Join Captain Taylor St. James, along with his friends and comrades, as they fly harrowing combat missions, cover for each other, deal with bad weather, mechanical problems and human error during the later part of the Vietnam War.  When not flying, they are harassed by rocket attacks and sappers in the wire. Taylor discovers the North Vietnamese are not his only enemy as he copes with the pressures put on him by a commander more interested in personal glory than his men’s well being.  

This is the story of Captain Taylor St. James, a dedicated Army helicopter pilot, who is sent to Vietnam. He just wants to do his job, survive the war and return home to his wife Sandy and family. While performing his duties, Taylor will be challenged and tested beyond any measure he could have ever envisioned.

He is assigned to the Eagles, a Huey Assault Company with the 101st Airborne Division in I Corps. Taylor’s unit is stationed at Phu Bai Base where  they fly missions throughout the northern region. Their flying exploits take them into many familiar places to include:  A Shau Valley, Khe Sanh, Quang Tri Province, Hue, DMZ, North Vietnam and Laos.

Along the way Taylor participated in Lam Son 719, the last major American Offensive Operation of the war.  This historical campaign lasted for sixty days and involved over 750 helicopters flying in and out of Laos supporting the South Vietnamese incursion into Laos.  Lam Son 719 was the costliest period of helicopter warfare for the Americans.  More helicopters were shot down and sustained battle damage than any other period during the Vietnam War.


In Praise of Chariots In The Sky

A novel of wartime bombing missions that makes for gripping reading…

Freeland is an absolute master of flight-combat narrative; a decorated veteran of air combat in Vietnam, his ability to put the reader in the seat of a B-17 beset by German fighter planes and anti-aircraft fire is superb…For fans of combat fiction…this book will be a welcome addition to a genre already packed with exciting literature, and readers interested in how ideas of duty and honor sustained American servicemen under the most trying conditions will find it well worth the investment.

Kirkus Review

This book plunged me into WWI...

This book plunged me into WWI – the filthy conditions, the never-ending danger, the courageous, young fighters, the strongly bonded friendships – and the daily realities of war. But what stuck with me was the reception by the community and the government itself toward those who managed to return home alive. I learned a lot through this book about what these men and women endured on both arenas. Larry puts you in the action – you can smell the filthy trenches, your lungs burn from the gas, you are ducking to avoid being shot. And oh! How he can create a bad guy! And a sweet love story. I really liked the book and am looking forward to the next two in the trilogy.

Kathy Cretney

Riveting Novel Of Air Combat Action...

Larry Freeland’s “Chariots in the Sky ” is a riveting novel of air combat action during Lam Son 719, one of the last big American combat operations of the Vietnam War. He has written a great book about men who control their fears and fly into action knowing they need to be prepared to handle whatever happens.

Bill McCloud, Vietnam Veterans of America

Freeland’s descriptions of air combat are thrilling...

The Air Warrior (Publish Authority, 456 pp. $19.95, paperback) is Book Two of Larry Freeland’s proposed Legacy of Honor trilogy. Altogether, the novels will tell the stories of three generations of men in one American family from World War I through at least the Vietnam War. Freeland served in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division as an infantry officer and helicopter pilot.

The Air Warrior begins in the summer of 1943 with a recent college graduate, 1st Lt. Sean McCormick, in the copilot’s seat of a B-17 Flying Fortress in the air over Germany, feeling like he’s flying “into hell.” The group of planes he’s a part of comes under attack by German ME-109 fighters at such close range that the young LT can clearly see enemy pilots’ faces

McCormick’s father, as we read in Book One, survived the hell of World War I, and, as his son recalls, he is “haunted by terrible memories of his days in the trenches.”

After victory in Europe in 1945, Sean McCormick trains in new bombers under Lt. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle. He then flies in the Korean War, and afterward serves in the Strategic Air Command with Gen. Curtis LeMay.

Freeland’s novel contains interesting bits of military information. We learn, for example, about how oxygen masks were made to work in higher altitudes, details about uniforms worn by typical flight crews, and the nose art on B-17s, as well as the contents of evasion and escape kits issued to Allied air crews and the creation of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in 1954.

