The First Marine Captured in Vietnam

A Biography of Donald G. Cook [LARGE PRINT]

Large Print Edition

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About the Book

Colonel Donald Gilbert Cook was the first U.S. Marine captured in Vietnam, the first and only Marine in history to earn the Medal of Honor while in captivity; and the first Marine POW to have a U.S. Navy ship named in his honor, the USS Donald Cook (DDG-75). On December 31, 1964, while serving as an observer with a South Vietnamese Marine Corps battalion on a combat operation against Viet Cong forces, he was captured near the village of Binh Gia in South Vietnam. Until his death in captivity in December 1967, Cook led ten POWs in a series of primitive jungle camps. This first book-length biography concentrates especially on Cook’s three years in captivity, and is the first book exclusively about a Marine POW held in South Vietnam. Throughout, Cook’s adherence to the Corps’ traditional leadership principles and knowledge of the Code of Conduct are highlighted. His biography provides a unique case study of exemplary leadership under extremely difficult conditions.

This entry refers to the LARGE PRINT edition. For the standard edition please see ISBN 978-0-7864-2804-5.

About the Author(s)

Retired Marine Colonel Donald L. Price earned the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart for service in Vietnam. He lives in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

Bibliographic Details

Donald L. Price
Format: softcover (7 x 10), large print
Pages: 482
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009 [2007]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4116-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. Captain Cook and Comrade Troi      5
2. More Than Life Itself      23
3. A Ranger Advisor’s Courage      44
4. Bring Back Our Dead Kinsmen      72
5. Missing and Presumed Captured      98
6. One of the Pope’s Commandos      117
7. The Forging of a Leader      136
8. The Arkansas Rebel      158
9. Faith Without Fear      177
10. Oil Can Harry and Friends      194
11. Living by the Code      214
12. Escape and Defiance      235
13. The Gentle Giant Succumbs      257
14. Mind Games      274
15. Writing Lessons      291
16. Setting the Superman Example      307
17. Sammie the Woe and Charlie the Smuggler      326
18. Survival Partners      343
19. A Camp Rather Far from Here      362
20. Operation Homecoming      381
21. Above and Beyond the Call of Duty      397

Epilogue      422
Appendix: The U.S. Military Code of Conduct      433
Chapter Notes      435
Bibliography      447
Index      455

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “brings back the terror and heartache of these times…thoroughly-researched…highly recommended!”—Midwest Book Review
  • “[the author] has done a great service in his book…I highly recommend this book”—Marine Corps Gazette
  • “very impressive…a captivating read”—Purple Heart Magazine
  • “riveting…extensive research”—U.S. Naval Institute