It was in South Vietnamīs notorious Viet Cong- and predator-infested mangrove swamps that the U.S. Navy Sea-Air-Land commandos, or SEALs, established their richly deserved reputation as Americaīs best-trained and most effective special warfare operators. SEAL Team One was then a top secret unit, its exploits cloaked in mystery. Now for the first time, the SEALs who were there talk about the missions that are left out of the official histories and existing accounts. Extraordinarily gripping and personal, the narratives reveal what really happened on those secret forays.
These "devils in green faces," as the Viet Cong called the camo-painted SEALs they came to fear, vividly describe an astonishing variety of firefights, ambushes, raids, and prisoner snatches. They also provide insider perspectives on experimental and exclusive weapons and equipment, such as the Stoner light machine gun and duckbill-muzzled shotgun. They further reveal long-secret tactics and techniques that evolved through their own ingenuity, flexibility, and teamwork and that were paid for in blood while fighting the elusive VC in the Rung Sat Special Zone, the Mekong Delta, and other areas.
The story of these unorthodox and sometimes iconoclastic special warriors--whether fighting in direct-action platoons, on Phoenix operations with Chinese PRU mercenary units, or in Cambodia and North Vietnam in ultra-secret MACSOG teams--can only be told by those who were there. Author Dennis Cummings has succeeded in coaxing the SEALs to reveal what made them tick, why they volunteered for such dangerous work and returned for multiple tours in the unpopular war, how they pooled their special talents and motivations, and finally how they overcame fear, frustration, and personal losses. His achievement gives the reader the best picture available of what it meant to wear the distinctive SEAL trident insignia.
Author Dennis Cummings, after a career in law enforcement, has produced four documentaries on the Navy SEALs. A contributing editor of Behind the Lines magazine, he lives in St. Louis
The story of the US Navy SEAL Team One in Vietnam as told by twenty of the elite Navy commandos who fought there from 1962 to 1972. Includes oral histories of SEALS who worked as advisers for the CIA and by members of direct-action platoons. Details of long-secret tactics and inside perspectives on experimental weapons and equipment. 270 pages with photos.
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