The overarching theme of the trilogy is how this country treats its warriors during and after wars and conflicts. As this volume ends, it’s the very early years of America’s involvement in what would become the Vietnam War and McCormick’s three sons who are all coming of age.

If these first two books are any example, the third will bring this story to a smashing conclusion.  

Bill McCloud Vietnam Veterans of America

The author has woven historical facts and added an encompassing military and family story into a very compelling book.

I enjoyed “The Air Warrior” in many ways: The book covered a wide scope of wars and skirmishes in history and added to my knowledge of those points in time. The author is very thorough in explaining military history and aircraft history and provides an informative backdrop to his storyline. The storyline is interesting and has a strong main character in Sean McCormick. The author’s style is penetrating and straight-forward, and you are pulled into the cockpit with Sean and the many missions which he flew. Even for a reader who may not normally gravitate towards military battle scenes, the accounts are very exciting to read. The book provides a wonderful story of a family’s service and commitment to the country, as well as love and support through the generations for each other. One of my favorite parts was when Sean meets his maternal grandfather under trying circumstances in France. It was an example of the sacrifices families make in wartime and a very poignant part for me. The author has taken historical facts and added an encompassing military and family story and woven them into a very compelling book.

Babett McBain

What a terrific read - Skillfully researched and written!

You won’t want to stop reading this one. You’ll experience life, emotions, action, and the horrors of aerial combat as Sean and the bomber crews experience them.

John Woodward

The Air Warrior took me on an emotional rollercoaster…

The Air Warrior took me on an emotional rollercoaster alternating between tension filled moments of life and death during strategic bombing missions and short ground-based reprieves, only to climb back in the airplane and fly another mission. I felt I was in the seat behind Sean McCormick never knowing if this would be my last mission or whether I would get safely back on the ground! The Air Warrior resonates with the duty, courage, and convictions of people who gave of themselves in the face of horrendous hardships and sufferings to defeat tyranny and preserve freedom and liberty. Thank God for people like Sean McCormick.

Shawn Ireland

The wealth of information tied to the continuing story of one family keeps the reader interested and makes history more personal…

The Air Warrior, second book in the Legacy of Honor trilogy, is an educational history of the American pilot in WWII, Korea, and the Cold War.  Any pilot or military student will enjoy reading all the technical information about planes and bombing tactics.  History students will learn a great deal about the well-researched and analyzed political events and actual leaders of the time period.  That all of this wealth of information is tied to the continuing story of one family keeps the reader interested and makes history more personal.

Regina Loveridge

Great Story of Grace Under Pressure

Mr. Freeland provides one of the best and most accurate descriptions of being a bomber pilot during war as well as an example of leadership under pressure I have ever read. A memorable and honest story of the personal toll war takes on a pilot and his crew.

James Harvey Author of several WWII novels

Buckle your shoulder harness and chinstrap as you fly über-dangerous, white-knuckle bombing raids over Europe and North Korea.

Buckle your shoulder harness and chinstrap as you fly über-dangerous, white-knuckle bombing raids over Europe and North Korea. A fiery death is often the fate of these slow, lumbering bombers, sitting ducks for ground flak and enemy fighter jets. This most entertaining and informative novel enriched my understanding and appreciation of the war efforts of the Greatest Generation, and the mass casualties they suffered.

Jameson Gregg Georgia Author of the Year and IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Award Winner

You fly with the heroes. Another work of art!

Larry Freeland paints historically accurate, authentic, action-packed scenes that propel the reader into the dangerous air battles of war. The spectrum of emotions, narrated by the heroic protagonist, shifts the reader from observer to participant; you fly with the heroes. Another work of art!

Paulette Brown

Though a fictional story, it is a riveting history lesson…

Though a fictional story, it is a riveting history lesson, and you will be amazed by the courage and skill of the B-17 pilots and crews.  If you ever wondered why veterans of WWII were called the “Greatest Generation”, you will know after reading this book. Hard to put down once you start reading.

