A Rock and a Hard Place: Military Morale in Cold War, Vietnam Years
Detailed, candid new account of Air Force missions sheds light on political, societal divides of the time
In what readers and military members are hailing as “a story that needs to be told,” the day-to-day lives of the men and women tasked with carrying out the efforts of an unpopular war infamous for its wave of unprecedented social and political upheaval are captured in the memoirs of a man who lived it himself in his new memoir, Holding the Hand of Darkness (published by iUniverse).
Arthur Hood graduated from Aviation Cadets and became trained to fly the Boeing B-47, an intercontinental bomber designed to carry nuclear weapons at high altitudes to Cold War enemies. The plane’s testing was dangerous, with numerous crashes and lives lost. Holding the Hand of Darkness chronicles his personal life, from childhood to retirement, as it focuses on key aspects of his military service.
As the American presence in Vietnam escalated following the decades of tension surrounding the Cold War, Hood found himself fighting with other men and women in missions that, in addition to becoming increasingly perilous, were meeting with mounting opposition back home.
Holding the Hand of Darkness specifically recounts four incidents which Hood is personally familiar with and subsequently researched in greater detail: the Brown Anchor 26 save of two F-4s over the Gulf of Tonkin; and the shoot down of Whaler Five Seven, Red Marker Four and Owl Seven. Most names and call signs are real; a select few were changed in instances that Hood felt might cause embarrassment or reflect poorly on those involved.
“We have not learned from the mistakes of this war,” Hood writes. Emerging from the plethora of military memoirs, Holding the Hand of Darkness gives a voice to those caught in the middle of defending their country and fulfilling their duties in a mismanaged, misunderstood war. Gain a new perspective in this illuminating new account.
What readers are saying about Holding the Hand of Darkness in five-star reviews:
“As an enlisted man, I served with the U.S. Air Force Security Forces (SAC) in Wyoming during the early sixties and with (TAC) in Vietnam during the late sixties. This book brought back memories that I had long forgotten … This book is evidence of the courage of America's military personnel and the sacrifices they and their families endure. If you are interested in reading a book detailing a pilot's Air Force aviation career from basic training through retirement, this is the book.”
“Wow, what a book. His memory of his career is well articulated. Well written and has a true to life view of the Air Force in its early years of KC135 tankers.”
“His stories of Strategic Air command follies, and Viet Nam tragedies, are breathtaking.
He tells the tales with a style and craftsmanship worthy of a prize-winning novelist.”