The Hunter Killers

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A gripping chronicle of the band of maverick fighter pilots who signed on for the suicidal, dangerous top-secret “Iron Hand” program during the Vietnam War—which used revolutionary tactics to combat Soviet missile technology—from New York Times bestselling author Dan Hampton.

On July 24, 1965, Soviet advisors to North Vietnam launched an SA-2 surface-to-air missile (SAM), blowing an American F-4 Phantom out of the sky—the first of several U.S. kills using this fearsome new technology. To counter this new weaponry, stunned Pentagon officials created a classified program—“Iron Hand”—that offered a small group of maverick pilots a chance to counter this deadly threat.

Fifty years later, Dan Hampton provides a cockpit view of this highly classified military program that was a radical departure from practiced tactical jet aviation—and carried a fifty-percent casualty rate. Yet despite the odds, a band of courageous, daring, and skilled pilots—warriors who took the name Wild Weasels—risked their lives to save their Air Force brothers.

Using first-hand accounts, declassified documents from both sides of the conflict, and featuring unpublished photographs, The Hunter Killers takes readers into the skies, and up close to the bloody duels that left half the Weasels dead or captured. At its center are the men who risked everything to be a part of history. Hampton brings them into focus, exploring their lives and personalities, and the characteristics—a combination of ego, bravery, heroism, and duty—that motivated them. He also looks at their legacy, which continues to influence the military today.


  • TheHunterKillers_01_Open

    Duration: 20s
  • TheHunterKillers_02_Author'sNote

    Duration: 06min
  • TheHunterKillers_03_Prologue

    Duration: 25min
  • TheHunterKillers_04_Part1Chapter1

    Duration: 30min
  • TheHunterKillers_05_Chapter2

    Duration: 51min
  • TheHunterKillers_06_Chapter3

    Duration: 49min
  • TheHunterKillers_07_Chapter4

    Duration: 56min
  • TheHunterKillers_08_Chapter5

    Duration: 01h03min
  • TheHunterKillers_09_Chapter6

    Duration: 52min
  • TheHunterKillers_10_Part2Chapter7

    Duration: 01h05min
  • TheHunterKillers_11_Chapter8

    Duration: 54min
  • TheHunterKillers_12_Chapter9a

    Duration: 34min
  • TheHunterKillers_13_Chapter9b

    Duration: 43min
  • TheHunterKillers_14_Chapter10

    Duration: 39min
  • TheHunterKillers_15_Chapter11

    Duration: 01h04min
  • TheHunterKillers_16_Epilogue

    Duration: 42min
  • TheHunterKillers_17_Appendix

    Duration: 31min
  • TheHunterKillers_18_Credits

    Duration: 40s
  • sample

    Duration: 01min