John Smith

Story takes us on a compelling, emotional, and powerful journey…

The Air Warrior” is the perfect title for the second book of The Legacy Trilogy.  The family military saga continues with Sam McCormick’s son, Sean, joining the Army Air Force and the story takes us on a compelling, emotional, and powerful journey through his military career as a pilot during WWII and the Korean War.  We are let into the head and heart of Sean as we experience his life as a warrior pilot, his honorable military service, and his undying love for his family. Be prepared to feel as though you are in the co-pilot seat beside Sean.

Linda Miller

Freeland’s aim is for his trilogy to explore how this country treats its warriors and veterans during and after our wars. With Book One, The Patriarch, he’s off to a good start...

Larry Freeland’s new novel, The Patriarch (Publish Authority, 390 pp. $16.95, paper; $7.99 e book), is the first volume of Legacy of Honor, a proposed trilogy. The three books will contain the military experiences of Sam McCormick in the Great War, his son in World War II, and his grandsons in subsequent actions, including the Vietnam War.

Freeland served in Vietnam with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division as an officer and CH-47 helicopter pilot. His previous book, Chariots in the Sky, is a riveting look at air combat during the Vietnam War.

The Patriarch begins in early August 1918. Sgt. McCormick is in trench in Europe getting ready to lead his men over the top and engage Germans at the other end of a 300-yard killing field. As he and his men advance through no man’s land, McCormick says, “I’m in Dante’s seventh circle of hell: violence.” McCormick’s troops are frequently shelled; they suffer a “truly terrifying” gas attack; and McCormick is wounded. While recovering in a field hospital McCormick falls in love at first sight with a French nurse.

Freeland does a good job painting the picture as we move from scene to scene. One example is the excellent transition McCormick goes through starting with a flirtation in the hospital, a few days of recuperation with baths and a clean uniform, a truck ride back to his unit, and then: “Jumping from the back of our truck, I land in mud almost up to the top of my trench boots.” Freeland takes us immediately back to the front and all that entails.

We follow McCormick’s story until the war ends. He survives, comes home, has difficulty finding work, and then struggles during the Great Depression. The book ends with McCormick’s son entering the military after Pearl Harbor.

Freeland writes in nearly encyclopedic fashion as he includes background information about the World War I trenches, the history of the nursing corps, the big increase of cigarette use among American military personnel, the history of “Reveille,” and the meaning of “buying the farm,” among many other things. He also takes the reader on a 30,000-foot overview of a battle about to take place before dropping us down into the action.

Freeland’s aim is for his trilogy to explore how this country treats its warriors and veterans during and after our wars. With Book One, The Patriarch, he’s off to a good start.

Bill McCloud—Vietnam Veterans of America-Books in Review II

Where History and Fiction Merge...

“An incredible piece of historical fiction centered on Sam… a soldier, a Company First Sergeant, and finally a WW1 vet who returns to an America that does little to support those who bravely fought on its behalf. Larry has created a riveting storyline with well-developed characters that traverse the war and the historical years beyond.”

F. Michele Jones, retired teacher of creative writing

This story seized my range of emotions...

Vivid descriptions of the horrors of World War I trench war fare combined with a tender love story seized my range of emotions! The Patriarch weaves a story of one man’s indomitable spirit, leadership, and courage as a compelling introduction to the saga of the McCormick family. Can’t wait to read how this family deals with the trials and tribulations of the twentieth century.

Shawn Ireland

A Worthy Read...

The reader begins on the war front, experiencing the horrors of the fight as if in the bunkers himself. Eventually, he learns the hardships of transitioning to his ‘new normal’ life back home, after surviving the travesty of his war experience. An emotional and intellectual journey.

Alan Zubay

Exceptional Story on Amazingly Accurate Pivotal Events From Our Past...

If the first book in the trilogy, Legacy of Honor by Larry Freeland is an accurate indicator, this series should be read by everyone. The descriptions of fighting in the trenches and the struggles of the soldiers in World War I is amazingly accurate. Almost nothing is overlooked with cars, baseball, steel mills, strikes and the bonus army.  This journey into the key events of the early 20th century through the eyes of Sam’s family and friends is very moving and makes the history come alive to many who may have previously only read the dry historic accounts of so many pivotal events from our past.

