Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat (Paperback)

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • "ONE OF THE BEST AIR-COMBAT MEMOIRS OF ALL TIME"* BY "ONE OF THE MOST DECORATED PILOTS IN AIR FORCE HISTORY"†

151 combat missions
21 hard kills on surface -to -air missile sites
4 Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor
1 Purple Heart

First into a war zone, flying behind enemy lines to purposely draw fire, the wild weasels are elite fighter squadrons with the most dangerous job in the Air Force

One of the greatest aviation memoirs ever written, Viper Pilot is an Air Force legend's thrilling eyewitness account of modern air warfare. For twenty years, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Hampton was a leading member of the Wild Weasels, logging 608 combat hours in the world's most iconic fighter jet: the F-16 "Fighting Falcon," or "Viper." He spearheaded the 2003 invasion of Iraq, leading the first flight of fighters over the border en route to strike Baghdad. Earlier, on 9/11, Hampton's father was inside the Pentagon when it was attacked; with his dad's fate unknown, Hampton was scrambled into American skies and given the unprecedented orders to shoot down any unidentified aircraft. Viper Pilot is an unforgettable look into the closed world of fighter pilots and modern air combat.

* TheDrive.com

† New York Post

About the Author


Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Dan Hampton flew 151 combat missions during his twenty years (1986–2006) in the United States Air Force. For his service in the Iraq War, Kosovo conflict, and first Gulf War, Col. Hampton received four Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor, a Purple Heart, eight Air Medals with Valor, five Meritorious Service medals, and numerous other citations. He is a graduate of the USAF Fighter Weapons School, USN Top Gun School (TOGS), and USAF Special Operations School. A frequent guest analyst on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC discussing foreign affairs, military, aviation, and intelligence issues, he has published in Aviation History, the Journal of Electronic Defense, Air Force Magazine, Vietnam magazine, and Airpower magazine, and written several classified tactical works for the USAF Weapons Review. He is the author of the national bestsellers Viper Pilot and Lords of the Sky, as well as a novel, The Mercenary.

Praise For…


“A rare riveting memoir of a highly decorated fighter pilot that’s packed with grit, swagger, and great humor. Do not miss this one!”
— W.E.B. GRIFFIN & WILLIAM E. BUTTERWORTH IV

“Hampton’s one of the most decorated pilots in Air Force history. ... We may never see his like again.”
— New York Post

“Offers a gripping cockpit view of modern air combat ... Hampton is a vivid writer and an unabashed warrior. ... An outstanding work.”
Booklist (starred review)

Viper Pilot is an awesome adrenaline rush. If you love action packed modern day war stories then strap yourself in and get ready for a gut-wrenching, g-force defying thrill ride!”
— ALEX KERSHAW, bestselling author of The Liberator and The Few

Viper Pilot is fantastic. Lt. Col. Dan Hampton offers a personal, irreverent, no-holds-barred look into the life of an Air Force fighter pilot. A great read!”
— DALE BROWN, former USAF Captain and New York Times bestselling author of A Time for Patriots

Viper Pilot is an instant aviation classic. Dan Hampton’s thrilling portrayals of combat missions kept me glued to the story, and he has captured the essence of Wild Weasel fighter operations as no one has before.”
— BRIGADIER GENERAL DAVID L. MOODY (Retired USAF)

“Dan Hampton’s Viper Pilot truly impressed me--if you’re a combat vet, it’s sweaty palms again; if not, strap in and get ready. Filled with lots of action, here’s a real and up-close look at modern fighter combat, told straight from the cockpit.”
— COLONEL JACKSEL BROUGHTON (USAF, Ret.), recipient of the Air Force Cross for extraordinary heroism and author of Rupert Red Two: A Fighter Pilot's Life

“Dramatic. ... Viper Pilot delivers 300 pages of aviation fireworks.”
Kirkus Reviews

“The best air combat memoir I have ever read... An incredible look into the unique culture of Wild Weasels.”
— Tyler Rogoway, Foxtrot Alpha, a Gawker Media site
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062130341
ISBN-10: 006213034X
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 14th, 2013
Pages: 368
Language: English