Dick Diller puts you in the cockpit as he and his fellow pilots fly dangerous and secret night missions over Laos. The A-1 guys were a special breed and Firefly is a special book. Don’t miss it.
Major General John Borling, USAF, Ret.
6 1/2 year POW in Hanoi
We wanted you to know how much we appreciate your writing your story of the time you & Jim were at NKP. Some of it was of course hard for us to read, but we know it was also hard for you to write about. It gives us a much better understanding of the time there. We are glad you were able to return safely from SE Asia & thank you also for your service to our country.
In deep appreciation,
Jim and Ila Herrick (parents of Jim Herrick, who was MIA on October 27, 1969, about 40 hours after we had flown together.)
I am writing to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your book Firefly. I am an old “Buff” pilot and flew Arc Light out of U Tapao. I was involved with the bombing of Laos – which of course the B-52s never did. I never got to meet any Sandy pilots, but I always knew they were there and I could count on them if needed. It was a good feeling.
You certainly put me right back in the trailer at U Tapao, eating at the Thai O Club, R&R in Bangkok, and meeting buddies at the JUSMAG. It seemed so long ago.
I know of no other book written about the A-1s. Thanks for your effort. I will add it to my library for it is an excellent piece about that time. Hope we meet again.
Lieutenant Colonel John H. Shockey, USAF, Ret.
If you haven’t picked up a copy of Dick Diller’s book, Firefly, yet, check it out. I am reading it and it boggles my mind that the experiences I am reading about are real and were experienced AND written by the former teenager who sat back to back with me in Homeroom four years!!!!!!!! It’s very interesting as well as historical with a bit of humor thrown in. Dick stopped by last week and signed our book as well as the books we gave to our sons for Christmas. They enjoyed meeting Dick and talking about his experiences. Dick spent many years on this project and the end result is well worth it!! Great job, Dick!!!
I just finished reading Firefly. Congratulations on an outstanding book! As I was getting to the end, I was wishing there were more.
Your book deserves to be read. This is a really valuable contribution to the literature on the war, and I am sure that fellow pilots and others who served in and around Laos are thankful that you have written it.
I knew a quite a bit about your service there, but being able to read a day by day account with added analysis and reflections was just fantastic. Perhaps the part that I understood the least before reading the book was how you went from flying F-106s to flying Skyraiders. No one ever explained that to me. I was amazed by the frequency of mechanical failures (before and after takeoff) and the number of missions that had marginal or no purpose. The scariest missions had to be the “right seat” missions with someone else (less experienced) flying. I can barely stand to sit in the passenger seat of a car!
Thanks again for writing and publishing this. I recommended the book to two of my old colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee staff who covered Asia and traveled in Laos. Please extend my congrats to Aunt Emily. I loved the parts about her own missions in SE Asia. Also congrats to all the folks who worked on this with you.
I recently finished reading your book, and I just wanted to send this short note of thanks for sharing your story.
My father-in-law was in Vietnam at about the same time you were completing your missions over Laos. My wife was actually born while he was oversees. (August 1970)
We know very little about his service there, because for his own reasons he chooses not to speak of it. We respect that.
Although you obviously operated in a very different geographic area, I’m certain pilots like yourself helped my father-in-law and his comrades out of a jam more than once. For that I am grateful.
Just got done reading your book. Very good. I wish I had kept a diary during my year in Vietnam. All those missions, names and places are all a distant memory. My feelings were exactly like yours when I was over there. Again congratulations, a good read.
I’ve been reading your book. You did a great job writing it, as well as by your service in Laos. I’m proud of you.
This is just a quick note to say a Big “Thanks” for your book! I know it was a long process, as well as a labor of love, but I really like it, and think you did an outstanding job of capturing what it was like, and of turning your logs into a very readable & entertaining book. The very first night, I read almost half…until 3 am! (So it was obviously engaging!) Thanks again!
Thank you so much for sharing! I am reading your book now and I am completely enthralled. It is like a hole is being filled in on the missing piece of our family. I am so grateful to all of you and the sacrifices you made for our country!
I am impressed by your “journaling” history. SAC put the fear of GOD into all crew members when we went to SEA. No journals, no record of flights, types of receivers, dates of missions, area of operation, etc., particularly in letters home. I logged my flights but in a very basic way, dates and flight times only, no tail numbers or crew member names. Sad looking back on it. SAC classified everything SECRET or higher it seemed.
I really enjoyed reading Firefly. I was in KC-135s at Takhli for a short TDY in mid 1966 and we flew over NKP now and then but always at altitude and couldn’t see much. I congratulate you on writing the book and I hope you have great success with sales.
Delta Air Lines Captain and Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, USAF, Ret.
A great read! It was great to learn about your war in Laos and it had to be a trying experience. At the A-1 reunions, I meet many of the pilots from that era and now understand what they went through. We had it easy in the early days. Pleased you wrote the book and I had the opportunity to read it.
I had no idea that those things were that unreliable. You went up a few notches on my guts meter!
You can feel proud; it’s a terrific book. My congratulations.
Retired Delta Air Lines pilot and author of several books
Your book just amazed me. You did a superior job of rounding up all the info and making it all timely and accurate.
Lieutenant Colonel Dick Michaud, USAF, Ret.