Firebase Tan Tru

Memoir of an Artilleryman in the Mekong Delta, 1969–1970

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SKU: 9781476668529 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

Walter McDermott graduated with honors from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1968, enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to the Mekong Delta in 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War. A specialist with the Ninth Infantry Division, he provided artillery support to infantry patrols while struggling to cope with the authoritarian severity of the Army and the Alice-in-Wonderland madness of the war. His frank memoir relates the surreality of combat and traces his own metamorphosis from thoughtful undergrad to jaded veteran.

About the Author(s)

Walter F. McDermott, Ph.D., a Vietnam combat veteran, is a retired clinical psychologist who treated combat PTSD veterans for nearly 30 years, mainly at the Jacksonville, Florida, Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic’s Mental Health Unit. He lives in Atlantic Beach, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Walter F. McDermott
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 218
Bibliographic Info: 21 photos, glossary, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6852-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3292-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
1. Avoidable Casualties 5
2. Basic Training 10
3. Advanced Individual Training 22
4. Arriving in Country 32
5. Tan An 35
6. Liaison Specialist and a Failure 44
7. Air Power Support 51
8. Dinner with a Wealthy Vietnamese Farmer 54
9. The Helicopter War 59
10. Rocket Attack 68
11. Losing the War 73
12. Time on Target Attack 76
13. Firebase Animals 79
14. Reconnaissance Platoon Tragedy 89
15. Burning Shit 96
16. Fragging 100
17. The Food 108
18. Weapons 115
19. Atypical Duty 121
20. Unique Nights 125
21. Drugs 130
22. Officers 142
23. Vietnamese Enemies vs. Allies 146
24. Saigon 154
25. Tan An Sniper 160
26. Religion 165
27. Weddings 172
28. Firebase Drinking Clubs 178
29. Viet Cong Attacks 185
30. Media Biases 188
31. Coming Home 192
32. Reflections 200
Vietnam Glossary 205
Military Service History of Walter F. McDermott 207
Index 209