Regina Loveridge

Exciting and Historically Accurate Tale of War and Romance...

Freeland weaves together an exciting, action packed, and historically accurate tale of war and romance during and after World War 1.

James Harvey, author of Grayton Beach Affair

Captivating and Realistic WW I experiences...

A captivating realistic story of one man’s World War I experiences both on the battlefield and postwar; a powerful account of the strength, hope and love that triumphs over the many obstacles soldiers and veterans endure.

Paulette J. Brown

A Masterful Story...

Once again, Larry Freeland tells a masterful story. Anxiously awaiting to read books two and three of “Legacy of Honor” trilogy.

L. Miller

Unforgettable Story...

Crawl through the trenches of France with American infantrymen and experience the horrendous brutality of WWI warfare … reminiscent of the carnage in Civil War battle scenes in The Red Badge of Courage. Then follow the “doughboys” as they assimilate back into American society, often with heartbreaking and unforgettable outcomes.

Jameson Gregg, Gold Medal winner, IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award "Georgia Author of the Year"

Remarkable Story...

Based upon his experiences in Vietnam Larry Freeland provides a thrilling, compelling and heartbreaking account of a combat helicopter pilot and his crews at the height of the war. The narrative brings to life the meaning to the phrase “they give their all” with vivid examples of courageous, tenacious and selfless service day after day under the most horrendous and stressful circumstances imaginable. The book is a MUST READ and certainly on par with other noteworthy Vietnam accounts such as “We Were Soldiers Then and Young”. I found it so engaging that I read it the day after receiving it from Amazon.

Amazon Customer

Great Vietnam Story...

A gripping novel of helicopter action in Vietnam. The characters were well developed and the plot was great. The action scenes were interesting and suspenseful. I really enjoyed this book and will look for more from this author. A must read.

rnb 777---Literary Reader-Barnes & Noble Reviewer

Outstanding Book...

My husband was in the USAF and says it is especially a great book for those who were pilots or anyone who served our country.

Louanne---Barnes & Noble Reviewer

What a ride!

I was transported to Vietnam during the end of the war through this book. The bravery and fear of the helicopter pilots constantly facing death was palpable. I felt like I was in the helicopter with TJ and his 3 crewmates – breathing the heavy and artillery charged air, searching out the hidden enemy, anticipating the attack. The author made it possible to live those days as one of them – experiencing their daily routine – and the characters were so very real. I highly recommend reading the book!

Kathy Cretney

Chariots in the Sky, felt like I was there with the characters...

Written in such a way that you could be forgiven for thinking this is non-fiction, the book handles the context of a terrible war with respect and also in a way which does not sugar coat the realities of a conflict situation. I enjoyed the writing style and really felt like I was there with the characters.

Louise Gray

Chariots In The Sky is right up there with some of the best...

I loved the book! Anne and I do a lot of reading – Clancy, Patterson, Jeremy Waldron and a few others and I have to say Chariots In The Sky is right up there with some of the best. The book really held my attention and let me visualize all of the various scenes as they unfolded. I think you are a very talented writer and I am looking forward to your next story.

My only suggestion is that you “write faster”!

Tony Mancini

Chariots in the Sky brings the reader to the war in Vietnam...

The author of Chariots in the Sky brings to life the experiences of a combat helicopter pilot and crew in the Vietnam war. Chariots in the Sky places readers in the assault helicopter as the horrific insanity of war rages. It makes the reader appreciate the difficulties of a soldier who has been separated from his country and loved ones while he also must deal with the politics of his superiors in the chain of command. A good book to read and a war that should never be forgotten.

Powell Ennis

Chopper Jockey...

For any Viet Nam vet who depended on the choppers to take him to his objective or act as Medivac for wounded personnel in the battlefield, a great read.

Also, this book has the protagonist, ie, an officer who sacrificed his men to climb the ladder of success.

