John Howard. Pierson Jr. Announces the Release of His First Book
Bronco Pilots

A Tale of Determination & Drive through Hell and Back

Release: [01 July, 2023].

John Howard. Pierson Jr. launches a biographical narrative, ‘Bronco Pilots’ covering the period 1959 to 1981 with flashbacks of growing up in Oklahoma, in college; in flight school in Florida, and while serving a career in the United States Marine Corps. He is a decorated marine pilot who flew 540 combat Helicopter and Bronco Tactical Close Air Support missions in Vietnam while also serving additional duties as a Platoon Commander and as an Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer. His personal combat awards include a Distinguished Flying Cross, 27 Air Medals, The Korean Order of Military Merit and The Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Later, he set a world aviation record and was awarded a second DFC. Soon after his eventual retirement from the United States Marine Corps he began writing about significant events in his life at the suggestion of his early sobriety mentor and recently began putting the collection of stories in chronological order to create ‘Bronco Pilots.’

Stories from the Oklahoma bible belt through eventual retirement from the Marine Corps and finding sobriety, serenity, and Grace, round out a tale of determination and drive. ‘Bronco Pilots’ follows the adventures of a marine pilot who went through Hell and back, while enduring the realities of life. Telling it all in seesaw stories of courage, struggle, companionship, pain, survival, failure, and success, this book inspires us to push forward no matter what comes our way.

A compelling read, Pierson’s stories take us on an intense personal journey with a young man who eventually won the battle against alcoholism and depression. John bares it all as he shares the exhilarating nitty-gritty details of his life as a marine, husband, father, and friend.

“The memoir boom, which seemed to dominate the early 1990s, has slowed somewhat but remains a valued mirror on the times, events and traumas all of us have experienced. Many memoirs are clearly great reads but present a sugar-coated peek at the lives of the authors. Others are just wonderful exaggerations of nearly everything.

John “Goofy” Pierson’s is a warts-and-all page turner taking us from Boy Scouting in rural Oklahoma to high school, college, and military football fields. The ebbs and flows of football were a major shaper of John’s life. He went to the University of Oklahoma to play football, transferred to the University of New Mexico because of football and much of his early military career involved football.

But this isn’t a sports memoir because in college he discovered a Marine Corps leadership program that took him from close-order drills to seats in the aircraft of war. And like many of us growing up in the 50s and 60s, romance, and, yes, sex was also prominent in John’s life when at the top of the charts was “Love Letters in the Sand” and later The Doors directing us to “Light My Fire!” And John lit some fires. So, buckle up. Get a good grip. You’ll hold your breath as John’s helicopter takes Viet Cong machine gun fire from the jungles of Vietnam to the time he found himself in the Juarez hoosgow wondering with booze-induced fear if he was going to get out of there alive. You’ll find yourself becoming a member of the Brain Committee cheering for John, cautioning John and being so grateful that he survived to share this terrific story.”
Dennis A. Britton
May – 2023

Dennis Britton is a retired journalist. He spent 25 years at The Los Angeles Times where he was responsible for national, foreign, and business news. He was also editor-in-chief of both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Denver Post.

Bronco Pilots.’  is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Google Books, and all major bookstores.

About the Author

John Howard. Pierson Jr. is a decorated US Marine Corps Pilot who flew helicopter MedEvac, resupply, insertions and recovery and Search and Rescue missions in 1965/66 and OV-10 Bronco Tactical Close Air Support missions in 1968/69 in the Vietnam War. He also served non-combat tours in California, Puerto Rico, North Carolina and Japan. While serving as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer of VMO-1 in North Carolina, his department set a Navy and Marine Corps aircraft availability record and he set a personal Aviation World Record for which he was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross.

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