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
He has one hell of a story to tell.
You didn't get into the Rangers without volunteering, and you didn't stay on point unless you liked it. But after watching most of his buddies die in a firefight when his LRRP team was overrun by the NVA, Kregg Jorgenson volunteered to serve on a Blue Team in the Air Cavalry, racing to the aid of soldiers who faced the same dangers he had barely survived.
Whether enduring NVA sapper attacks, surviving “friendly” fire, or landing in hot LZs, Jorgenson discovered that in Vietnam you never knew whether you were paranoid or just painfully aware of the possibilities.
One of the most influential strategies of the Vietnam War, the Stingray Patrol comprised seven to ten marines in small teams, inserted by chopper deep in enemy territory. Surrounded on all sides by North Vietnamese Army troops and Viet Cong guerillas, these small, high-effective teams brought death and destruction to the enemy without ever going head-to-head in a gunfight with them.
Like today's Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, and Marine Force Recon units that operate behind enemy lines using laser pointers and satellite communications, these Stingray Patrols helped target the enemy for artillery and air strikes . . . with devastating accuracy and effect.
Force Recon Marine and team leader Bruce "Doc" Norton participated in many Stingray missions and, now, through interviews, eyewitness accounts, and declassified documents, he takes the reader behind enemy lines, telling the full story of Stingray's origins and operations.
Stingray is the definitive history of these units and missions, available now for the first time in eBook format.
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.
It was the tumultuous year 1968, and Robert Tonsetic was Rifle Company commander of the 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry in Vietnam. He took over a group of grunts demoralized by defeat but determined to get even. Through the legendary Tet and May Offensives, he led, trained, and risked his life with these brave men, and this is the thrilling, brutal, and honest story of his tour of duty. Tonsetic tells of leading a seriously undermanned ready-reaction force into a fierce, three-day battle with a ruthless enemy battalion; conducting surreal night airmobile assaults and treks through fetid, pitch-black jungles; and relieving combat stress by fishing with hand grenades and taking secret joyrides in Hueys.
During that fateful year, as unrest erupted at home and politicians groped for a way out of the war, Tonsetic and his men did their job as soldiers and earned the title “Warriors.”
From the Paperback edition.
United States Navy Hospital Corpsman Bruce Norton was the only navy corpsman to act as a Marine Force Recon Team Leader. In Force Recon Diary, 1969 Doc Norton chronicles his life, mission by mission, with the 3d Force Recon in the DMZ and the A Shau Valley. He describes the tense patrols, the supreme courage, the sacrifices—in ambushes and hot landing zones—that made this courageous company one of only two Marine units during the entire Vietnam War to receive the United States Army's Valorous Unit Citation.
On 13 May, 1969, the men of C Company were combat assaulted into a hot landing zone near the South Vietnamese village of Tam Ky. Their objective was to take Nui Yon Hill. As the Hueys carrying C Company began to descend, they were hit by heavy enemy fire. Once the U.S. soldiers had their boots on the ground, they became embroiled in a fierce two-day battle that claimed the lives of twelve Charlie Tigers. This is the compelling story of that battle told by the men who were there.
In Taking Fire, Alexander and acclaimed military writer Charles Sasser transport you right into the cramped cockpit of a Huey on patrol, offering a bird's eye view of the Vietnam conflict. Packed with riveting action and gritty "you-are-there" dialogue, this outstanding book celebrates the everyday heroism of the chopper pilots of Vietnam.
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.
In Vietnam, Mobile Guerrilla Force conducted unconventional operations against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army. Armed with silencer-equipped MK-II British Sten guns, M-16s, M-79s, and M-60 machine guns, the men of the Mobile Guerrilla Force operated in the steamy, triple-canopy jungle owned by the NVA and VC, destroying base camps, ambushing patrols, and gathering the intelligence that General Westmoreland desperately needed.
In 1967, James Donahue was a Special Forces medic and assistant platoon leader assigned to the Mobile Guerrilla Force and their fiercely anti-Communist Cambodian freedom fighters. Their mission: to locate the 271st Main Force Viet Cong Regiment so they could be engaged and destroyed by the 1st Infantry Division.
