VIETNAM: GROUND ZERO RED DUST BY ERIC HELM

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tarzan

Copyright 1988.

After Tet the North Vietnamese are taking a more active role in the war. Men and materials continue to come down the Ho Chi Minh trail. The Americans come up with a plan to monitor the flow of supplies. They will insert teams into the north and plan tulips. These tulips are seismic sensors that will alert when there is movement so an airstrike can be launched. Captain Mack Gerber and Sgt. Fetterman are assigned to form a team and jump around the airbase at Phu Tho. After they plant the tulips the team then gets involved in taking out the personnel at the airbase to gain access to a radio to arrange a pickup.

This book I believe has a different writer. The name Eric Helm was the pen name assigned to this series. These series usually had a generic name to give the impression that they were written consistently by the same author when in fact it was usually assigned to different people. Kevin Randle was responsible for most of the books in this series. This book obviously had a different style. It had some weird touches throughout. A victorious Phantom after shooting down a MIG decides to put a sidewinder into a water buffalo. The guys find a peace activist at the base they take over and drug her up with the morphine she brought in the medical supplies so she can’t give away any information about them. The ending seemed rushed with a NVA officer who was bitter at losing his family to an bombing raid. He took out his revenge by gutting captured pilots. He is eventually stalked and disemboweled by a Bengal tiger.

Still in spite of the disjointed plot and over the top weirdness this was still an interesting book. The story was still fast paced and kept my interest.

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