They flew low and slow, at treetop level, at night, in monsoons, and in point-blank range of enemy guns and missiles. They were missions no one else wanted, but the ones all other pilots prayed for when shot down. Flying the World War II-vintage Douglas A-1 Skyraider, a single-engine, propeller-driven relic in a war of “fast-movers,” these intrepid US Air Force pilots, call sign Sandy, risked their lives with every mission to rescue thousands of downed Navy and Air Force pilots.
With a flashback memory and a style all his own, George J. Marrett depicts some of the most dangerous aerial combat of any war. The thrilling rescue of “Streetcar 304” and William Jones's selfless act of heroism that earned him the Medal of Honor are but two of the compelling tales he recounts. Here too are the courages Jolly Green Giant helicopter crews, parajumpers, and forward air controllers who worked with the Sandys over heavily defended jungles and mountains well behind enemy lines.
Passionate, mordantly witty, and filled with heart-pounding adrenaline, Cheating Death reads like the finest combat fiction, but it is the real deal: its heroes, cowards, jokers, and casualties all have names and faces readers will find difficult to forget.