He spent the next year of his life immersed in the fear, fatigue, tedium, and moral ambiguity that comes with life in a combat zone, while forming deep bonds with his fellow soldiers. Contrary to the losers, addicts, and crazed baby killers that Vietnam veterans have been portrayed to be, Ron found them to be “good boys from every corner of our country, black and white, rich and poor, who did as we were told, the best job we could.” From Ron’s point of view, he and his fellow soldiers were sons of the “greatest generation”, who wanted only to honor their fathers by answering their nation’s call, just like their fathers did in World War II.
As a soldier with the First Cavalry Division, Ron participated in some of the most pivotal conflicts of the war, including the Tet Offensive and the siege of Khe Sanh. He wrote this book not only as a memoir of his experience but also as an effort to set the record straight concerning the true character of his fellow soldiers. Packed with photos and personal stories, Sons of the Greatest Generation is a fascinating firstperson account of the Vietnam conflict.
There is no glory in war, only heartache and despair.
Khe Sanh’s Hill Fights of 1967—as experienced by co-author Bobby Maras and told in this hour-by-hour, day-by-day account—were carnage on the ground, much of it hand-to-hand fighting in the dark. Thanks to the brave Marines of the 9th and 3rd, Khe Sanh survived the first concentrated attack by the North Vietnamese to invade the South. After the Hill Fights, American forces pulled back and held out against constant enemy shelling and frequent attacks until the siege was broken. Combining Maras’ personal experiences with the war’s bigger picture, Blood in the Hills honors the heroic actions of our soldiers and shows how Khe Sanh was microcosm of the entire Vietnam War.
Force Recon companies were the eyes and ears of the Marine Corps in Vietnam. Classified as special operations capable, Force Recon Marines ventured into the enemy’s backyard to conduct reconnaissance and launched deliberate strikes against the enemy. Lanning and Stubbe blend analysis and you-are-there stories of Force Recon in action to create the definitive account of Recon Marines.
A CAP unit was comprised of six to eight men who lived in the jungles of Vietnam with no firebase or compound for security. Their responsibilities were two-fold. They were to become involved in the everyday life of the Vietnamese villagers, helping them in everything from farming to healing their sick. They were also instructed to help train a new generation of PFs - Popular Forces soldiers - young Vietnamese men committed to fighting the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) and other forces of Communism.
In reality, the "help" went both ways. PF soldiers taught the marines basic jungle survival skills such as how to locate and defuse booby traps and how to cover their bodies with water buffalo dung to keep the mosquitoes away. Ordinary villagers like Mamasan Tou would set up a security network so the CAP marines could afford the occasional luxury of a nap or a few minutes to write a letter home.
The only time a CAP marine left the jungle was when he was rotating home, wounded or dead. Goodson's thirteen-month tour of duty was almost over when he was wounded. He spent several weeks in various hospitals before going home, and facing a whole different kind of battle there.
Engagements with the elusive Vietcong and NVA were unlike the frontlines and complex battles that the United States military had been fighting for over a hundred years; they were often short, brutal affairs. The U.S. soldiers and marines were often thrust into battle outnumbered and in hostile territory, or ambushed in convoy or on patrol; but given a fair fight the Americans would most often come out on top. Three authors, all of whom had seen action in Vietnam, set about collecting and illustrating examples of the types of fighting that occurred during the war; from the famous battle between the 7th Cavalry and the NVA in the Ia Drang valley to the countrywide Tet offensive. The examples recounted in this book in vivid and expert detail are;
Fight at Ia Drang by John A. Cash
Convoy Ambush on Highway 1 by John Albright
Ambush at Phuoc An by John A. Cash
Fight Along the Rach Ba Rai by John Albright
Three Companies at Dak To by Allan W. Sandstrum
Battle of Lang Vei by John A. Cash
Gunship Mission by John A. Cash
“John Albright served in Vietnam as a captain in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and participated in the action, "Convoy Ambush on Highway 1." ...He has served two short terms in Vietnam as a civilian historian while employed in the Office of the Chief of Military History.
