A Marine Long-Range Recon Team Leader in Vietnam, 1967–1968
About the Book
The leader of one of the most successful U. S. Marine long range reconnaissance teams during the Vietnam War, Andrew Finlayson recounts his team’s experiences in the year leading up to the Tet Offensive of 1968. Using primary sources, such as Marine Corps unit histories and his own weekly letters home, he presents a highly personal account of the dangerous missions conducted by this team of young Marines as they searched for North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong units in such dangerous locales as Elephant Valley, the Enchanted Forest, Charlie Ridge, Happy Valley and the Que Son Mountains.
In numerous close contacts with the enemy, the team (code-name Killer Kane) fights for its survival against desperate odds, narrowly escaping death time and again. The book gives vivid descriptions of the life of recon Marines when they are not on patrol, the beauty of the landscape they traverse, and several of the author’s Vietnamese friends. It also explains in detail the preparations for, and the conduct of, a successful long range reconnaissance patrol.
About the Author(s)
Andrew R. Finlayson
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: 62 photos, 2 maps, glossary, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments 1
1. Preparing for Battle 5
2. Lost Friends and Deep in Enemy-Held Territory 29
3. Killer Kane Goes on the Attack 62
4. More Patrols 77
5. The Summer of Living Dangerously 110
6. The Yellow Brick Road 145
7. Happy Valley 173
8. Swift Scout Makes Its Debut 198
9. Okinawa and Home 224
Recommended Reading 273
Book Reviews & Awards
“excellent…deserves our full and undivided attention”—Leatherneck Magazine; “diminishes none of the luster but dispels many of the myths. Finlayson led 34 long-range reconnaissance and surveillance…and ultimately ambush…patrols into some of the most contested areas of the Vietnam War. That the team suffered very few wounded and just one killed…by lightning of all things…is a testament to Finlayson’s leadership, skill, and tenacity…accurately depicts operations…forthright…written in a mood of almost ecstatic disquiet…engaging”—Proceedings; “recommended…well-written…McFarland, has done the serious reader of Marine Corps Officers memoirs a service. This book ranks right up there at the top of the genre’s heap”—The VVA Veteran; “a larger work of wisdom and eloquence that generously gives high tribute and deserved honor.”—Catholicism.org; “detailed…integrates the perspective of his younger self, relying on letters he wrote home from the war, with a more mature perspective, drawing on military primary sources…extensive glossary”—Reference & Research Book News.