Vector To Destiny - Journey of a Vietnam F-4 Fighter Pilot
Vector To Destiny - Journey of a Vietnam F-4 Fighter Pilot
Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
George W. Kohn’s Vector to Destiny: Journey of a Vietnam F-4 Fighter Pilot is an incendiary true-to-life tale about patriotism, duty, and loyalty. It chronicles Kohn’s war experience as a jet fighter pilot in Vietnam. This is the story of one determined kid with humble beginnings in Wisconsin. From a young age to adolescence, he faces barriers in reaching his goal but proves that they have only made him stronger and more determined in realizing his childhood dream. The cockpit of an F-4 Phantom becomes a different ballgame as these fighter jets are all involved in a coordinated bombing campaign against North Vietnam. Not all his missions will make you shudder, and for those that do, you can expect this book to take you back to an interesting time in history that divided the feelings of a nation.
In its first-person point of view, Vector to Destiny is patriotic in its purpose. It wants to record as accurately as possible what it was like to be a jet fighter pilot who had flown over one hundred missions halfway through his tour of Vietnam. Chronologically, it reconstructs the chain of events that begin in George W. Kohn’s childhood and how he defied his father’s dream of him taking over the family farm. Kohn’s step-by-step narrative makes it easy for readers to empathize with his sentiments. It can be heartbreaking when you come home after your tour of duty to discover that the people of your own country couldn’t care less about your experiences as a Vietnam veteran. Kohn doesn’t paint himself as heroic but merely attempts to capture the drama of war through his own eyes. Nonfiction books like this help you understand the actual experiences of men and women deployed to fight in the interests of national security. This is a highly recommended book, a raw account of a historical event penned by someone who has actually taken an active part in the action.ving a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.
" This book is a superb chronicle of the achievement of an American dream. From George Kohn's childhood in rural Wisconsin, through adolesence and college to Air Force pilot training and into the cockpit of a jet fighter in Vietnam the reader will get a series of insights into the dedication and effort it took to finalize a goal and succeed in making it come to fruition. Besides being a view of what it takes to become an Air Force fighter pilot, it serves as an inspiration for anyone who has a dream for the course of their life and confirmation that it can be achieved with persistence and self-belief."
Maj Gen Eric Crabtree, USAF (Ret)
“I know a lot about the Phantom and there were times I felt like I was a wingman”
Steve Amsdden, 3M Field Tech supporting McDonnell Douglas
George and I went to pilot training together. Same for winter and water survival schools. Then we were off to Southeast Asia for very similar experiences during our year in the F-4 Phantom II. I can emphatically attest that George has brilliantly brought those memories back to life for those who were with him as well as for today’s generations that want to know what it was really like. Triumphant memories, as well as those not so pleasant. George also shares with us his dogged determination to fulfill his dream of flying fighter aircraft. His lifelong achievements are inspirational; to be shared and emulated by anyone who has a dream and needs a good push to go get it. Finally, and most importantly: George, you are absolutely right...His guiding hand has seen us through it all. Well done!
Major General Sandy Sharpe USAF (Ret)
A realistic portrayal of how a boy became a man as his life intersected with the Vietnam conflict. This is the story of his dreams, his sense of purpose, his sacrifices and those of his family.
J Steven Banks, PhD School Administrator; Mary Banks, English Teacher
“Vector to Destiny, by George W. Kohn, is now the trifecta of books on my recommended list. It is a compelling collar-grabbing page-turner by an expert who is a masterful storyteller. The author is overly modest and quick to point out his shortcomings as a farm boy taking childish risks with farm machinery, as a student, and beyond. He has highs and lows, flaws, successes, and failures. The author weaves a brilliant story you don’t want to miss. From the beginning of the book, the young George will capture your heart and pull you into his world. The characters come to life and become people you know and care about—you are there with them. And you are right there in the cockpit of the F-4 Fighter with Lieutenant Kohn. You will cheer and laugh and, at times, choke-up with tears. I did not want the story to end, but I don’t think I am giving anything away when I say the ending will leave you with a satisfied nod. Vector to Destiny deserves a broad readership, and I look forward to the movie.”
—Nick Chiarkas, author of the award-winning novel, Weepers
“I really like the book . . . it was both attention grabbing and captivating . . . I couldn’t wait to finish it and when I did, I wished that there was more—not that George’s story was incomplete, but he writes so well that I was wishing there were more chapters. Now, just to be fair, the content was right in my wheelhouse—I grew up working on my uncle’s dairy farm and I have always held a deep and abiding respect for the military, especially Air Force (my eldest son was in the reserve). So the author had me from the start on this one.”
—Pastor Nathan Krause
“You are there! George captures a piece of history from a participant’s
viewpoint and takes you right into the action. Feel the tension as you dive into
enemy gunfire on bombing runs or as you listen to the enemy rocket attacks
when you’re on the ground. This book made me glad I flew the RF-4 instead
of the F-4E.” —Gordon Savage, Vietnam RF-4 pilot, author of Peacemaker,
Teleportal and Teleportal: Damage Control