“John A. Cash, Major, Infantry, an experienced officer, served in Vietnam as a company commander and as a member of a brigade operations staff in the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), in the latter capacity participating in the action, "Fight at Ia Drang." He also served two short tours in Vietnam as a historian on special missions for the Office of the Chief of Military History, to which he was assigned from 1966 through 1968. On the second short tour he was involved in the action, "Gunship Mission."
“Allan W. Sandstrum, Lieutenant Colonel, Field Artillery, served on the G-3 staff of I Field Force, Vietnam.”
All the members of 1st Lt. James J. Kirschke’s mortar platoon and then rifle platoon knew the stakes: the Marines are America’s military elite, expected to train harder, fight longer, sacrifice more. Kirschke led by example in the hotly contested zone just south of the DMZ and in the dangerous AnHoa region southwest of DaNang. There Kirschke’s units, with resources stretched to the limit, saw combat almost daily in some of the fiercest fighting of 1966.
Sustained through the toughest firefights and bloodiest ambushes, the men’s morale proved a testament to Kirschke’s leadership and his dedication to what the U.S. Marines stand for. Those beliefs, and the faith of his men, in turn helped Kirschke through his long recovery after he was wounded by the triple explosion of a box mine rigged to an anti-tank rocket round and a frag grenade.
The Marines’ legend and reputation are based on the blood, courage, and discipline of warriors like Jim Kirschke. Sparing no one, he has written a powerful chronicle of the deadly war his Marines fought with valor.
From the Paperback edition.
A year later, after boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, and stateside duty in Barstow, California, the Vietnam War was reaching its peak. McLean, like most available Marines, was retrained at Camp Pendleton, California, and sent to Vietnam as a grunt to serve in an infantry company in the northernmost reaches of South Vietnam. McLean’s story climaxes with the horrific three-day Battle for Landing Zone Loon in June, 1968. Fought on a remote hill in the northwestern corner of South Vietnam, McLean bore witness to the horror of war and was forever changed. He returned home six weeks later to a country largely ambivalent to his service.
Written with honesty and insight, Loon is a powerful coming-of-age portrait of a boy who bears witness to some of the most tumultuous events in our history, both in Vietnam and back home.
From the Paperback edition.
On 5 May 1968, the downing of two U.S. helicopters in the Que Son Valley marked the beginning of the North Vietnamese Army’s second Tet offensive, with the goal of destroying all U.S. forces. At 1728 hours, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry conducted a combat air assault to join Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry at the helicopters' fatally downed location.
Their experiences during the next six days set the stage for a three-month long battle that lasted only hours for some. In the end, there would be more than 2,300 dead and wounded, and one American Soldier missing in action. It will take over 44 years to find his location; UNACCOUNTED is his story.
Keywords: Missing in Action, MIA, Infantryman, Vietnam, POW, Mission, Unaccounted, War
In the early morning hours of April 1, 1970, more than four hundred North Vietnamese soldiers charged out into the open and tried to over-run FSB Illingworth. The battle went on, mostly in the dark, for hours. Exposed ammunition canisters were hit and blew up, causing a thunderous explosion inside the FSB that left dust so thick it jammed the hand-held weapons of the GIs. Much of the combat was hand-to-hand. In all, twenty-four Americans lost their lives and another fifty-four were wounded. Nearly one hundred enemy bodies were recovered. It was one of the most vicious small unit firefights in the history of U.S. forces in Vietnam.
As in his acclaimed book Blackhorse Riders, a finalist for the prestigious Colby Award, Phil Keith uncovers a harrowing true story of bravery and sacrifice by the men who fought valiantly to hold FSB Illingworth—a tale never-before-told and one that will not be soon forgotten.
At Ripcord, the enemy counterattacked with ferocity, using mortar and antiaircraft fire to inflict heavy causalities on the units operating there. The battle lasted four and a half months and exemplified the ultimate frustration of the Vietnam War: the inability of the American military to bring to bear its enormous resources to win on the battlefield. In the end, the 101st evacuated Ripcord, leaving the NVA in control of the battlefield. Contrary to the mantra “We won every battle but lost the war,” the United States was defeated at Ripcord. Now, at last, the full story of this terrible battle can be told.
From the Paperback edition.