Now, with the brutal, unflinching honesty only an eye witness could possess, Donahue relives the adrenaline rush of firefights, air strikes, human wave attacks, ambushes, and attacks on enemy base camps. Following the operation the surviving Special Forces members of the Mobile Guerrilla Force were decorated by Major General John Hay, Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division.
From the Paperback edition.
In Vietnam, the Military Assistance Command's Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) fielded small recon teams in areas infested with VC and NVA. Because SOG operations suffered extraordinary casualties, they required extraordinary soldiers. So when Capt. Thom Nicholson arrived at Command and Control North (CCN) in Da Nang, SOG's northernmost base camp, he knew he was going to be working with the cream of the crop.
As commander of Company B, CCN's Raider Company, Nicholson commanded four platoons, comprising nearly two hundred men, in some of the war's most deadly missions, including ready-reaction missions for patrols in contact with the enemy, patrol extractions under fire, and top-secret expeditions "over the fence" into Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam. Colonel Nicholson spares no one, including himself, as he provides a rare glimpse into the workings of one of the military's most carefully concealed reconnaissance campaigns.
All Guts and No Glory is a no-pulled-punches account, covering all the major actions Buick's platoon encountered. It brings to life the frustrating, gut-wrenching and sorrowful experience of those who served as infantry warriors in Viet Nam, only to come home to an apathetic and sometimes hostile public. This is a poignant reminder of what combat, infantry soldiering and the Viet Nam war was all about. All Guts and No Glory also debunks the myths, lies and legends of the Long Tan Battle.
Bob Buick has collaborated with one of Australia's best-known authors of the Viet Nam era, Gary McKay, MC, himself a Viet Nam veteran and infantryman, to write this first-hand description of the Long Tan Battle and other operations against the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army.
'This extraordinary depiction of service in Viet Nam points to the real need for comprehensive writings on the wartime service of Australians, even decades after the event. All Guts and No Glory is a soldier's account of the battle of Long Tan and the Viet Nam War, detailed and captivating right through to the return to Australia on the Vung Tau Ferry. It adds greatly to the records relating to this difficult, but important part of Australia's 20th century military heritage.' - Hon Tim Fischer MP
In 1967, death was the constant companion of the Marines of Hotel Company, 2/5, as they patrolled the paddy dikes, mud, and mountains of the Arizona Territory southwest of Da Nang. But John Culbertson and most of the rest of Hotel Company were the same lean, fighting Marines who had survived the carnage of Operation Tuscaloosa. Hotel's grunts walked over the enemy, not around him.
In graphic terms, John Culbertson describes the daily, dangerous life of a soldier fighting in a country where the enemy was frequently indistinguishable from the allies, fought tenaciously, and thought nothing of using civilians as a shield. Though he was one of the top marksmen in 1st Marine Division Sniper School in Da Nang in March 1967--a class of just eighteen, chosen from the division's twenty thousand Marines--Culbertson knew that against the VC and the NVA, good training and experience could carry you just so far. But his company's mission was to find and engage the enemy, whatever the price. This riveting, bloody first-person account offers a stark testimony to the stuff U.S. Marines are made of.
From the Paperback edition.
Bac Si (the Vietnamese term for “medic”) is the story of Sgt. Jerry Krizan who was assigned to Special Forces Camp A-331 in the III Corps tactical zone, only 10 miles from the Cambodian border. Because of its proximity to a major north-south NVA infiltration route, there were constant enemy troop movements through the camp's area of operations and A-331 itself came under attack on more than one occasion.
The author meantime needed to accompany patrols and probes into enemy territory, not only prepared to provide aid but fight as a soldier if the squad was ambushed, or itself chose to attack. In this small-unit warfare against an expert enemy, U.S. soldiers had to survive as best they could, with their only succor a Huey, and meantime on the ground by themselves against unknown opposition.
Our Green Beret base camps were our very first line of defense along the borders of South Vietnam, and in this book, through the eyes of a medic, we learn how dire, and confusing, a role we asked our Special Forces to play during that era.
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.
