Tom A. Johnson was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal (with five Silver Leaf Clusters), and the Bronze Star for his Vietnam War service.
A Marine Company Commander In Vietnam
Richard D. Camp, Jr. with Eric Hammel
In this vivid and intensely frank memoir, retired Marine Colonel Dick Camp recounts his daily experiences as "Lima-6" -- the commander of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines -- from June 1967 through January 1968. As much as it is about the Vietnam War, Lima-6 is also a candid account of the camaraderie that a Marine infantry company forges in battle, and the compelling human drama of an infantry company at war as seen through the eyes of a lonely leader upon whom all others depend for guidance and strength.
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.
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.