On June 13, 1966, men of the 1st Recon Battalion, 1st Marine Division were stationed on Hill 488. Before the week was over, they would fight the battle that would make them the most highly decorated small unit in the entire history of the U.S. military, winning a Congressional Medal of Honor, four Navy Crosses, thirteen Silver Stars, and eighteen Purple Hearts -- some of them posthumously.
During the early evening of June 15, a battalion of hardened North Vietnamese regulars and Viet Cong -- outnumbering the Americans 25-to-1 -- threw everything they had at the sixteen Marines and two Navy corpsmen for the rest of that terror-filled night. Every man who held the hill was either killed or wounded defending the ground with unbelievable courage and unflagging determination -- even as reinforcements were on the way.
All they had to do was make it until dawn....
From the Paperback edition.
I Corps, Vietnam, 1967—the Story of a Marine Infantry Battalion's Battle for Survival
In the summer of 1967, the Marines in I Corps, South Vietnam’s northernmost military region, were doing eveything they could to lighten the pressure on the besieged Con Thien Combat Base.
Still fresh after months of relatively light action around Khe Sanh, the 3d Battalion, 26th Marines, was sent to the Con Thien region to secure the combat bases’s endangered main supply route. On September 7, 1967, its first full day in the new area of operations, separate elements of the battalion were attacked by at least two battalions of North Vietnamese infantry, and both were nearly overrun in night-long battles.
On September 10, while advancing to a new sector near Con Thien, the 3d Battalion, 26th Marines, was attacked by at least a full North Vietnamese regiment, the same NVA unit that had attacked it two days earlier. Isolated into two separate defensive perimeters, the Marines battled through the afternoon and evening against repeated assaults by waves of NVA regulars intent upon achieving a major victory. In a battle described as “Custer’s Last Stand—With Air Support,” the Americans prevailed by the narrowest of margins.Ambush Valley is an unforgettable account of bravery and survival under impossible conditions. It is told entirely in the words of the men who faced the ordeal together—an unprecedented mosaic of action and emotion woven into an incredibly clear and vivid combat narrative by one of today’s most effective military historians. Ambush Valley achieves a new standard for oral history. It a war story not to be missed.
Wiknik's account of life and death in Vietnam includes everything from heavy combat to faking insanity to get some R & R. He was the first man in his unit to reach the top of Hamburger Hill during one of the last offensives launched by U.S. forces, and later discovered a weapons cache that prevented an attack on his advance fire support base. Between the sporadic episodes of combat he mingled with the locals, tricked unwitting U.S. suppliers into providing his platoon with a year of hard to get food, defied a superior and was punished with a dangerous mission, and struggled with himself and his fellow soldiers as the anti-war movement began to affect his ability to wage victorious war.
Nam-Sense offers a perfect blend of candor, sarcasm, and humor - and it spares nothing and no one in its attempt to accurately convey what really transpired for the combat soldier during this unpopular war. Nam-Sense is not about heroism or glory, mental breakdowns, haunting flashbacks, or wallowing in self-pity. The GIs Wiknik lived and fought with during his yearlong tour did not rape, murder, or burn villages, were not strung out on drugs, and did not enjoy killing. They were there to do their duty as they were trained, support their comrades - and get home alive. "The soldiers I knew," explains the author, "demonstrated courage, principle, kindness, and friendship, all the elements found in other wars Americans have proudly fought in."
Wiknik has produced a gripping and complete record of life and death in Vietnam, and he has done so with a style and flair few others will ever achieve.
Nam Sense received Honorable Mention in the 2010 Military Writers Society of America
Throughout the Vietnam War, one focal point persisted where the Viet Cong guerrillas and Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN) were not a major factor, but where the trained professionals of the North Vietnamese and US armies repeatedly fought head-to-head. A Shau Valor is a thorough study of nine years of American combat operations encompassing the crucial frontier valley and a fifteen-mile radius around it―the most deadly killing ground of the entire war.
Beginning in 1963, Special Forces A-teams established camps along the valley floor, followed by a number of top-secret Project Delta reconnaissance missions through 1967. Then, US Army and Marine Corps maneuver battalions engaged in a series of sometimes-controversial thrusts into the A Shau, designed to disrupt NVA infiltrations and to kill enemy soldiers, part of what came to be known as Westmoreland’s “war of attrition.”
