix of suspense, danger, and humor. This is not just a book about flight, as Lt. Hampton recounts stories from his perspective of bureaucracy and his experiences in combat in foreign lands.

With the mystery surrounding the fate and whereabouts of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, I thought this book would detail the unique perspective of a pilot, especially one who has to make snap life-or-death...more
Dee
Growing up I soaked up my grandfather’s stories about flying a P-47 during World War II. This imbued me with an early love of flight and in particular combat aircraft. Since there remains a dearth of modern autobiographies by fighter pilots, Dan Hampton’s Viper Pilot immediately gains an advantage. However the fact that he exhibits a talent for storytelling and a shares candidly makes this a spectacular read.

For those not familiar with Lt. Col. Dan Hampton, he could easily rest on his laurels as...more
Jim Ambrosini
Riveting read! I almost didn't pick this one because there were some mixed reviews. I'm sure glad I did as this was one of the better first-person accounts I've read. The author writes with such incredible detail that you feel as though you are in the cockpit next to him.

IMO this book serves a a lesson to today's generals as well. First- we succeeded in the gulf wars because we had trained to fight a super power (Russia). Also, in an era where many rear echelon generals are in charge of the mili...more
Melissa
I skimmed through most of this book because my son chose to be Dan Hampton for Historical Halloween at school. We found few reference to this "Top Gun" Ace Fighter Pilot in our search aside from what was in this book. As every other word was fuck this and fuck that it was completely inappropriate for me to read it to him. So I just went through it and highlighted the important facts about his career so that my 8-year old & I can read just the highlights to write his report.

I think that unles...more
Judy
This non-fiction book was packed with action! I admit I skimmed through parts of it because of the technical language, however, it provided a great insight to US military air flying and tactics. I also appreciate that Hampton wrote this himself and never included any classified information regarding personnel, missions or locations. Bravo to him. I also liked his tone throughout the book - adding his perspective on how things ran stateside, what bases were like around the world and his sense of...more
Jon
Hard to write a specific book review. This is a real combat pilots narrative of his time flying the F-16 Fighter jet. Very detailed and very descriptive. Lt. Col Dan Hampton knows of what he speaks. He was there. The F-16 is called the Fighting Falcon. Nice catchy name. But to the pilots it was known as "The Viper". Much more appropriate as you will see.You have to read the book to understand the Colonel's last sentence, but I have a good friend who was a fighter pilot in Vietnam. He will know w...more
Michaela Eby
I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

I was thoroughly impressed by the author's style of writing and his ability to convey emotion while still stating raw facts. Hampton allowed for me as the reader to understand terminology that I otherwise may have not been able to fully comprehend. He made me feel as though I was viewing the scenes and events through his eyes. Overall, it was a very impressive read and I look forward to reading more of Dan Hampton's work!
Brandon
Started out good, faded badly

The author fuss a good job of pulling you into the writer's if the fighter pilot, but it felt like he got bored about half way in with speaking to civilians and reverted to telling stories at the O club with his flying buddies. The further into the book you get, the more mired in jargon you become. I stopped caring and just wanted it to be over.
Bill League
Wild read

Great unvarnished account of air warfare as it really was.a great read that holds, your attention for the whole book.
Curt Peterson
Pretty good biographical account. The author is a little cocky at times but,hell, if I flew an F-16 in combat I guess I would be too!
Collin Stewart
A well written account of the life of a fighter pilot. A recommended read but not for the "politically correct" as Lt. Colonel (Ret) Hampton tells it like it was. I read the Kindle ebook. I look forward to reading more of this author's books.
Marc Dorval
Great book! If you feel the adrenaline rushing just by reading blow-by-blow descriptions of aircraft maneuvers, cluster bombs, and HUD displays, then this is the book for you. A fast pace, much humour, and colourful details add up to a very fun read.
Jonn
Was pretty good for a memoirs, but tends to forget about support personnel until the end. Also, his view and definition of a warrior is questionable. Pretty good book with fun stories and interesting insight into the mind of a fighter jocky.
Andd Becker
This extraordinary memoir will create hero-worshipping. Thanks to this special guy and his colleagues for completing dangerous U.S. Air Force missions.
I received this book free through the goodreads FIRST READS program.
Craig
Nov 17, 2013 Craig rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Craig by: Andy
Shelves: military
The prologue captured me. Well written, easy to read.
Even reading about his training is interesting and engaging.

This was a good book, loaded with entertaining and action packed stories. Well worth reading and enjoying!
Keith Jackson
Interesting look at the advent of anti-missile missions and planes. Talk about a scary job. Fly around until an enemy radar lights you up, then try and kill the radar before the SAM's kill you.
Chris
A great seat of your pants action book. Very fun. Also an eye opener on how we deal with anti aircraft missle batteries. These guys are nuts!
Alan
Excellent memoir of an F-16 fighter pilot. Longer review here: http://eyesandearsblog.blogspot.com/2...
Lou
Awesome book. Really liked the video clips in the enhanced version of the book on iTunes
Ken McConnell
Excellent personal account of modern war fighting from the cockpit of an F-16.
Prasanth Manthena
Interesting read about modern air combat
Ravzie Ravzie
Viper Pilot is a great narrative of what it's like to train to become a USAF F-16 pilot and go to war. Lt Col Dan Hampton wrote the book without a ghost writer, so it's like sitting with the guy, having a beer, listening to him tell stories. I can just picture him demonstrating the yanking and banking with his hands as he speaks, LOL.

Dan's stories are very exciting, entertaining and not at all dry. He recounts tales of being in Gulf I and II, as well as what his role was on 9/11 and about traini...more
Larry
This was a great book. But, not a book for everyone. It is the true story of the US Air Force's greatest F-16 pilot who flew his F-16 as a "Wild Weasel." What is a Wild Weasel you ask? It is the term used for those pilots and their aircraft who fly into a hostile area prior to other aircraft who are carrying bombs. This is a very special task that requires special skills of courage, tenacity, and many other skills. They fly deep behind enemy lines purposely seeking to draw fire from Sams and AAA...more
Mike
A great book written by a fighter pilot, from a fighter pilot's perspective, with a fighter pilot mentality. This book contains plenty of acronyms, fighter pilot terms, etc., so it might be a bit difficult for the non-pilot to understand all that is being communicated. There is also some harsher (some might say vulgar) language ... but it's a book written by a fighter pilot, from a fighter pilot's perspective, with a fighter pilot mentality. While I don't agree with all the details and opinions...more
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U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Dan Hampton flew more than 150 combat missions during his twenty years (1986–2006) as a Wild Weasel fighter pilot. For his service in the Iraq War, Kosovo conflict, first Gulf War, and elsewhere, Colonel Hampton received four Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor, a Purple Heart, eight Air Medals with Valor, five Meritorious Service Medals, and numerous o...more
More about Dan Hampton...
Lords of the Sky: How Fighter Pilots Changed War Forever, From the Red Baron to the F-16 The Mercenary: A Novel Viper Pilot (Enhanced Edition): A Memoir of Air Combat Viper. Pilot F-16 Lords of the Sky: How Fighter Pilots Changed War Forever, From the Red Baron to the F-16

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“In fact, the only way to keep a fighter pilot from talking with his hands was to put either a drink or a woman in them.” 1 likes
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