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  • Flight Quack

  • The True Story of the Vietnam War’s Most Decorated Flight Surgeon, Who Became a CIA Assassin
  • By: Alan S. Levin, J. B. Gentry
  • Narrated by: Jim Bratton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins

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Flight Quack

By: Alan S. Levin, J. B. Gentry
Narrated by: Jim Bratton
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Publisher's Summary

"Why do I need a gun? I'm a doctor!"

Over 50 ago, I was a Harvard-trained pediatrician drafted as a Navy Flight Surgeon, thrust into the Vietnam War and onto the front lines, stationed in Dong Ha, leading up to the massive Tet Offensive. It was early 1967 when I arrived. I was scared sh*tless. I had a reason to be. As U.S. Marines, our motto is “Never Leave a Man Behind.” That means Medevac helicopter crews were rushed into live combat under the protection of Huey gunships to rescue wounded comrades. During these thunderous extractions, often in a state of sheer terror, I frantically tried to save as many young Marines as I could, practicing crude but life-sustaining procedures in the belly of a chopper, under intense fire, as we fought for our own lives. My first enemy kill came during a night incursion onto our base. I was attacked in my bunker by a teenaged Viet Cong fighter. I stabbed him mortally with a single thrust of my blade. I felt his heart stop beating.

In Vietnam, I knew I would either die or go insane. When my close friends began getting killed in action, including a pilot buddy who burned to death when his chopper crashed, I snapped mentally. As I sank deeper into my psychosis, my desire to kill grew stronger. I volunteered for the CIA’s Operation Phoenix, a counter-insurgency campaign, designed to conduct psychological warfare on local leaders. I was assigned to assassination teams, strictly targeting civilians. Such missions were extremely risky, but I had a death wish.

Miraculously, I did survive to pursue a career in medical research and law, love my wife and walk my dogs. For my actions, I was awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Valor, a Combat Action Ribbon and an Air Medal with 3 Gold Stars. However, I’m not bursting with pride. I’m still grieving. It’s hard to cope with the guilt of surviving and of what I was directed to do. War is not glorious, like the movies or video games. No one wins. Except those few who greatly profit.

©2022 James Baxter Gentry III (P)2023 James Baxter Gentry III

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