The various campaigns included Operation Pirous (1967); Operations Delaware and Somerset Plain (1968); and Operations Dewey Canyon, Massachusetts Striker, and Apache Snow (1969)―which included the infamous battle for Hamburger Hill―culminating with Operation Texas Star and the vicious fight for and humiliating evacuation of Fire Support Base Ripcord in the summer of 1970, the last major US battle of the war.
By 1971, the fighting had once again shifted to the realm of small Special Forces reconnaissance teams assigned to the ultra-secret Studies and Observations Group (SOG). Other works have focused on individual battles or units, but A Shau Valor is the first to study the campaign―for all its courage and sacrifice―chronologically and within the context of other historical, political, and cultural events.
In 1968 James T. Gillam was a poorly focused college student at Ohio University who was dismissed and then drafted into the Army. Unlike most African-Americans who entered the Army then, he became a Sergeant and an instructor at the Fort McClellan Alabama School of Infantry. In September 1968 he joined the First Battalion, 22nd Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam. Within a month he transformed from an uncertain sergeant--who tried to avoid combat--to an aggressive soldier, killing his first enemy and planning and executing successful ambushes in the jungle. Gillam was a regular point man and occasional tunnel rat who fought below ground, an arena that few people knew about until after the war ended. By January 1970 he had earned a Combat Infantry Badge and been promoted to Staff Sergeant.
Then Washington's politics and military strategy took his battalion to the border of Cambodia. Search-and-destroy missions became longer and deadlier. From January to May his unit hunted and killed the enemy in a series of intense firefights, some of them in close combat. In those months Gillam was shot twice and struck by shrapnel twice. He became a savage, strangling a soldier in hand-to-hand combat inside a lightless tunnel. As his mid-summer date to return home approached, Gillam became fiercely determined to come home alive. The ultimate test of that determination came during the Cambodian invasion. On his last night in Cambodia, the enemy got inside the wire of the firebase, and the killing became close range and brutal.
Gillam left the Army in June 1970, and within two weeks of his last encounter with death, he was once again a college student and destined to become a university professor. The nightmares and guilt about killing are gone, and so is the callous on his soul. Life and Death in the Central Highlands is a gripping, personal account of one soldier's war in the Vietnam War.
Number 5 in the North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series
"Jim Gillam experienced real combat in his Vietnam tour. His stunning accounts of killing and avoiding being killed ring true. Although wounded several times, Jim did not leave the field for treatment in a field hospital, so he never generated the paperwork for a Purple Heart or two or three. Although he would be appalled at the thought, his attention to duty was 'lifer' behavior, a concern for the well-being of his squad that represents the best of NCO leadership in any army."--Allan R. Millett, author of Semper Fidelis and coauthor of A War to Be Won
"[Gillam] looks back on his experiences of Vietnam not solely as a participant in the war, but also with the critical eye of a trained historian. . . . [He] uses an impressive array of after action reports, duty officer logs, battlefield reports, and other primary source material, to back up and reinforce his recollections."-- Journal of Military History review by James H. Willbanks, author of The Tet Offensive
"Gillam, a 'shake and bake' sergeant, presents a good account of small unit infantry action during the war. He is very good at explaining the weaponry, tactics, and living conditions in the field."--James E. Westheider, author of The African-American Experience in Vietnam
The 199th Light Infantry Brigade was created from three U.S. infantry battalions of long lineage, as a fast reaction force for the U.S. to place in Indochina. As the book begins, in December 1967, the brigade has been in Vietnam for a year, and many of its battered 12-month men are returning home. This is timely, as the Communists seem to be in a lull, and the brigade commander, in order to whet his new soldiers to combat, requests a transfer to a more active sector, just above Saigon. Through January the battalions scour the sector, finding increasing enemy strength, NVA personel now mixed within Viet Cong units. But the enemy is lying low, and a truce has even been declared for the Vietnamese New Year, the holiday called Tet.