With five tours of Vietnam and 257 combat missions under his belt, Navy SEAL Gary R. Smith has witnessed hell itself. DEATH IN THE DELTA covers his third and fourth tours in Nam. From Cam Ranh Bay to Nam Canh to night insertions into Cambodia, he served as SEAL adviser to volatile Vietnamese special forces, including the fierce PRUs (Provincial Reconnaissance Units), Biet Hai, and Regional Forces. Often accompanying their missions, Smith vividly captures the nightmare of a jungle war, whether staging sudden deadly ambushes or sitting silently for hours soaking in mosquito-infested swamps.
It wasn't pretty, but Smith makes no apologies for himself or his fellow warriors in this no-holds-barred account. For him, its a privilege and honor to pass on a small part of the history of the U.S. Navy SEALs experience as he saw it in Vietnam.
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!
Flying helicopters can be challenging, and flying in a combat zone can be quite harrowing. The book is full of stories of being shot at, hit by enemy gunfire, and of mechanical operational failures, that created many near miss events.
His experiences in Vietnam left the author with some impressions and feelings regarding Vietnam and war in general, and will leave the reader with some issues to think about.
By 1969, the NVA had grown more experienced at countering the tactics of the long range patrols, and SIX SILENT MEN: Book Three describes some of the fiercest fighting Lurps saw during the war. Based on his own experience and extensive interviews with other combat vets of the 101st's Lurp companies, Gary Linderer writes this final, heroic chapter in the seven bloody years that Lurps served God and country in Vietnam. These tough young warriors--grossly outnumbered and deep in enemy territory--fought with the guts, tenacity, and courage that have made them legends in the 101st.
From the Paperback edition.
With 257 combat missions in Vietnam under his belt, Gary Smith is a living witness to the realities of Naval Special Warfare. He worked with some of the toughest and most highly motivated men in the world, executing missions in the murderous terrain of Rung Sat Special Zone and Dung Island. The key to their success: go where no ordinary soldier would go and no VC would expect them.
Though death reigned as king in the jungles of Vietnam, Gary Smith considered it a privilege and an honor to serve under the officers and with the men of Underwater Demolition Team Twelve and SEAL Team 1. Because he and his teammates, trained to the max, gave each other the courage to attain the unattainable . . . .
From the Paperback edition.
There is a little bit of Jim Hollister in all of us.
Captain Jim Hollister ended his first tour of duty in Vietnam laid up in a field hospital. His most serious wounds were deep inside. Back home in America, he often woke up in the middle of the night in the grip of terrifying nightmares. But nothing—not even his long-suffering fiancée, Susan—could stop him from going back to serve his country.
This time around, Jim serves as operations officer for Juliet Company, a Ranger squad with high demands placed on it to find and eliminate Viet Cong forces slipping across the Cambodian border. Fighting the enemy in the rice paddy terrain between Saigon and the border requires even more planning, training, and battlefield guile than do the tropical rain forests of the Central Highlands.
Night Work brings to vivid life the courage and selfless dedication of the Army Rangers in Vietnam—and the profound costs of war.
Chris Ronnau volunteered for the Army and was sent to Vietnam in January 1967, armed with an M-14 rifle and American Express traveler’s checks. But the latter soon proved particularly pointless as the private first class found himself in the thick of two pivotal, fiercely fought Big Red One operations, going head-to-head against crack Viet cong and NVA troops in the notorious Iron Triangle and along the treacherous Cambodian border near Tay Ninh.
Patrols, ambushes, plunging down VC tunnels, search and destroy missions–there were many ways to drive the enemy from his own backyard, as Ronnau quickly discovered. Based on the journal Ronnau kept in Vietnam, Blood Trails captures the hellish jungle war in all its stark life-and-death immediacy. This wrenching chronicle is also stirring testimony to the quiet courage of those unsung American heroes, many not yet twenty-one, who had a job to do and did it without complaint–fighting, sacrificing, and dying for their country.
Includes sixteen pages of rare and never-before-seen combat photos
From the Paperback edition.
COL. CHARLES B. MacDONALD
Author of COMPANY COMMANDER and A TIME FOR TRUMPETS
One of the toughest and most challenging jobs in Vietnam was to be a U.S. Army Ranger running Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols. The LRRPs took volunteers only, and training was designed to weed out all but the best. What emerged was an elite outfit of warriors in the finest sense of the word. Now Shelby Stanton, renowned military authority on the war in Southeast Asia, presents the first and only definitive history of the LRRPs and the U.S. Army Rangers in Vietnam. They're all here: the Screaming Eagle Patrollers, Cochise Raiders, Charlie Rangers, Cobra Lightning Patrollers, and more.