Although fiction, the author was a chopper pilot, who has been there, done that.


Sam Bell

A helicopter pilot serving in the Vietnam War struggles to survive a major offensive...

Capt. Taylor St. James, known among his fellow soldiers as TJ, is a helicopter pilot in the Army deployed to Vietnam in 1971. He belongs to a Huey Assault Helicopter Company—part of the 101st Airborne Division—a group deeply involved in Lam Son 719, one of the key combat operations of the war and one in which helicopter pilots contributed heroically and suffered tremendous losses. Freeland chronicles these perilous missions with impressive historical accuracy, capturing not only the danger of the missions, but the ethos of the helicopter pilot and the creed, or “Helicopter Wisdom,” that guided them through the terrors of war. TJ’s company commander, Maj. Hutchins, is killed and replaced by Maj. Parker Stewart, a weak leader obsessed with promotion at the expense of the pilots for whom he is responsible. TJ voices his concerns about Parker’s recklessness, a defiance that puts him in Parker’s crosshairs—Parker tries to force him out of the company. The author focuses on the Lam Son 719 campaign, billed as a triumph against the North Vietnamese though it exposed the woeful inadequacy of South Vietnamese forces. Freeland’s debut novel is impeccably faithful to historical events, not surprising since he served as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War as part of the division referenced in his novel. He furnishes a detailed look not only into combat operations, but also their political context as well as providing a moving depiction of the soldiers’ loneliness. TJ constantly sends communications to his wife, Sandy, doing his best to conceal the extent of the danger he faces daily….a worthwhile peek into the horrors of war.

Kirkus Reviews

Best book reflecting the human toll and courage of our troops...

Well written book reflecting the trials and courage of American helicopter pilots and crews during the Vietnam war. This is the best book I have read on the Vietnam War as it reflects not only the military history but the human side of the War.

Whh - Amazon Reviewer

A Vietnam War thriller of a dedicated U.S. Army assault helicopter pilot!

This book puts you into a combat helicopter pilot’s seat for an emotional ride of your life time! It touches every emotion and every chapter draws you to the next! It is hard to put down! Very well written for everyone to read!

Dave - Amazon Reviewer

“Chariots in the Sky” is an entertaining and eye-opening look at the life of Army helicopter pilots during the Vietnam War...

I’ve known the author for almost 50 years, but never realized or gave much thought to his experiences during that time. While this is a fictional novel, it is based upon his experiences and actual historical events. I suspect many veterans will recognize some of the characters in this book as did I. This is a good read for those interested in aviation’s contribution to the war effort in Southeast Asia.

Tom Lokey, Major, USAF, Retired

Bravery of all the U.S. combat helicopter pilots in Vietnam...

A compelling story of the life of a combat helicopter pilot in Vietnam. A tribute to the bravery of all soldiers who risk their lives daily for the freedoms we enjoy each day.

Greg Hodson

Actual flying/maneuvering of the UH-1...

As I read through the book and you described the actual flying/maneuvering of the UH-1 I found myself thinking, “Self, did you really do that?” It was so long ago that it seemed like something I never knew how to do but I know I did and I am proud I once was skilled enough to be selected to fly a Huey and in particular to fly Dustoff. Next to my family it is the best thing I have ever been involved in. Your characters went through some really harrowing missions!

AlexO-Medical Evacuation Helicopter Pilot, 57th Medical Detachment (DUSTOFF), Vietnam, 1965

A realistic look at a pilot’s life in the Vietnam War...

This book is an exciting and informative look into the life of a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. It reveals that the enemy was much more than the NVA. The enemy was lurking around every corner, from “leadership” to weather to the pain of losing multiple friends to the unimaginable stress of flying extremely dangerous missions. Constantly surrounded by the threat and reality of death, this story paints the resulting dark, lonely and intense life these pilots endured both in the sky over enemy territory and on the ground. A life that most of us can never understand, only glimpse.

