MSGT. David M. Burns Tells Firsthand Account of the Plight of the American Fighting Man

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New book “Specture Gunner” tells of nightly terror in Vietnam War gunships.

What was it like to fly nightly missions over an endless jungle and uncharted mountainous terrain in Vietnam, knowing that being shot down meant death?

“Spectre Gunner: The AC-130 Gunship” provides a true, first-person account of aerial gunners during the Vietnam War by acting as a memoir for author MSGT. David M. Burns and his comrades. Flying the most dangerous gunship in the world over enemy territory, Spectre gunners possessed courage in the face of life-risking missions and cultivated camaraderie that lasted a lifetime.

Burns and his fellow airmen pursued enemy trucks and troops carrying ammunition and weapons down the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. The stakes were high, as the gunners knew that being shot down over enemy territory offered little chance of survival. “Spectre Gunner” depicts—through Burns’ personal experiences—the courage it took to accomplish these missions.

“I am a fellow career Spectre Aerial Gunner and can definitely vouch for the accuracy and validity of this work,” one Amazon reviewer writes. “[Burns] gives all the detail and relives some incredible Spectre AC-130 factual events that have always been legend in our squadron.”

This American hero’s gripping account acquaints the public with the AC-130 Spectre Gunship and its role in the defense of the nation.

“Spectre Gunner: The AC-130 Gunship”
By MSGT. David M. Burns
Hardcover: $23.95
Paperback: $13.95
eBook: $6.99
ISBN: 978-1-4759-6972-6
Available at,

About the author
David M. Burns joined the US Navy at the age of 15 in 1951 during the Korean War. He retired in 1978 as a master sergeant after a distinguished career in both the Navy and Air Force. He flew 287 combat missions in Vietnam during his four tours in the 16th Special Operations Squadron (Spectre) as an aerial gunner. Burns is a highly decorated veteran who was wounded in action twice and awarded several military distinctions, including three Distinguished Flying Crosses, 27 Air Medals, a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Air Force Combat Action Medal and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. He now lives in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, with his wife and three children.

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Kait Buck
Bohlsen Group
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