Lullabies for Lieutenants

Memoir of a Marine Forward Observer in Vietnam, 1965–1966

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About the Book

Capturing the chaotic nature of the U.S. Marine experience at war in Vietnam, this memoir recounts the experiences of a young officer in a series of unrelated short pieces. In a narrative as fragmented as the war itself, the only resolution is the same one reached by the Marines who fought—the conclusion of a tour of duty with no happy ending. Each chapter describes a specific event, a story of emotion, or a remarkable person (some are heroes, some are cowards). The reader lives the experience alongside the author, gaining a true sense of the pulse-pounding contact, surrealism, pathos, humor, and beauty that defined one of the low points of the American experience.

About the Author(s)

Franklin Cox is CEO of Pecan Productions Studios, Inc. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

Franklin Cox
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, glossary, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4719-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5593-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1

PART I: FORWARD OBSERVER

1. We Never Promised You a Rose Garden      7

2. Landing at Red Beach      13

3. Forward Observer      19

4. Ambush      25

5. Hearts and Minds      32

6. Night Vertical Assault      36

7. Her Majesty      42

8. Surrounded      48

9. A Captain of Marines      59

10. Anger      65

11. The Lieutenants      70

PART II: HEROES AND GOATS

12. A Culture Like No Other      89

13. Okinawa      93

14. Second Battalion, Ninth Marines Headquarters      103

15. Cam Ne Burning      111

16. The Loser      118

17. Disaster      123

18. Gooks      127

19. Meltdown      133

20. The Disappearance of First Lieutenant James T. Egan, Jr.      140

21. Twenty Minutes of Terror: Night Sapper Attack      148

22. Random Chaos      156

PART III: HOPES AND DREAMS

23. Her      171

24. Short Timer      175

25. Irony      180

26. Residuals: Denial, Anger, and Risk-Taking      185

27. Mao, Ho, and United States Policy      197

Glossary      201

Index      203

Book Reviews & Awards

“powerful…recommended…incredible…required reading”—Military Writers Society of America; “a fine job…evocative addition…a compelling read”—Vietnam Magazine; “gripping…striking…paints a clear picture”—Phoenix Military History Examiner; “Strong, spot-on, and impressive…a dramatic look back at what we experienced as young combat warriors. Cox hits the wave tops of the emotions, fear, challenges, hardships, and personal and professional achievements we now look back and reflect upon. Bravo Zulu, well done!”—H.C. “Barney” Barnum, Colonel of Marines (Ret.) and Medal of Honor Recipient–Vietnam; “capture[s] the young Marine warrior: his thoughts, his emotions, his experiences, and the pride that binds him to his brother Marine.”—Ron Christmas, Lieutenant General, USMC (Ret.), President & CEO, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation; “The ethos of Marines in battle has never been captured better. Franklin Cox is the new balladeer of the USMC.”—Robert Coram, author of Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War.