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Low Level Hell: A Scout Pilot in the Big Red One

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  318 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The aeroscouts of the 1st Infantry Division had three words emblazoned on their unit patch: Low Level Hell. It was then and continues today as the perfect, concise definition of what these intrepid aviators experienced as they ranged the skies of Vietnam from the Cambodian border to the Iron Triangle. The Outcasts, as they were known, flew low and slow, aerial eyes of the ...more
ebook, 332 pages
Published January 16th 2009 by Presidio Press (first published 1992)
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Aug 23, 2011 Evan rated it it was amazing
A visceral Vietnam helicopter pilot's story, but from a rarer perspective. Not a 'slick' pilot almost helplesslessy dropping soldiers in, or the more helpless 'dustoff' crews who'd liftout the wounded out of hotter areas, this book extolls the virtues of the 'hunter killer' and straight -'scout' teams in their dimunitive helicopters who would locate the enemy - meeting their fire - and direct the other resources to them. The scouts suffered devastating losses outlined in the book in the process. ...more
Glen Stansfield
Jan 19, 2015 Glen Stansfield rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think I would find anything to challenge Chickenhawk as the definitive Vietnam war helicopter story but I was wrong. The escapade of these pilots really does have to be read to be believed, and even then I am not sure you would believe them. Someone once said of war stories, if it sounds believable it probably didn't happen.
At times flying only 2-3 feet above the rice paddies these observers were almost as close to the action as the troops on the ground. In many cases they did become pa
Nathan Hurst
This was an amazing book to read. I really couldn't put it down and got totally engrossed in the history and the helicopters. The imagery this book conjures up is vivid and well written, it transports you to Vietnam in the worst of times with Darkhorse One Six, flying his Loach OH-6A with his aeroscouts and Cobra hunter-killer teams.

I enjoyed this book for it's heart stopping action and frank, direct narrative. It doesn't sugar the subject, nasty things happen to good people and ones existence i
Oct 28, 2015 Sean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of action and meticulous detail, this book is a very good documentary of the types of missions and action seen by helicopter scouts in the Vietnam conflict. The book details the missions, their successes, close calls and failures flown by the author, Hugh Mills, as a helicopter scout pilot. His writing style puts you in the cockpit of his OH-6 Loach helicopter buzzing over the tree tops and engaging with a determined and experienced ground based adversary.

The book is informative and enjoyab
Oct 28, 2015 deano42 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Possibly one of the best helicopter books to come out of Vietnam

As Chickenhawk is the defacto Huey / slick book. Then Low Level Hell is the defacto book on scout helicopters.
An immense and intense read from start to finish, but also a very honest read. Never glorifying the team's action, instead laying the action bear.
Highly recommended.!
Feb 05, 2016 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating read about a different segment of the helicopter war in Vietnam. Having have read Chickenhawk and Snake Pilot, this adds a new dimension to the understand the air war. Well written.
William B.
May 13, 2015 William B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Warrior Survived

Hugh Mills memories and exploits should serve as a guide for those who crave the brutal adventures that only war can provide..
Jul 28, 2015 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

This was a great read! This book recounts the action of scout helo pilots in Vietnam. Riveting adventure could not put the book down!
Sep 28, 2015 Joanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The book captures the bravery of all troops who served in Vietnam. The author brings the reader into his world .
Michael Flanagan
Aug 10, 2010 Michael Flanagan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vietnam
WOW is the first word that pops into my head when I think about this book. Low Level Hell is one hell of a roller coaster ride, following the exploits of a American scout helicopter pilot during the Vietnam war. Before reading this book I had no prior knowledge of the role of helicopter scout pilots, now I am in awe of the sheer madness of these pilots. The two authors combine to bring the excitement and the tragedy of young men fighting in war. From hair raising balls to the wall fire fights to ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impressive helicopter pilot - puts a very different perspective on the Vietnam war.
May 02, 2016 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the combat descriptions. Resonated with me well due to my own combat experiences as a scout pilot in the Big Red One in Iraq. It was worth reading about the heritage of my profession. Mills details the emotions of a soldier well without turning self righteous or condescending. I appreciated his honesty. However, having been an air Cav pilot, I thought the dialogue often seemed forces and unrealistic. It's hard to convey the feelings of absolute terror in the middle of combat in a book, ...more
Oct 02, 2014 Bennie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was a Great Helicopter Book to read about the HUGHES OH-6A Cayuse Helicopter! How LT.Hugh L.Mills Jr.became a Scout Pilot in the VIETNAM WAR! How the HUGHES OH-6A Cayuse brought him home from a Mission! HOWARD HUGHES team build a GREAT LITTLE,and SAFE Helicopter for Pilots to crash,and walk away! The MD Helicopters took over for today! I have read this Book thou three times,and it's still good to read ever time for me.......Bennie R.Mabe
Walt Murray
Mar 05, 2012 Walt Murray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the true story of Viet Nam scout helicopter pilots. It gave me a new appreciation for what my dad and thousands of other helo pilots went through in Viet Nam. It is history told in a entertaining and at times humorous style.
Dan Moore
Apr 24, 2008 Dan Moore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Military buffs
As a helicopter pilot (civillian) I have a deep appreciation for the flying that these boys suddenly becoming men did. Just the flying is enough to earn hero status. To read about all they did as flyers puts them over the top.
Jun 01, 2013 Les rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! A damned good account of a spotter helicopter pilot's action over Vietnam. Can't recommend this highly enough if you're into war memoirs. It's right up there with Chickenhawk, which is high praise indeed.
Nathanael Keeler
I could not put this down. A fascinating tale told so calmly yet describing horrors I can not imagine. Reinforced the futility of war and at the same time the need to keep fighting for your mates around you.
Apr 19, 2016 Norbert rated it it was amazing
One of the best book about helicoper pilots. And a damn'd good book. I felt as I was asaid of the pilot, or with the gunner "in the back" or with downed crews or soldiers on the ground.

Just great
Michael Hilton
Gripping birds eye view of a 20 year olds vision of war from 20ft off the ground.
Tracey Hartley
Mar 29, 2014 Tracey Hartley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book on Vietnam hunter-killer tactics, may have a place today.
Nov 09, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Relevant for me, probably not interesting to those who do not have a connection
Jan 06, 2011 Beef rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the book is okay so far
Jim marked it as to-read
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“At that moment, One Eight abruptly broke off his comment. I looked ahead to see the top of a dead tree looming in front of the ship. Jones jerked the cyclic stick back into his gut and hauled up the collective nearly out of the floor. The agile little OH-6 literally jumped over the top of the tree. We heard branches brush against the Plexiglas bubble and underside of the fuselage as we blew by. “Holy Shit!” I gasped. Jones calmly went on talking. “You’ve just got to be alert to anything that jumps out at you, including the tops of old, dead trees.” 0 likes
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