From the Paperback edition.
Until recent years, very little was known of the tens of thousands of foreign nationals from Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France and Spain who served voluntarily in the military formations of the German Army and the German Waffen-SS. In Kaisergruber’s book, the reader discovers important issues of collaboration, the apparent contributions of the volunteers to the German war effort, their varied experiences, their motives, the attitude of the German High Command and bureaucracy, and the reaction to these in the occupied countries. The combat experiences of the Walloons echoed those of the very best volunteer units of the Waffen-SS, although they shared equally in the collapse of the Third Reich in May, 1945.
Although unapologetic for his service, Kaisergruber makes no special claims for the German cause and writes not from any postwar apologia and dogma, but instead from his firsthand observations as a young man experiencing war for the first time, extending far beyond what had been imaginable at the time. His observations of fellow soldiers, commanders, Russian civilians and the battlefields prove poignant and telling. They remain as fresh as when he first wrote some of them down in his travel diary, ‘Pensées fugitives et Souvenirs (1941–46)’. Fernand Kaisergruber draws upon his contemporary diaries, those of his comrades and his later work with them while secretary of their postwar veteran's league to present a thoroughly engaging epic.
In 1965 nearly four hundred men were interviewed and only thirty-two selected for the infant LRRP Detachment of the lst Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. Old-timers called it the suicide unit. Whether conducting prisoner snatches, search and destroy missions, or hunting for the enemy's secret base camps, LRRPs depended on one another 110 percent. One false step, one small mistake by one man could mean sudden death for all.
Author Reynel Martinez, himself a 101st LRRP Detachment veteran, takes us into the lives and battles of the extraordinary men for whom the brotherhood of war was and is an ever-present reality: the courage, the sacrifice, the sense of loss when one of your own dies. In the hills, valleys, and triple-canopy jungles, the ambushes, firefights, and copter crashes, LRRPs were among the best and bravest to fight in Vietnam.
From the Paperback edition.
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.
The author faced combat in some of the biggest battles of the Vietnam War. After being shot down and captured, he mustered the will to survive an ordeal in jungle cages, a forced death march of several hundred miles, and months of anguish in the notorious prisons of Hanoi. His tenacity in the face of unimaginable hardship is not only a captivating story, but serves as an inspiration to us all.
This is an account with lessons for those in service who continue to face the demands of combat. It is also a human story that appeals to a broad general readership across the United States and around the world, much as have other POW stories such as Undefeated and The Railway Man.
William Reeder’s story is different than most published POW accounts. Unlike the majority of U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine pilots who were shot down and captured inside North Vietnam then moved quickly into established prison camps, Reeder was captured inside South Vietnam and held in jungle cages in Cambodia before enduring a grueling forced march of several hundred miles. That march took the lives of seven out of his small group of 27 POWs. He was the last U.S. Army prisoner taken in the war to have survived his captivity.
The memoir begins with Reeder’s return to Vietnam on his second tour of duty. It carries through his missions as a Cobra attack helicopter pilot during the rapidly deteriorating military situation in early 1972. His writing puts the reader right in the cockpit in the churning cauldron of war. Reeder cuts to the fear and anxiety, the thrill and the horror of combat, friendships made and friends lost. The story continues through his shoot down, capture, and struggle to survive a long and arduous march up the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Reeder shares the torment and pain of his ordeal, but always in the light of the hope that he never lost. More than anything, this is a story of hope and renewal. His memoir reinforces the themes of courage and sacrifice, belief in self, undying faith, strength of family, love of country, loyalty among comrades, and how precious is this thing called freedom that we so often take for granted.
The men of SEALs, PBRs, and SF called them saviors . . .
Created in 1967, the HAL-3 helicopter squadron--aka Seawolves--provided quick-reaction close air support to SEALs, PBR River Rats, and Special Forces advisers and their troops. During the five years of the unit's existence, the seven detachments of Seawolves amassed stunning statistics: 78,000 missions, 8,200 enemy kills, 8,700 sampans sunk, and 9,500 structures destroyed. These 200 men collected a total of 17,339 medals.
