Tiger Papa Three

Memoir of a Combined Action Marine in Vietnam

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About the Book

The U.S. Marine Corps’ Combined Action Program (CAP) in Vietnam was an enlightened gesture of strategic dissent. Recognizing that search-and-destroy operations were immoral and self-defeating and that the best hope for victory was “winning hearts and minds,” the Corps stationed squads of Marines, augmented by Navy corpsmen, in the countryside to train and patrol alongside village self-defense units called Popular Forces.
Corporal Edward F. Palm became a combined-action Marine in 1967. His memoir recounts his experiences fighting with the South Vietnamese, his readjustment to life after the war, and the circumstances that prompted him to join the Corps in the first place. A one-time aspiring photojournalist, Palm includes photographs he took while serving, along with an epilogue describing what he and his former sergeant found during their 2002 return to Vietnam.

About the Author(s)

Edward F. Palm served in Vietnam as an enlisted Marine with the Combined Action Program. Returning to the Marine Corps in later life, he became an officer and taught military affairs at the University of California, Berkeley, and English at the United States Naval Academy before retiring as a major in 1993. He lives in Forest, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Edward F. Palm
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 213
Bibliographic Info: 36 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8104-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3954-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Dedication and Acknowledgments vii

Preface 1

1. The Identification 3

2. Palm and the Delaware Dream 10

3. My Great Expectations 19

4. Mixed Blessings 27

5. How It All Began 30

6. That Other Parris 34

7. The Sticking Point 39

8. Camp Lejeune 41

9. Delaware Revisited 45

10. An Enlightened Gesture of Dissent 48

11. Palm on the Supply Side 52

12. Deliverance 55

13. CAP School 57

14. Papa One Confidential 59

15. Flashback: The Girl I Left Behind 63

16. Tiger Papa Three 67

17. The Dramatis Personae 72

18. Blissful Ignorance 80

19. Flashback: My Great Expectations Revisited, July 1966 83

20. And the Rains Came! 88

21. Hard Times 90

22. Deus ex Machina the Second 93

23. The Way We Were 96

24. Puff the Magic Dragon Comes to Call 104

25. Schism 108

26. Close Encounters of the Strange Kind 110

27. On Courage—Physical and Moral 112

28. Winning Hearts and Minds 114

29. Boys Will Be Boys—American and Vietnamese 119

30. The R&R Experience 123

31. The Fire Next Time—December 4, 1967 125

32. Confession Being Good for the Soul… 133

33. Innocents Abroad 135

34. A Way You’ll Never Be 139

35. Life Goes On 141

36. The Shape of Things to Come 143

37. Coming Home 145

38. Looking Back on Leaving 150

39. A Siren’s Spell 152

40. “All the way with LBJ!” 161

41. Shelter from the Storm 163

42. A Chance Encounter with the Third Kind—of Girl 166

43. Palm at Penn 169

44. Men Without a Country 177

45. Vietnam and Modern Memory 179

Epilogue 183

Index 201