Fort Bragg to Hué

A Paratrooper with the 82nd and 173rd Airborne in Vietnam, 1968–1970

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About the Book

In February 1968, the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division was understrength, with only enough paratroopers to deploy a single brigade. The 3rd Brigade was flown 9000 miles to reinforce American units fighting the North Vietnamese Army around Hué—received a Valorous Unit Award for their actions there. James Dorn was on Brigade staff. He later led a rifle platoon with the 3rd in the rice paddies west of Saigon. In his second year with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the Central Highlands. he again led a platoon until promoted to captain. His frank and detailed memoir recounts their diverse combat missions, inhumanity for civilians and the day-to-day life of Infantrymen in the field.

About the Author(s)

James M. Dorn is a retired U.S. Army infantry parachutist and special forces qualified officer, a retired municipal police officer, and a retired lawyer. He lives in Chino Hills, California.

Bibliographic Details

James M. Dorn, Major USAR (Ret.)

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 234
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8933-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4673-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii
In Memoriam ix
An Infantryman’s Lot x
Preface xi
Part One.
The 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division
1. From Emergency Alert to Arrival in Vietnam 2
2 The Brigade’s Public Information Staff Officer 17
3. The Brigade’s Post Exchange Officer 35
4. Transferred to the 1st Battalion, 508th PIR 49
5. 1st Platoon, D Company, 1st Battalion, 508th PIR 58
6. Pineapples and a Missing Battalion Commander 81
7. Mudflats, Ice Cream and a Man Drowned 89
8. Christmas, Bob Hope, a Medcap, and an Airstrike 101
9. Extending My Tour for Six More Months 111
10. Farewell 3rd Brigade, Hello 173rd Brigade 114
Part Two.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade
11. LZ Uplift, Reconnaissance Missions, and a Life Saved 118
12. “C” Company, 3rd Battalion, 503rd PIR 140
13. Patrolling Deep in the Central Highlands 145
14. To Climb a Mile High Mountain 151
15. Resupply, Mail, a Desert and Bouncing Bettys 164
16. Pacification, Stupid Questions and a Heavy Machine Gun 175
17. A Man Killed by a Claymore Mine and RF/PFs 184
18. Helping Rebuild the Village and a Feast 186
19. Regional Force, Local Force and a USO Visit 189
20. Waterboarding a Female Viet Cong Member 192
21. The Last Time I Lead My Men into Danger 197
22. A Captain on the Battalion’s Operations Staff 200
23. Time to Go Home 210
24. Awards and Decorations 211
Epilogue 212
Index 215

Book Reviews & Awards

“Highly readable and lucid”—VVA Veteran