This is the story of one of those men. . . .
Taking enemy fire while braced against the rocket pod of a Huey gunship and shooting an M-60 freehand in 110 mph winds was just part of Dan Kelly's job in Vietnam. As a gunner in the all-volunteer Seawolves, he served with distinction until three bullets bought him a trip home. Here is his amazing story of the Seawolves--a harrowing tale of unsung heroism and undaunted courage in combat.
From the Paperback edition.
Which is why, after 24 years and over 5,000 flight hours with four armed services, Major Robert Curtis was so surprised at being alive when he passed his retirement physical. Starting with enlisting in the Army to fly helicopters during Vietnam, and continuing on through service with the National Guard, Marine Corps and Royal Navy, he flew eight different helicopters—from the wooden-bladed OH-13E, through the Chinook, SeaKnight and SeaKing, in war and peace around the world. During that time over 50 of his friends died in crashes, both in combat and in accidents, but somehow his skill, and not an inconsiderable amount of luck and superstition, saw him through.
His flying career began with a misbegotten strategy for beating the draft by enlisting. With the Vietnam War raging full blast in 1968 the draft was inevitable, so he wanted to at least get some small measure of control of his future. Although he had no thought of flying when he walked into the recruiting office, he walked out signed up to be a helicopter pilot. What he did not know was that 43% of all the aircraft sent to Vietnam were destroyed in combat or accidents. Soon he was in the thick of the war, flying Chinooks with the 101st Airborne. After Vietnam he left the Army, but kept flying in the National Guard while going to college. He was accepted at two law schools, but flying is addictive, so he instead enlisted in the USMC to fly some more. Over the next 17 years he would fly around the world off US and British ships from Egypt to Norway and all points in between. His engaging story will be a delight to all aviation enthusiasts.
Thomas Hynes, a Marine Corps second lieutenant who led the 2nd Platoon, Lima Company, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, looks back at the challenges he faced undertaking his first command. He quickly learned that the North Vietnamese Army was far more capable to fight in the jungles and mountains.
But that didnt stop young Marines from fighting for their country and each othereven though it resulted in fifty-eight thousand of them being killed. Seeing so many die was one of the reasons Hynes goal was simply to survive the war with his mennot win.
While Hynes would put up his Marines against any other soldier or Marine who fought in Vietnam, he argues that soldiers barely out of high school were asked to fight a war in a country that was beyond hope.
Despite the overwhelming odds, once they were there, they fought bravely for a cause they didnt understand. He looks back at all of it with honesty in It Wasnt Like Nothing.
FROM THE FRONT LINES
During the Vietnam War, few combat operations were more dangerous than LRRP/Ranger missions. Vastly outnumbered, the patrols faced overwhelming odds as they fought to carry out their missions, from gathering intelligence, acting as hunter/killer teams, or engaging in infamous “Parakeet” flights– actions in which teams were dropped into enemy areas and expected to “develop” the situation.
PHANTOM WARRIORS II presents heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat stories from individuals and teams. These elite warriors relive sudden deadly firefights, prolonged gun battles with large enemy forces, desperate attempts to help fallen comrades, and the sheer hell of bloody, no-quarter combat. The LRRP accounts here are a testament to the courage, guts, daring, and sacrifice of the men who willingly faced death every day of their lives in Vietnam.
Siege In the Clouds
From critically acclaimed military historian Eric Hammel comes a vivid oral history account of the Tet 1968 siege of the Khe Sanh Combat Base. The words of American fighting men caught up in the grueling, deadly seventy-seven-day ordeal create a harrowing tapestry of tragedy and triumph. As two North Vietnamese Army divisions move to surround them, the vastly outnumbered U.S. Marines rush to strengthen their defenses at the isolated base and several nearby hilltop positions. The Communist forces repeatedly attack, are repeatedly repelled, and then dig in to take the American base by siege-the makings of a classic, modern "set-piece" strategy in which the defenders become bait to tie the attackers to fixed positions in which they can be pummeled and pulverized by American artillery and air support. Khe Sanh: Siege in the Clouds is a ground-breaking step forward in the oral history genre. This gripping-and moving-narrative flows from the masterfully woven threads provided by nearly a hundred men who gallantly endured the wrenching all-out struggle to hold the combat base and its vulnerable outlying positions.
