Shepperd, Don

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Shepperd, Don

PERSONAL:

Male.

CAREER:

U.S. Air Force, c. 1960s-1998, served in the Vietnam War, retiring as two-star general and head of the Air National Guard; CNN television network, military analyst and commentator, 2001—.

WRITINGS:

(With Rick Newman) Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail, foreword by John McCain, Presidio Press/Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor of articles to CNN.com.

SIDELIGHTS:

Don Shepperd retired from the Air Force as a general in 1998 and in 2001 became a military analyst for television news. During his military career, he served in Vietnam, where he flew fifty-eight missions, beginning in 1967. In Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Shepperd collaborates with Rick Newman to write about a top-secret, all-volunteer jet-fighter group in the Air Force known as Operation Commando Sabre, or "Misty" (named after a commander's favorite song). Their highly dangerous mission was to search for enemies and convoys along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail, a task that required low-flying expertise that would enable the pilots to spot even tread marks or dust on treetops. As a result, the pilots constantly faced enemy fire and potential capture and death. Of the 157 pilots, thirty-four were shot down, three captured, and seven killed, including "Top Gun" Howard Keith Williams. A Publishers Weekly contributor referred to Bury Us Upside Down as "thoroughly readable, absorbing history." Writing in the Washington Post, Ed Rasimus concluded: "The stories in Bury Us Upside Down are vivid and timeless," adding that the book "unfolds in crisp vignettes and remarkable detail."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Hollywood Reporter, February 13, 2006, Gregory McNamee, review of Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail, p. 27.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2005, review of Bury Us Upside Down, p. 1314.

Publishers Weekly, October 24, 2005, review of Bury Us Upside Down, p. 47.

Washington Post, May 18, 2006, Ed Rasimus, review of Bury Us Upside Down, p. C05.

ONLINE

CNN.com,http://archives.cnn.com/ (July 22, 2006), brief profile of Shepperd.