On January 30, 1968, the storm breaks loose, as Saigon and nearly every provincial capital in the country is overrun by VC and NVA, bursting in unexpected strength from their base camps. In these battles we learn the most intimate details of combat, as the Communists fight with rockets, mortars, Chinese claymores, mines, machine guns and AK-47s. The battles evolve into an enemy favoring the cloak of night, the jungle—both urban and natural—and subterranean fortifications, against U.S. forces favoring direct confrontational battle supported by air and artillery. When the lines are only 25 yards apart, however, there is little way to distinguish between the firepower or courage of the assailants and the defenders, or even who is who at any given moment, as both sides have the other in direct sight.
Many of the vividly described figures in this book do not make it to the end. The narrative is jarring, because even though the author was a company commander during these battles, he has based this work upon objective research including countless interviews with other soldiers of the 199th LIB. The result is that everything we once heard about Vietnam is laid bare in this book through actual experience, as U.S. troops go head-to-head at close-range against their counterparts, perhaps the most stubborn foe in our history.
Days of Valor covers the height of the Vietnam War, from the nervous period just before Tet, through the defeat of that offensive, to the highly underwritten yet equally bloody NVA counteroffensive launched in May 1968.
The book ends with a brief note about the 199th LIB being deactivated in spring 1970, furling its colors after suffering 753 dead and some 5,000 wounded. The brigade had only been a temporary creation, designed for one purpose. Though its heroism is now a matter of history, it should remain a source of pride for all Americans. This fascinating book will help to remind us.
In October 1969, William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret captain in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Firebase Kate held by only 27 American soldiers and 156 Montagnard militiamen. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments—some six thousand men—crossed the Cambodian border and attacked.
Outnumbered three dozen to one, Albracht’s men held off the assault but, after five days, Kate’s defenders were out of ammo and water. Refusing to die or surrender, Albracht led his troops off the hill and on a daring night march through enemy lines.
Abandoned in Hell is an astonishing memoir of leadership, sacrifice, and brutal violence, a riveting journey into Vietnam’s heart of darkness, and a compelling reminder of the transformational power of individual heroism. Not since Lone Survivor and We Were Soldiers Once...and Young has there been such a gripping and authentic account of battlefield courage.
In this compelling, highly unusual collection of amazing but true stories, U.S. soldiers reveal fantastic, almost unbelievable events that occurred in places ranging from the deadly Central Highlands to the Cong-infested Mekong Delta.
"Finders Keepers" became the sacred byword for one exhausted recon team who stumbled upon a fortune worth more than $500,000--and managed, with a little American ingenuity, to relocate the bounty to the States. Jorgenson also chronicles Marine Sergeant James Henderson's incredible journey back from the dead, shares a surreal chopper rescue, and recounts some heart-stopping details of the life--and death--of one of America's greatest unsung heroes, a soldier who won more medals than Audie Murphy and Sergeant York.
Whether occurring in the bloody, fiery chaos of sudden ambushes or during the endless nights of silent, gnawing menace spent behind enemy lines, these stories of war are truly beaucoup dinky dau . . . and ultimately unforgettable.
From the Paperback edition.
“The sounds and smells of the battlefield almost leap out from the printed page.”—Maj. Gen. John W. Barnes, U.S. Army (Ret.), New York City Tribune
“Author of the well received Battle for Hue and Into Laos, [Keith William] Nolan once again captures the stark reality of combat in Vietnam. He tells the story of the 7th Marine Regiment and the 196th Brigade of the Army’s ‘Americal’ Division as they engaged the 2d Division of the North Vietnamese Army in the mountains and valleys southwest of Da Nang. This was the first major engagement after the announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, and it occurred at a time when problems with drug abuse, race relations, and shifting morality were endemic in American society and the nation’s military. Nolan’s account not only takes in the combat operations, but also reflects some of these larger issues of the war.”—USNI Proceedings
The ten days of combat that followed became the human meat grinder known around the world as Hamburger Hill. The firestorm of controversy that sprang up around this incredibly bloody battle has long overshadowed the facts of the battle itself and the campaign of which it was a part. Now, in author Zaffiri’s masterful account of the battle, the full story, from the high command down to the individual Screaming Eagle on the mountain, is revealed.