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.
In each of Bowen’s campaigns, the 101st “Screaming Eagles” spearheaded the Allied effort against ferocious German resistance or, as at Bastogne, stood nearly alone against the onslaught of enemy panzers and grenadiers. His insights into life behind German lines, after his capture, provide as much fascination as his exploits on the battlefield. An introduction by the world’s foremost historian of the 101st Airborne, George Koskimaki, further enhances this classic work.
Written shortly after the war, Bowen's narrative is immediate, direct and compelling. His account, one of the few by a member of a glider regiment, provides a brutal insight into the battlefields of World War II and a vivid recreation of just what life was like in an elite unit. From the horror of D-Day and the despair of captivity, to the taste of C Rations and the fear of soldiers under fire, this memoir tells the full story of one man's total war.
“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
When Chuck Gross left for Vietnam in 1970, he was a nineteen-year-old Army helicopter pilot fresh out of flight school. He spent his entire Vietnam tour with the 71st Assault Helicopter Company flying UH-1 Huey helicopters. Soon after the war he wrote down his adventures, while his memory was still fresh with the events. Rattler One-Seven (his call sign) is written as Gross experienced it, using these notes along with letters written home to accurately preserve the mindset he had while in Vietnam.
During his tour Gross flew Special Operations for the MACV-SOG, inserting secret teams into Laos. He notes that Americans were left behind alive in Laos, when official policy at home stated that U.S. forces were never there.
He also participated in Lam Son 719, a misbegotten attempt by the ARVN to assault and cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail with U.S. Army helicopter support. It was the largest airmobile campaign of the war and marked the first time that the helicopter was used in mid-intensity combat, with disastrous results. Pilots in their early twenties, with young gunners and a Huey full of ARVN soldiers, took on experienced North Vietnamese antiaircraft artillery gunners, with no meaningful intelligence briefings or a rational plan on how to cut the Trail. More than one hundred helicopters were lost and more than six hundred aircraft sustained combat damage. Gross himself was shot down and left in the field during one assault. Rattler One-Seven will appeal to those interested in the Vietnam War and to all armed forces, especially aviators, who have served for their country.
She was credited with sinking twenty Japanese ships, eight of them destroyers. Her captain, Sam Dealey, devoted son and loving husband and father, was a product of peace. Sam Dealey, deadly torpedo marksman and destroyer killer, was a product of war.
Aboard the Harder there was no time for gloating over, her victories. Dealey himself never gloated. As we have said, his attack manners were calm. He indulged in no shouting, no fanfare of destruction. After his torpedoes hit, he went about the business of bringing his ship into a position of safety as rapidly as possible. He did not linger to rejoice at the sight of an enemy going down. In his veins ran the milk of human kindness, in his heart was a feeling of humility and humanity that could not find pleasure in the destruction of a beautiful ship and a hundred odd human beings—deadly enemies though they were.
Perhaps he remembered the worlds of Captain Philip of the old battleship Texas at the Battle of Santiago, who called to his cheering crew as their Spanish adversary sank: “Don’t cheer, boys; those poor devils are dying.” While Dealey never said so, in so many words, one could conclude that he hated the job of killing but knew it had to be done and did his best to carry out his duty.
“HIT ‘EM HARDER!”...was the ship’s motto, and she most certainly did. On April 13 1944, open season was declared by our Submarines against the destroyers of the Imperial Japanese Navy, and Comdr. Sam Dealey was at the forefront of the attack. The hunters had become the hunted and Dealey’s “down the throat torpedo attacks helped to sink the Rising Sun. He showed great courage, too, when rescuing Australian coast watchers from Borneo’s shores, and again, with no reading left on the Fathometer and surf breaking twenty yards ahead, holding Harder against a reef and under fire of snipers to save an American pilot.—Print Ed.
