Fighting Viet Cong in the Rung Sat

Memoir of a Combat Advisor in Vietnam, 1968-1969


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About the Book

The Vietnam War was not going well in 1968. The January Tet Offensive—a tactical defeat but strategic victory for North Vietnam—showed the U.S. military and the American public that the enemy remained determined, no nearer defeat. Americans grew war weary while politicians and military leaders could not agree on how to win or how to withdraw.
Between combat tours, the author served as a U.S. Army company commander—a job he came to despise. Experiencing what he perceived as a degradation in the Army’s senior command, he resigned his commission. Yet he needed money to complete graduate school and volunteered to return to Vietnam as a combat advisor.

This memoir describes his participation in the fiercest fighting of the war, on the Cambodian border, where he almost died of hookworm and was shot in a night operation. In Saigon to recuperate, he was tasked with creating an advisory team to train South Vietnamese commandos to conduct raids in the swamps south of Saigon, the Rung Sat Special Zone. For seven months they were successful, with Worthington receiving seven combat decorations.

About the Author(s)

The late Bob Worthington was a retired Army officer with 15 years in the infantry and special operations and 10 years as a clinical psychologist. He was also a retired university professor, having taught psychology, business and journalism, and an award-winning writer of 2600+ publications. He lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Bibliographic Details

Bob Worthington
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 283
Bibliographic Info: 56 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7941-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4396-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
1. Cambodian Border, November 1968, Second Tour 5
2. January 1967, Back Home from First Vietnam Tour 7
3. Moving into Fort Benning 18
4. Basic Combat Training Company Commander 27
5. Vietnam, Second Time Around 51
6. Combat Flying in Vietnam: Low and Slow 61
7. Flight to Bao Trai 68
8. District Senior Advisor at Trang Bang 74
9. Combat Operations in Trang Bang 92
10. Overnight Operations in Trang Bang 110
11. Dying in the Morgue 115
12. More Combat Around Trang Bang 121
13. Firefly Missions 135
14. Being Promoted for Doing a Good Job as DSA 146
15. Duty in Saigon: What a Way to Fight a War 152
16. Moving to the Rung Sat Special Zone 171
17. Training RF Company 117 for Commando Raids 183
18. Combat Operations Against the Viet Cong 198
19. Attack on a Major Viet Cong Base Camp 210
20. R&R in Hawaii 221
21. Chieu Hoi 228
22. Sailors and Hand Grenades 236
23. Leaving Vietnam 248
24. Leaving Active Duty 257
Epilogue 265
Bob Worthington Military History 267
Index 271

Book Reviews & Awards

• Silver Medal, Memoir/Biography—Military Writers Society of America

• “A great read…Bob writes in an easy style that is enjoyable. …[Worthington] has a gift for providing extremely detailed descriptions of his circumstances, his equipment, his combat operations that are easy to follow and aptly tell the reader what he was doing, and why. … It is a very good and very well-told read.”—Counterparts

• “A well-written, thoroughly researched, and annotated history of the Merchant Mariners in said time and place. If there was ever a book that clearly sums up how the US got involved in Vietnam, this is it.”—The Veteran