military books by servicemembers.



Steve Vermillion

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Steve Vermillion, USA, served as a Warrant Officer helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War.  Steve Vermillion is the author of Dustoff No Compromise! No Rationalization! No Hesitation! Fly the Mission!

One reader of Dustoff No Compromise! No Rationalization! No Hesitation! Fly the Mission! said, “Dustoff is the self-published memoir of a 20-year-old US Army Warrant Officer's year of combat helicopter pilot MEDEVAC duty in Vietnam (1969-70). It provides a highly decorated pilot's fascinating perspective on one of the most dangerous and important combat support functions of the war, always told in a modest manner that discusses command politics and leadership issues as well as the combat evacuation adventures. The author, who went on to an Army career that culminated in the rank of Lt. Colonel, also gives an overview of combat medical evacuation history, philosophy, and techniques; provides a memorial chapter naming more than 200 soldier/airmen who died in Vietnam MEDEVAC operations; presents a technical section with diagrams on the UH-1 helicopter and its rescue hoist.


The book is interestingly and well illustrated with period black & white snapshots, presumably taken by the author and his comrades, that give readers a feel for what it looked like. Larger scale maps would have helped to better follow the "war stories". The text would have benefited from additional proofreading and editing. The book includes a "bonus" CD recording of radio conversations from one of the author's actual 1969 combat MEDEVAC mission. It really makes the incident "come alive" for readers with no such experience, and author seems INCREDIBLY cool in an incredibly stressful situation where he and his crew are hoisting wounded GIs out of the jungle in the middle of a night firefight. I recommend this book highly as an example of the kind of military memoir that all veterans - not just those with such distinguished combat records as Lt. Col. Vermillion - should prepare for their families and friends. It is a good read for anyone interested in what it was like in Vietnam, Army helicopter aviation or military medical support operations.”

Dustoff No Compromise! No Rationalization! No Hesitation! Fly the Mission!
Steve Vermillion  More Info

According to the book description, “Dustoff is a collection of non-fiction accounts of missions and other incidents that happened during Steve's combat tour in Vietnam.  Dustoff crews flew twenty four hours a day, seven days a week regardless of weather or ambient light conditions.  These crews faced adversity every time they flew--and they flew alot.  Unarmed they flew into harms way to rescue the wounded regardless of nationality, gender or age.  Fourteen-hundred officers and like number of enlisted crewmembers served in Dustoff units during the ten years encompassing the Vietnam War.  They lost one third of their crews to enemy fire or weather related crashes enroute to an evacuation site.  This elite group of warriors served wtih distinction--Dustoff is a snapshot of there dedication.”

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