The Bird Dogs' Tale


15 October, 2010

Dear Bobby,

I had no idea how little I knew about my beloved L-19! After completing your book, I feel like I have just finished a college course "Vietnam Birddog 101". Loved the way you mixed the facts with personal-non-personal anecdotes to keep the readers interest. I don't even want to think about the time and effort it took you to put this together. It is the only book that I've read that catalogs, in detail, the high cost of the loss of men and aircraft in time and unit segments during the Vietnam War. I know there will be great interest in it; especially among those that were privileged to pilot and maintain these unique aircraft under conditions that only the ones of us who were there, can ever fully appreciate.

Bobby, all of the writing about our war can be condensed to what we did and why it mattered. Fortunately, time has borne out the nobility of our cause as American Soldiers. The publication of "The Bird Dogs' Tale", hopefully will serve to document for everyone who reads it, the cost of what we did, and why what we did, mattered.

Obviously I enjoyed your book, and congratulations,

Hank Collins
Columbiana, Alabama

PS. After reading your book, I felt really guilty about rotating back to the states and leaving 'ole 72838' at Bac Lieu.


I loved the whole book. It is a great reference book, states facts in a very readable fashion. There will be so many army and air force veterans that will be indebted to your work. Your mission was accomplished with clarity, brevity and a passion for our airplane, and its relatives.

Charles Finch
220th Catkiller 19, ’68-‘69


Your book The Bird Dog's Tale contains history, facts and most importantly covers the men and planes they used in combat in Vietnam. It’s a great reference and resource to help understand how they organized and accomplished their mission.  Thanks for writing this book and for allowing feedback on it!  We especially appreciate the section on the 74th RAC, and mention of Lt Thomas Depalma.
Best Regards,
Doc Bowie in Maine

Thanks much for inviting my comments on your book. First off, it’s a superb work. You have obviously put a lot of work into it. You are probably the most knowledgeable person in the world on US Bird Dog involvement in SEA. Thank you for spending so much of your time researching and documenting this history.

Ed Gunter
Raven 72, ’69-’70



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