Coming All the Way Home

Memoir of an Assault Helicopter Aircraft Commander in Vietnam

Not Yet Published


New 2021 Pre-Order

Available for pre-order / backorder

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist
SKU: 9781476684703 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

In 1968, twenty-one-year-old Fred McCarthy transitioned from the monastic life of a seminary student to that of a US Army helicopter gunship commander in Vietnam. Despite preparation from a family tradition of decorated combat service, a strong sense of patriotism, a love for aviation, and a desire for adventure, he got far more than he bargained for.
Written after 50 years of reflection, reading, and study, this memoir tells both a universal story about war, adventure, and perseverance and, also shares the intensely personal experience of the Vietnam War and its legacy for those who fought in it. McCarthy describes many of his missions, reflects on the nature of being a combat helicopter pilot, and processes the experience through his poetry, letters home, and reflective analysis.

About the Author(s)

Fred McCarthy served with the U.S. Army’s 121st Assault Helicopter Company at Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam, as a Warrant Officer and helicopter pilot of slicks (Tigers) and gunships (Vikings). After his service, he worked as a kindergarten teacher, private school principal, public school superintendent, small city mayor, college adjunct professor, executive director and advisor for development to the Whidbey Veterans Resource Center, and is the author of two education books. He lives in Western Washington.

Bibliographic Details

Fred McCarthy
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 90 photos, glossary, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8470-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4357-1
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Had me glued to the screen—outstanding! Scary. I felt as if I was maybe on the verge of getting shot down right along with you.”—Bob Bogash, Iconic Aircraft Preservation Specialist for the Seattle Museum of Flight, Retired Boeing Engineer

• “Fred McCarthy’s account of his experience as a young helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War provides amazing detail before Vietnam, during, and after…the book portrays what life was like in combat but also describes happier times such as providing support to the local orphanage.”—Bart Kent, Viking 22, 121st AHC–Soc Trang, RVN–1967-68

• “The Vikings were good because we had good people both enlisted and officers. They were, as you noted, carefully selected from those who had already proved themselves in the 121st.”—Rev Jerry Daly, Viking 26, highly decorated multi-tour Vietnam helicopter pilot

• “It was so good to see an in-depth analysis of the war from the point of view of a participant. During the war we seemed to forget about or ignore the dedication of our soldiers.”—Dave Sonnichsen, newspaper CFO and board member