In the waning days of the Vietnam War, Rasimus and his fellow pilots were determined that they were not going be the last to die in a conflict their country had abandoned. They were young fighter pilots fresh from training and experienced aviators who came back to the war again and again, not for patriotism, but for the adrenaline rush of combat. From the bathhouses and barrooms to the prison camps of North Vietnam, this is a gripping combat memoir by a veteran fighter pilot who experienced it all.
The wry cynicism of a combat aviator will give readers insights into the Vietnam experience that haven't been available before, and the heart-stopping action will keep readers turning the pages all night.
William Lubbeck, age 19, was drafted into the Wehrmacht in August 1939. As a member of the 58th Infantry Division, he received his baptism of fire during the 1940 invasion of France. The following spring his division served on the left flank of Army Group North in Operation Barbarossa. After grueling marches admidst countless Russian bodies, burnt-out vehicles, and a great number of cheering Baltic civilians, Lubbeck’s unit entered the outskirts of Leningrad, making the deepest penetration of any German formation.
The Germans suffered brutal hardships the following winter as they fought both Russian counterattacks and the brutal cold. The 58th Division was thrown back and forth across the front of Army Group North, from Novgorod to Demyansk, at one point fighting back Russian attacks on the ice of Lake Ilmen. Returning to the outskirts of Leningrad, the 58th was placed in support of the Spanish “Blue” Division. Relations between the allied formations soured at one point when the Spaniards used a Russian bath house for target practice, not realizing that Germans were relaxing inside.
A soldier who preferred to be close to the action, Lubbeck served as forward observer for his company, dueling with Russian snipers, partisans and full-scale assaults alike. His worries were not confined to his own safety, however, as news arrived of disasters in Germany, including the destruction of Hamburg where his girlfriend served as an Army nurse.
In September 1943, Lubbeck earned the Iron Cross First Class and was assigned to officers’ training school in Dresden. By the time he returned to Russia, Army Group North was in full-scale retreat. Now commanding his former heavy weapons company, Lubbeck alternated sharp counterattacks with inexorable withdrawal, from Riga to Memel on the Baltic. In April 1945 Lubbeck’s company became stalled in a traffic jam and was nearly obliterated by a Russian barrage followed by air attacks.
In the last chaotic scramble from East Prussia, Lubbeck was able to evacuate on a newly minted German destroyer. He recounts how the ship arrived in the British zone off Denmark with all guns blazing against pursuing Russians. The following morning, May 8, 1945, he learned that the war was over.
After his release from British captivity, Lubbeck married his sweetheart, Anneliese, and in 1949 immigrated to the United States where he raised a successful family. With the assistance of David B. Hurt, he has drawn on his wartime notes and letters, Soldatbuch, regimental history and personal memories to recount his four years of frontline experience. Containing rare firsthand accounts of both triumph and disaster, At Leningrad’s Gates provides a fascinating glimpse into the reality of combat on the Eastern Front.
In 1967, a young E. Michael Helms boarded a bus to the legendary grounds of Parris Island, where mere boys were forged into hardened Marines—and sent to the jungles of Vietnam. It was the first stop on a journey that would forever change him—and by its end, he would be awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Citation, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.
From the brutality and endurance-straining ordeals of boot camp to the endless horror of combat, Helms paints a vivid, unflinchingly realistic depiction of the lives of Marines in training and under fire. As powerful and compelling a battlefield memoir as any ever written, Helms's “grunt's-eye” view of the Vietnam War, the men who fought it, and the mindless chaos that surrounded it, is truly a modern military classic.
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
From the Paperback edition.
Despite the New Zealand Division’s major role, and the importance of this campaign in achieving British victory in North Africa, it has largely been neglected by historians, failing to receive as much attention as Crete, El Alamein or Cassino. Yet more New Zealand soldiers were killed or taken prisoner during Crusader than in any other campaign fought by ‘the Div’ during the war.
Peter Cox, whose father fought at Sidi Rezegh, draws on his experience of twice visiting the battlefield to tell the story of this complex and costly campaign. He sets the scene for the fighting in Libya, describes the unforgiving and inhospitable desert landscape, follows the stages of the action itself and recounts the often moving and heroic stories of the New Zealanders who fought there. Many never returned home.
This is both a very accessible account of a significant New Zealand contribution to World War II and a tribute to the thousands of men who took part in this punishing battle.