GOLD MEDAL AWARD WINNER, Life on a $5 Bet, is the biography of Major General Edward Mechenbier who, after being shot down over North Vietnam in 1967, endured the indignities of being held prisoner of war in the infamous Hanoi Hilton for almost six years.
General Mechenbier tells how he survived those long torturous years by holding true to the Code of Conduct and never allowing the Vietnamese to break him. He relates how humor got him and his fellow prisoners through those dark days, how the human spirit endured, and how ordinary men overcame adversary by keeping faith and having courage and commitment.
He also gives the reader a glimpse into his zany life as a test pilot, lobbyist, squadron commander. You will read about a man, after returning from hell, he went on to become a test pilot, a squadron commander in the Air National Guard, spy, member of the Reserve Forces Policy Board, golfer, syndicated television air show commentator, sales engineer with major aircraft companies, devoted family man, and pilot of the C-141, dubbed the Hanoi Taxi, where you will read about his emotional flight back to Vietnam in 2004 flying the Hanoi Taxi to repatriate two of his fallen comrades.
When Ed Mechenbier finally retired from the United States Air Force Reserve in June 2004, after 40 years of service, he held the distinction of being the oldest former Vietnam POW and Air Force general still in uniform on flying status. And he is still the world’s greatest fighter pilot.
At the age of eighteen, armed with a dream of flying and the desire to serve his country, Norman Gaddis enlists in the Army Air