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It wasnÕt rockets or artillery that came through the skies one week during the war. It was the horrific force of nature that suddenly put both sides in awe. As an unofficial truce began, questions and emotions battled inside every air crewmanÕs mind as they faced masses of Vietnamese civilians outside their protective base perimeters for the first time. Could we trust them not to shoot? Could they trust us not to drop them off in a detention camp? Truces never last, but life changes a bit for all the people involved while they are happening. Sometimes wars are suspended and fighting stops for a while. A holiday that both sides recognize might do it, as happened in the Christmas truce during World War I. Weather might do it, too, as it did in Vietnam in October 1970. The Òtyphoon truceÓ was just as real, and the war stopped for three days in northern I Corps--that area bordering the demilitarized zone separating South Vietnam from the North. The unofficial Òtyphoon truceÓ came because first, Super Typhoon Joan arrived, devastating all the coastal lowlands in I Corps and further up into North Vietnam. Then, less than a week later came Super Typhoon Kate. Kate hit the same area with renewed fury, leaving the entire countryside under water and the people there faced with both war and natural disaster at the same time. No one but the Americans, the foreign warriors fighting throughout the country, had the resources to help the people who lived in the lowlands, and so they did. For the men who took their helicopters out into the unending rain it really made little difference. Perhaps no one would shoot at them for a while, but the everyday dangers they faced remained, magnified by the low clouds and poor visibility. The crews got just as tired, maybe more so, than on normal missions. None of that really mattered. The aircrews of the 101st Airborne went out to help anyway, because rescuing people was now their mission. In this book we see how for a brief period during an otherwise vicious war, saving life took precedence over bloody conflict.
Sometimes you do everything right, but it just isnÕt your day. A part fails and your helicopter comes apart in flight, or, another aircraft runs into you and the pieces of both fall to the ground below, or the enemy gunner pulls the trigger at just the right moment and his rounds find your aircraft in exactly the right spot to take it out of the sky. Whichever way it happens, it wasnÕt your day. 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 helicoptersÑfrom 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.
Pham Xuan An was a brilliant journalist and an even better spy. A friend to all the legendary reporters who covered the Vietnam War, he was an invaluable source of news and a font of wisdom on all things Vietnamese. At the same time, he was a masterful double agent. An inspired shape-shifter who kept his cover in place until the day he died, Pham Xuan An ranks as one of the preeminent spies of the twentieth century. When Thomas A. Bass set out to write the story of An’s remarkable career for The New Yorker, fresh revelations arrived daily during their freewheeling conversations, which began in 1992. But a good spy is always at work, and it was not until An’s death in 2006 that Bass was able to lift the veil from his carefully guarded story to offer up this fascinating portrait of a hidden life. A masterful history that reads like a John le Carré thriller, The Spy Who Loved Us offers a vivid portrait of journalists and spies at war.
Through the Valley is the memoir of an American prisoner of war in Vietnam. It is the true story of courage, hope, and survival. 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.
War.
Includes 78 photos and 16 maps / charts This book explores the unique problem of defending air bases during the Vietnam War. It centers on the primary efforts of the United States Air Force and allied air units to defend 10 key air bases within the Republic of Vietnam. Bien Hoa, on 1 November 1964, was the first base to be attacked and until the cease-fire in January 1973, these bases suffered a total of 475 attacks. Although there were initial deficiencies in staff support for base defense in such key areas as intelligence, motor vehicles, weapons procurement and maintenance, communications, and civil engineering, significant improvements had been made by the end of the Air Force’s part in the war. The author, Lt. Col. Roger P. Fox, USAF (Ret.), wrote this volume while assigned to the Office of Air Force History. He brings judgments to his research based on his personal experience as a base security officer during the conflict. Thus, early on the morning of 4 December 1966, he rallied Air Force and South Vietnamese security forces to repel an enemy attempt to penetrate Tan Son Nhut Air Base, the center of Air Force operations in South Vietnam. For his gallantry in action on this occasion, he was awarded the Silver Star. This personal experience formed a foundation upon which he developed a keen insight into exploring the entire spectrum of air base defense, and upon which he has built a strong case for testing future plans and operations.
• Firsthand account of action on Swift Boats • Written in an engaging, immediate style with touches humor • Compelling account of human courage and friendship During the Vietnam war 3500 officers and men served in the Swift Boat program in a fleet of 130 boats with no armor plating. The boats patrolled the coast and rivers of South Vietnam, with the average age of the crew being twenty-four. Their days consisted of deadly combat, intense lightning firefights, storms and many hidden dangers. This action-packed story of combat written by Dan Daly, a Vietnam combat veteran who was the Officer in Charge of PCF 76 makes you part of the Swift Boat crew. The six man crew of PCF 76 were volunteers from all over the United States, eager to serve their country in a highly unique type of duty not seen since the PT boats of WWII. This inexperienced and disparate group of men would meld into a combat team - a team that formed an unbreakable, lifelong bond. After training they were plunged into a 12 month tour of duty. Combat took place in the closest confines imaginable, where the enemy were hidden behind a passing sand dune or a single sniper could be concealed in an onshore bunker, mines might be submerged at every fork in the river. The enemy was all around you, hiding, waiting, while your fifty-foot Swift Boat works its way upriver. In many cases the rivers became so narrow there was barely room to maneuver or turn around. The only way out might be into a deadly ambush. Humor and a touch of romance relieve the tension in this thrilling ride with America's finest.

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