Praise for Hamburger Hill
“[Samuel Zaffiri] skillfully blends his narrative with anecdotal material. It is the many chilling, sometimes poignant, vignettes that make the addition of this volume to any soldier’s bookshelf a must.”—Military Review
“Vietnam combat veteran Samuel Zaffiri . . . presents the action and decision making at Ap Bia in remarkably forceful detail.”—Vietnam Magazine
“Probably no other Vietnam battle better illustrates . . . Sherman’s dictum that war is hell. Mr. Zaffiri focuses on the incredible horror and hardship faced by the soldier on the ground. . . . [His] narrative is viscerally graphic. . . . Zaffiri’s realistic and authoritative account deserves to be read. By dramatically describing the assault on Hamburger Hill, the author has raised anew controversial questions about the Vietnam War that will be debated for a long time to come.”—Army Magazine
They will never be able to duplicate the 5th Special Forces Recondo School and the training that gave its grads something they desperately needed—the skills to survive Long Range Patrol missions in the jungle that NVA considered its own. Vietman veteran Larry Chambers vividly describes the grit and courage it took to pass the tough volunteer-only training program in Nha Trang and the harrowing graduation mission to scout out, locate, and out-guerrilla the NVA.
Here is an unforgettable account that follows Chambers and the Rangers every step of the way—from joining, going through Recondo, and finally leading his own team on white-knuckle missions through the deadly jungles of Vietnam.
“I made this book mandatory reading for my Rangers. . . . We went from the worst platoon in the regiment to the best platoon in six months. In training we'd get to the objective so fast they had to hold us back.”—U.S. Army Master Sergeant H. “Max” Mullen Ret. 75th Ranger Regiment
Finalist, 2013 Colby Award
Winner of the 2012 USA Best Book Award for Military History
Philip Keith's Blackhorse Riders is the incredible true story of a brave military unit in Vietnam that risked everything to rescue an outnumbered troop under heavy fire—and the thirty-nine-year odyssey to recognize their bravery.
Deep in the jungles of Vietnam, Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry, the famed Blackhorse Regiment, was a specialized cavalry outfit equipped with tanks and armored assault vehicles. On the morning of March 26, 1970, they began hearing radio calls from an infantry unit four kilometers away that had stumbled into a hidden North Vietnamese Army stronghold. Outnumbered at least six to one, the ninety-man American company was quickly surrounded, pinned down, and fighting for its existence. Helicopters could not penetrate the dense jungle, and artillery and air support could not be targeted effectively. The company was fated to be worn down and eventually all killed or captured.
Overhearing the calls for help on his radio, Captain John Poindexter, Alpha Troop's twenty-five-year-old commander, realized that his outfit was the only hope for the trapped company. It just might be possible that they could "bust" enough jungle by nightfall to reach them. Not making the attempt was deemed unacceptable, so he ordered his men to "saddle up." With the courage and determination that makes legends out of ordinary men, they effected a daring rescue and fought a pitched battle—at considerable cost. Many brave deeds were done that day and Captain Poindexter tried to make sure his men were recognized for their actions.
Thirty years later Poindexter was made aware that his award recommendations and even the records of the battle had somehow gone missing. Thus began the second phase of this remarkable story: a "battle" to ensure that his brave men's accomplishments would never be forgotten again.
The full circle was completed when President Obama stepped to the podium on October 20, 2009, to award the Alpha Troop with the Presidential Unit Citation: the highest combat award that can be given to a military unit.
But even as these formidable hunters and killers were themselves swallowed up by the Screaming Eagles' Division LRPs to eventually become F Co., 58th Infantry, they continued the deadly, daring LRRP tradition. From saturation patrols along the Laotian border to near-suicide missions and compromised positions in the always dangerous A Shau valley, the F/58th unflinchingly faced death every day and became one of the most highly decorated companies in the history of the 101st.
From the Paperback edition.
While offering rare glimpses of an aspect of the war most of the military and media never saw, Cornett tells the full, gut-wrenching story of his Vietnam. He also gives an unsparing view of himself - telling a no-holds-barred story of an American soldier who made sacrifices far beyond the call of duty . . . a soldier who, in defiance of the U.S. government, refused to turn his back on the Vietnamese.
From the Paperback edition.
