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War For the Hell of It: A Fighter Pilot's View of Vietnam

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  250 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Ed, "Fast Eddie," Cobleigh served two tours of duty during the Vietnam air war, logging 375 combat sorties in the F-4 Phantom fighter/bomber.
In War for the Hell of It, Cobleigh shares his perspectives in a deeply personal account of a fighter pilot's life, one filled with moral ambiguity and military absurdities offset by the undeniable thrill of flying a fighter aircraft.
Kindle Edition, 275 pages
Published January 4th 2016 by Check Six Books (first published May 30th 2005)
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Jason Young
Mar 15, 2015 Jason Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2015, vietnam
Not great writing, but well told stories. You can feel where he embellishs, but he tells you in the foreword he's going to. The highs and lows feel familiar.

He touches on some key points of the strategic war, but on a personal level. He relays the 'career moves' he made unabashedly but also didn't trump up his involvement in Paveway leading to Linebacker. He reuses idioms like crazy and mixes metaphors, but he gets right to the heart of his experience.
David Perrin
May 30, 2016 David Perrin rated it really liked it
F4's are for some reason my favorite all-time fighter. I remember seeing live fire missile shots at Pt. Magu Naval Air Station. Also wild weasels out at George AFB.

Anyway, this book gives you a good sense of how flying F4's was during combat. Big adrenaline rushes with emotional highs and lows of saving people and losing friends.

Nighttime missions when your wingman doesn't return to easier times escorting a hercy bird 130 with Bob Hope and entourage on board!

Audio version: Narrator was great!
Mar 23, 2011 Robbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read. I really liked the sarcasm of Cobleigh, through his very, very unique experience in Vietnam as a fighter pilot. There was a bit of political commentary, but it wasn't annoying and actually made sense. The description of combat from the air is very exciting, especially for an aviation-nerd like me.
Feb 01, 2016 Hairystool rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like aircraft then read this book!
Some of the in-cockpit descriptions really make you feel like you're in there.
If you don't like aircraft? It won't grab you the same but there is still some more cerebral stuff about the thoughts of a US serviceman in Vietnam.
Gives me an interesting perspective on my father's experience as a fighter pilot. There were parts were I could really hear him saying what was written.
Dorcas brekel
Oct 28, 2016 Dorcas brekel rated it it was amazing
Awesome book

This book gave me a glimpse of what it was like flying an F-4 in the Vietnam war. I enjoyed reading this book and I am thankful Ed survived all the missions. I am also thankful Ed put his view of the war in print so future generations can learn from his experience. Eds service during the war and writing this book are two gifts to our country that I am thankful for.
Apr 27, 2016 Robert rated it it was amazing
He Tells It Like It Was

An honest account of those turbulent times--the young American male propelled by forces greater than personal choice gets the journeys through Dante's hell and wonders of which Dante could not conceive.... His description of Clark Air Base was so accurate--I spent two years there, same time frame--he is a great writer: I smelled that SE Asian air again, those burning palm fronds used for cooking outside the huts (too continuously hot air temp to cook inside), the smoke fro
Joy Wilson
Mar 31, 2016 Joy Wilson rated it really liked it
Interesting look at the Vietnam War

Although I was too young to understand the Vietnam War. It has been a touchstone in our country for my whole life . I have tried to enlighten myself by reading books written by the men who served. This book was a unique look into the life of one fighter pilot who flew 375 missions in Vietnam . His candor and humor made it a quality read and I am grateful to have the opportunity to have learned more about flying as well as the frustrations of the men who served.
Jesper Jorgensen
I really like this book. Cobleigh tells about his thoughts on the war, small anecdotes from his time in Thailand and recounts some of his missions. And, not least, about some of the great moments pilots has when they simply just fly.
And all in a kind of low keay language and tone that makes the book very readable.
creig speed
Apr 26, 2016 creig speed rated it really liked it
Excellent book about a F-4 pilots life at war

Captain Cobleigh is a great story teller. I'm sure he could have written a book 10 times as long. The reader gets the sense of being along for the ride.
Manny DeAnda
Jun 07, 2016 Manny DeAnda rated it it was amazing
Great Story from someone who was there.

A real history lesson on the way the war was really run just to make people in Washington fill their egos and pocket books. A must read.
Patti Merz
Aug 12, 2016 Patti Merz rated it really liked it
Mach 1

This wasn't really the kind of book I was looking for, more action than a day in the life. I found the more I read the more I was enjoying it.
Jonathan Eastman
Mar 13, 2016 Jonathan Eastman rated it it was amazing

Not just a play by play of fighting, this is a book that digs deeper. The author explores the nature of war and of warriors, and stumbles upon some very remarkable conclusions.
Brandon rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2015
HILDE VAN DE SANDE rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2016
Susan Holifield
Susan Holifield rated it did not like it
Mar 15, 2016
diane cooney
diane cooney rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2016
Gord Ball
Gord Ball rated it really liked it
Jun 23, 2016
jerry turner
jerry turner rated it did not like it
Feb 10, 2016
Jason rated it liked it
May 07, 2016
Scott rated it liked it
Feb 27, 2016
john rawls
john rawls rated it it was amazing
Mar 16, 2016
Michael Evason
Michael Evason rated it it was amazing
Apr 01, 2016
jerry eisner
jerry eisner rated it really liked it
Aug 16, 2016
Burky Ford
Burky Ford rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2013
Jeffrey Davis
Jeffrey Davis rated it really liked it
May 25, 2016
Paul D Ellis
Paul D Ellis rated it really liked it
Aug 08, 2016
Jim Gemmill
Jim Gemmill rated it it was ok
Jun 24, 2016
Joyce rated it liked it
Mar 21, 2016
Daniel Callaghan
Daniel Callaghan rated it it was amazing
Jul 19, 2016
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Ed Cobleigh was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After graduating from Chattanooga High School, he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Masters Degree in Management at the University of Southern California.

Ed earned his pilot’s wings with the United States Air Force and eventually achieved the rank of Lt Col. As a fighter pilot, he
More about Ed Cobleigh...

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“and I have seen them all, stars such as John Wayne (Jet Pilot with Janet Leigh), or George C. Scott (Not With My Wife, You Don't with Virna Lisi), or William Holden (The Bridges at Toko-Ri with Grace Kelly) all fly with their visors up and their oxygen masks dangling loose. I assume this is to let the cameras record them acting. No real pilot flies like that. Without a visor, the high altitude glare would blind me and” 0 likes
“Paveway system was invented in some guy's garage (where else?).” 0 likes
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