Simultaneously, this book juxtaposes all that hard darkness with warm, kind human connections that propel the reader forward with anticipation. And, despite that the Vietnam War was considered lost, “Chariots in the Sky” salutes the brave, talented pilots who risked all and did win. It took a transparent, honest soul to make a story about the Vietnam War exciting for this girl.

Paulette J. Brown


The subtitle “A Story About U.S. Assault Helicopter Pilots at War in Vietnam” tells a potential reader exactly what this book is about. There are more than enough harrowing flying scenes and firefights on the ground that will keep readers of this genre interested. For Army Aviators, “Chariots in the Sky” is a realistic and fictionalized tale of what they endured during their time in Vietnam.

The VHPA Aviator, May/June 2021

A great novel about chopper pilots at the end of the Vietnam war...

I have read “Chariots in the Sky” by Larry A. Freeland. This is a great novel about chopper pilots at the end of the Vietnam war. I have read many books about this conflict both fiction and nonfiction and this one reads almost like nonfiction. The statistics about chopper pilots is amazing, almost half the choppers were lost during the war. In this book although fiction you get a feel for the most crazy things that can occur in a war zone and how it is to live with it. I must thank @publishauthority @netgalley for giving me this advance copy and the author @larryfreeland_author for writing a great book.


An exciting book...

A nicely written, exciting book. Larry Freeland was in Vietnam himself serving one tour with the 101st Airborne Division as a CH-47 pilot and he replays the feeling of time and place extremely well.

Well worth reading.


A must read...

A gripping novel of helicopter action in Vietnam. The characters were well developed and the plot was great. The action scenes were interesting and suspenseful. I really enjoyed this book and will look for more from this author. A must read.

Ron Baumer

One word...


George Lean, AVCM (NAC/AW)

Couldn't put the book down...

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There are very few books that I start and don’t want to put down. This is one of them. It is an eye-opening look into the world of American helicopter aircrews at war in Vietnam.

Ray Brown

A dramatic and exciting story...

Chariots in the Sky is a harrowing combat helicopter ride through wartime Vietnam. This fast paced experience of war comes to life through the eyes and exploits of Army assault helicopter pilot, Captain Taylor St. James. This is a dramatic and exciting story that puts you right in the middle of the action. Read this for a solemn appreciation of what it was like for our assault pilots and crews fighting the war in Vietnam.



You can order the book at your favorite local bookstore, or online and in real-world bookstores worldwide.

Distributed by Ingram

A Story ABOUT U.S. ASSAULT Helicopter Pilots at War IN VIETNAM

I’ve written this novel, “Chariots in the Sky”  as a historical fiction story.  I didn’t want it to be a story about one man’s or one aircrew’s personal experiences in Vietnam.  But rather, I wanted to take the reader on a ride through the eyes and exploits of one fictional character, Captain Taylor St. James.  He is the embodiment of a combat helicopter pilot in Vietnam.  It is through his exploits and adventures that the reader will gain a better understanding of what it was like for pilots and crews during the Vietnam War.   Those who served in Vietnam as pilots and crew members may certainly relate to some of Taylor’s experiences, thoughts and feelings about the Vietnam War.  For those readers who may not be familiar with that period of our collective history, it is my hope that you would find this reading experience insightful, educational and rewarding. 

This novel is a work of fiction.  All characters and military call signs used in this book are fictional.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.  Many of the military units were real, however, all of the characters associated with them in this book are fictional.  Although many settings are referred to by their real names and certain military operations did occur; they are used as backdrops for the fictional characters and incidents depicted in the book.

As I look back over my life, I would have to say that my five years in the U.S. Army, and particularly my year in Vietnam serving with the 101st Airborne Division as an Infantry Officer and CH-47 Chinook pilot, were the most challenging, demanding, and many times the most intense I’ve ever experienced.  It was also one of the most rewarding.  During this time I trained, served, and flew with many brave men, who were courageous, compassionate, dedicated and professional.  I do not believe I’ve ever experienced that level of dedication and comradeship in an organization since leaving the military service in the fall of 1973.  This novel is dedicated to those men who served as helicopter pilots and crew members during the Vietnam War.  I believe, these are some of the finest men America has ever produced.