Many pilots never made it out of 'Nam. This one did. Highly decorated Col. Bob Stoffey-- a Marine Corps pilot for over twenty-five years, who served multiple tours in Vietnam-- has seen and done it all. Cleared Hot! is his story-- a fast-paced, high-casualty flight into heart-stopping danger.
Full of vivid detail, this combat diary uncovers the real heroes of the Vietnam War, the behind-the-scenes Marine Corps pilots who helped our boys return home...then went back for more.
Includes eight pages of heroic photographs!
heat, and superhuman toil."
By late 1969, the end of the war was just over the horizon. But for Ches Schneider, a drafted schoolteacher turned infantry grunt in the deadly Central Highlands, it was just beginning. This story of a Missouri boy, told with grit and honesty, describes the stark transition from the normalcy of schooldays to the life-and-death drama endured daily in Vietnam's bloody jungles.
As a soldier in the 1st Infantry Division, Schneider went out on twelve-man search-and-destroy combat missions, never knowing whether the next moment would bring an ambush, a firefight, or eternal oblivion. Later, when the Big Red One rotated back to the U.S., he was transferred to the 1st Cav and fought it out with the NVA in the steamy jungles of Phuoc Long Province near the Cambodian border. As an ordinary man in extraordinary times, Schneider realistically captures the pain, loss, sacrifice, and courage of the men who fought for their lives even as the war wound down . . . .
From the Paperback edition.
The young men who flew the B-24s over Germany in World War II fought against horrific odds, and, in The Wild Blue, Ambrose recounts their extraordinary heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship with vivid detail and affection.
Ambrose describes how the Army Air Forces recruited, trained, and selected the elite few who would undertake the most demanding and dangerous jobs in the war. These are the boys—turned pilots, bombardiers, navigators, and gunners of the B-24s—who suffered over fifty percent casualties.
With his remarkable gift for bringing alive the action and tension of combat, Ambrose carries us along in the crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous B-24s as their crews fought to the death through thick black smoke and deadly flak to reach their targets and destroy the German war machine. Twenty-two-year-old George McGovern, who was to become a United States senator and a presidential candidate, flew thirty-five combat missions (all the Army would allow) and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. We meet him and his mates, his co-pilot killed in action, and crews of other planes. Many went down in flames.
As Band of Brothers and Citizen Soldiers portrayed the bravery and ultimate victory of the American soldiers from Normandy on to Germany, The Wild Blue illustrates the enormous contribution that these young men of the Army Air Forces made to the Allied victory.
In the United States Marine Corps, the most dangerous job in combat is that of the sniper. With no backup and little communication with the outside world, these men disappeared for weeks on end in the wilderness with nothing but intellect and iron will to protect them—as they would watch, wait, and finally strike.
But of all of the snipers who ever hunted human prey, one man stands above and beyond as one of the most legendary fighting men ever to pull a trigger. That man was Carlos Hathcock.
In Marine Sniper, the true-life missions of United States Marine Corps sniper Carlos Hathcock were revealed in explosive detail. Now, the incredible story of a remarkable Marine continues—with harrowing, never-before-published accounts of courage and perseverance. These are the powerful stories of a man who rose to greatness not for personal gain or glory, but for duty and honor. A rare inside look at the U.S. Marine’s most challenging missions—and the one man who made military history.
Gary Linderer volunteered for the Army, then volunteered for Airborne training. When he reached Vietnam in 1968, he was assigned to the famous “Screaming Eagles,” the 101st Airborne Division. Once there, he volunteered for training and duty with F Company 58th Inf, the Long Range Patrol company that was “the Eyes of the Eagle.”
F Company pulled reconnaissance missions and ambushes, and Linderer recounts night insertions into enemy territory, patrols against NVA antiaircraft emplacements and rocket-launching facilities, the fragging of an unpopular company commander, and one of the bravest demonstrations of courage under fire that has ever been described. The Eyes of the Eagle is an accurate, exciting look at the recon soldier's war. There are none better.
From its terrifying opening pages to its final eloquent words, Dispatches makes us see, in unforgettable and unflinching detail, the chaos and fervor of the war and the surreal insanity of life in that singular combat zone. Michael Herr’s unsparing, unorthodox retellings of the day-to-day events in Vietnam take on the force of poetry, rendering clarity from one of the most incomprehensible and nightmarish events of our time.
