Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Low Level Hell: A Scout Pilot in the Big Red One” as Want to Read:
Low Level Hell: A Scout Pilot in the Big Red One
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  363 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The aeroscouts of the 1st Infrantry Division had three words emblazoned on their unit patch: Low Level Hell.This was theperfect definition of what thesepilots experienced as the ranged the skies of Vietnam. Mills tells the combatexperiences of these aviators. ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 8th 2000 by Presidio Press (first published 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Low Level Hell, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Low Level Hell

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 23, 2011 Evan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Jeff T.
Oct 14, 2016 Jeff T. rated it liked it
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 forced and unrealistic. It's hard to convey the feelings of absolute terror in the middle of combat in a book, ...more
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 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
Sheppard  Hobgood
This is non-stop action. These guys had more balls than anyone I ever knew and they should have been respected for obeying the call of duty to their country. The fact that Vietnam was unpopular with the populace does not diminish their heroism one bit. God bless the guys from Warrant Officer class 68-31 who lost their lives. They were fine young men.
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.!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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 .
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..
Kristian rated it it was amazing
Jun 01, 2010
Bennett Piater
Bennett Piater rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2016
Flamewave rated it it was amazing
Aug 28, 2015
Chad rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2014
Christopher Weddle
Christopher Weddle rated it liked it
Apr 26, 2013
Jorge Martin
Aug 21, 2016 Jorge Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good book.
Dmitry Smirnov
Dmitry Smirnov rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2016
Rich rated it it was amazing
Aug 17, 2014
Dale rated it liked it
Aug 17, 2011
Rob rated it really liked it
Sep 27, 2011
Tommy Planterhaug
Tommy Planterhaug rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2016
Ben Cage
Ben Cage rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • To the Limit: An Air Cav Huey Pilot in Vietnam
  • A Lonely Kind of War: Forward Air Controller, Vietnam
  • SOG: Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam
  • Thud Ridge: F-105 Thunderchief missions over Vietnam
  • Across The Fence: The Secret War In Vietnam
  • The Ravens: The Men Who Flew In America's Secret War In Laos
  • Blood on the Risers: An Airborne Soldier's Thirty-five Months in Vietnam
  • Dead Center: A Marine Sniper's Two-Year Odyssey in the Vietnam War
  • When Thunder Rolled: An F-105 Pilot over North Vietnam
  • Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail
  • Da Nang Diary: A Forward Air Controller's Gunsight View of Flying with SOG
  • Ripcord: Screaming Eagles Under Siege, Vietnam 1970
  • Once A Warrior King: Memories of an Officer in Vietnam
  • Chickenhawk
  • The Twenty-five Year Century: A South Vietnamese General Remembers the Indochina War to the Fall of Saigon
  • Steel My Soldiers' Hearts: The Hopeless to Hardcore Transformation of U.S. Army, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, Vietnam
  • A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam
  • Six Silent Men: 101st LRP/Rangers

Share This Book

“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
More quotes…