CHICKENHAWK by Robert Mason
Viking; 339 pages; $17.75
In World War II, American soldiers darted across Europe in Jeeps and swarmed ashore on to Pacific islands from LSTs. By the 1960s, G.I.s were commuting to and from action in Viet Nam by helicopter. The chopper, in fact, is symbolic of that war, and memories of 'Nam still echo with the beat of rotor blades.
This memoir by former Army Pilot Robert Mason recalls the violent, deafening, treetop world of 1,000 Viet Nam helicopter missions. Chickenhawk begins with a Florida farm boy's daydream of levitating above the fields and ends with the veteran suspended...