Dispatches is among the most blistering and compassionate accounts of war in our literature.
From the Paperback edition.
Yet the BLT 2/4 Marines defy the brutal onslaught. Pressing forward, America’s finest warriors rout the NVA from their fortress-hamlets–often in deadly hand-to-hand combat. At the end of two weeks of desperate, grinding battles, the Marines and the infantry battalion supporting them are torn to shreds. But against all odds, they beat back their savage adversary. The Magnificent Bastards captures that gripping conflict in all its horror, hell, and heroism.
“Superb . . . among the best writing on the Vietnam War . . . Nolan has skillfully woven operational records and oral history into a fascinating narrative that puts the reader in the thick of the action.”
–Jon T. Hoffman, author of Chesty
“Real and gripping . . . combat with all the warts on.”
–Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC (Ret.)
From the Paperback edition.
Anything less meant certain death.
When Ed Emanuel was handpicked for the first African American special operations LRRP team in Vietnam, he knew his six-man team couldn’t have asked for a tougher proving ground than Cu Chi in the summer of 196868. Home to the largest Viet cong tunnel complex in Vietnam, Cu Chi was the deadly heart of the enemy’s stronghold in Tay Ninh Province.
Team 2/6 of Company F, 51st Infantry, was quickly dubbed the Soul Patrol, a gimmicky label that belied the true depth of their courage. Stark and compelling, Emanuel’s account provides an unforgettable look at the horror and the heroism that became the daily fare of LRRPs in Vietnam. Every mission was a tightrope walk between life and death as Emanuel’s team penetrated NVA bases, sidestepped lethal booby traps, or found themselves ambushed and forced to fight their way back to the LZ to survive. Emanuel’s gripping memoir is an enduring testament to the valor of all American LRRPs, who courageously risked their lives so that others might be free.
From the Paperback edition.
The new commander of the Company E, 52d Infantry LRRPs, Capt. George Paccerelli, was tough, but the men’s new AO was brutal. It was bad enough that the provinces of Binh Long, Phuoc Long, and Tay Ninh bordered enemy-friendly Cambodia, but their vast stretches of double- and triple-canopy jungle were also home to four crack enemy divisions, including the Viet Cong’s notorious 95C Regiment.
Only the long-range patrols could deliver the critical strategic intelligence that the 1st Cav so desperately needed. Outmanned, outgunned, far from safety, these LRRPs stalked the enemy to his lair, staging bold prisoner snatches and tracking down hidden jungle bases. Hiding in ambush, surrounded by NVA, these teams either pulled off spectacular escape-and-evasion maneuvers in running firefights—or died trying.
THIRTEEN NAVAL CROSSES,
SEVENTY-TWO SILVER STARS . . .
In four and a half years in Vietnam, the Marines of the Third Reconnaissance Battalion repeatedly penetrated North Vietnamese and Vietcong sanctuaries by foot and by helicopter to find enemy forces, learn the enemy's intentions, and, when possible, bring deadly fire down on his head. Heavily armed, well-camouflaged teams of six and eight men daily exposed themselves to overwhelming enemy forces so that other Marines would have the information necessary to fight the war.
It's all here: grueling, tense, and deadly recon patrols; insertions directly into NVA basecamps; last-stand defenses in the wreckage of downed helicopters; pursuit by superior North Vietnamese forces; agonizing deaths of men who valiantly put their lives on the line.
NEVER WITHOUT HEROES is the first book to recount the story of a Marine reconnaissance battalion in Vietnam from the day of its arrival to its withdrawal. In Vietnam, Larry Vetter served as a platoon leader in Third Recon Battalion. He supplements his own recollections with Marine Corps records, exhaustive interviews with veterans, and correspondence to capture the bravery, and self-sacrifice of war.
From the Paperback edition.
Through three tours in the jungle hell of Vietnam, he walked the point -- staying alert to trip wires, booby traps and punji pits, guiding his squad of amphibious fighters on missions of rescue, reconnaissance and demolition -- confronting a war's unique terrors head-on, unprotected . . . and unafraid.This is the story of a hero told from the heart and from the gut -- an authentic tour of duty with one of the most legendary commandoes of the Vietnam War.