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"If I decide to answer the question, I usually just say I was just a Doorgunner. But I was really a Crew Chief." (Memoir, page 1)

   Tony Lawless
Collection image
Tony Lawless at time of service
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army
Unit: 282nd Army Attack Helicopter, 1st Air Cavalry
Service Location: Da Nang, Vietnam; Fort Meade, Maryland
Rank: Specialist, E-4
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Tony Lawless's memoir of his service in Vietnam offers a detailed, no-holds-barred account of his one-year tour of duty that began in April 1970. His eyesight too weak to make pilot, Lawless first served as a door gunner on a helicopter that mainly flew supply and transport missions. Later, he flew with the 282nd Assault Helicopter Company on combat missions in both their Black Cats and Alley Cats units. Lawless wrote faithfully to a friend back home who kept his letters, and many of them are reproduced as part of his narrative. He describes his own drug and alcohol use, his boredom, fear, and the pain he felt when he urged his best friend to go on a mission which proved fatal.

»Lawless in Vietnam: A Personal Accounting of My War
[PDF: 20 MB / 425 p.]
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»Helicopters: The Multi-Mission Aircraft
»Vietnam War: Looking Back

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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