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MASH Angels: Tales of an Air-Evac Helicopter Pilot in the Korean War
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MASH Angels: Tales of an Air-Evac Helicopter Pilot in the Korean War

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  8 reviews
An inspiring first-hand account by military aviation pioneer Richard Kirkland recounts how he and a handful of daring helicopter pilots revolutionized battlefield medical evacuation and blazed the trail for modern air-evac flying. Prior to the Korean War, the helicopter was all but unknown, and rescue was uncertain at best for downed pilots and wounded soldiers stranded be ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Burford Books (first published October 25th 2009)
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Aug 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-nonfiction
I would never have come across this if I wasn't specifically looking for books about helicopter pilots, but I'm quite glad I found it. I really enjoyed his stories about the war and especially about his helicopter flights. This book really made me want to go back and rewatch episodes of MASH, and take more helicopter flight lessons! My full review is here. ...more
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contains information on some of the actual people that were the based for some of the MASH movie and television series characters. It begins with the introduction of helicopters in the military and how this vehicle changed the way, doctors treated wounded soldiers during the Korean War. The author is a veteran who flew missions pick up down pilots from the sea and extract wounded soldiers from the battlefield. The book in includes photograph and sketches that support understanding of t ...more
Sep 26, 2019 added it
Though the writing could stand some punching up, and the editing was a little lax, this is a very good read. It's an honest, interesting tail of a small part of an honorable man's extraordinary life. Unfortunately Mr. Kirkland passed away earlier this year (at almost 96), otherwise I'd pepper the poor guy with questions and requests for more. As it is, I'll just have to settle for the 5 other titles to his credit. If you pick this book up you'll not want to put it down until you're done. Maybe n ...more
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Surprising to find no memoirs of nurse I began this to see what I could glean. Wound up discovering that the writers of MASH the TV show used several memoirs this being another. The writer went from flying jets in ww2 to choppers in Korea. A very educational read. The many medical and lifesaving tasks choppers now do routinely grew from men like this one and units like this. They were groundbreaking. So many owe them their lives.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wherein a reluctant jet pilot becomes a helicopter pilot and it is entertaining but also quite inspiring. Great stories. My only gripe is that the editing was a bit lacking - several typos and grammatical errors, but nothing too distracting.
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fascinating! A great look into not only the Korean War, but also the history of helicopters. This book has definitely made me more interested in both subjects!
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
A good read, written by a decorated World War II and Korean War veteran. The emphasis is helicopter pilots risking lives and getting wounded to MASH units. Different from MASH TV series, I learned how pilots did not fly by themselves but flew with medics. H-5 & H-19 were the helicopters, other planes were P-61 - Black Widow Night Fighter, SA-16 - Grumman Albatross Air Sea Rescue Flying Boat. Doctor, Captain Sam Gilfand "Hawkeye" was mentioned showing his humorous pranks. ...more
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read after having gotten into the M*A*S*H television series. It was neat to hear stories about chopper pilots in the Korean war. I'd definitely recommend it.
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Are you having a difficult time reading these days? If so, you're not alone. Since the pandemic began, I've found it harder to concentrate on...
80 likes · 36 comments
“Wilbur Wright set the tone in 1909 when he said, “Like all novices we began with the helicopter [in childhood] but soon saw that it had no future and dropped it. The helicopter does with great labor only what the balloon does without labor, and is no more fitted than the balloon for rapid horizontal flight. If its engine stops it must fall with deathly violence for it can neither float like the balloon nor glide like the aeroplane. The helicopter is much easier to design than the aeroplane but is worthless when done.”1” 0 likes
“In the years following WWII, American helicopter pioneers like Sikorsky, Frank Piasecki, Larry Bell, Stanley Hiller, Charlie Kaman and others continued their research and development, making progress in improving performance and reliability.” 0 likes
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