- AFHF Member Authors
War for the Hell of It: A Fighter Pilot's View of Vietnam
by Ed Cobleigh
Ed, “Fast Eddie,” Cobleigh served two tours of duty during the Vietnam air war, logging 375 combat sorties in the F-4 Phantom fighter/bomber. In War for the Hell of It, Cobleigh shares his perspectives in a deeply personal account of a fighter pilot’s life, one filled with moral ambiguity and military absurdities offset by the undeniable thrill of flying a fighter aircraft. With well-crafted prose that puts you into the Phantom’s cockpit, Cobleigh vividly recounts the unexplainable loss of his wingman, the useless missions he flew, the need to trust his reflexes, eyesight, and aggressiveness, and his survival instincts in the heat of combat. He discusses the deaths of his squadron mates and the contradictions of a dirty, semi-secret war fought from beautiful, exotic Thailand. This is an unprecedented look into the state of mind of a pilot as he experiences everything from the carnage of a crash to the joy of flying through a star-studded night sky, from the illogical political agendas of Washington to his own dangerous addiction to risk. Cobleigh gives a stirring and emotional description of one man’s journey into airborne hell and back, recounting the pleasures and the pain. the wins and the losses. and ultimately, the return.