The First Marine Captured in Vietnam

A Biography of Donald G. Cook


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SKU: 9780786428045 Categories: , Tags: ,

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. Includes 68 photographs.

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 (6 x 9)
Pages: 334
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2804-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0409-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. Captain Cook and Comrade Troi      3
2. More Than Life Itself      16
3. A Ranger Advisor’s Courage      30
4. Bring Back Our Dead Kinsmen      50
5. Missing and Presumed Captured      69
6. One of the Pope’s Commandos      82
7. The Forging of a Leader      95
8. The Arkansas Rebel      110
9. Faith Without Fear      123
10. Oil Can Harry and Friends      135
11. Living by the Code      149
12. Escape and Defiance      163
13. The Gentle Giant Succumbs      178
14. Mind Games      190
15. Writing Lessons      201
16. Setting the Superman Example      212
17. Sammie the Woe and Charlie the Smuggler      225
18. Survival Partners      237
19. A Camp Rather Far from Here      250
20. Operation Homecoming      262
21. Above and Beyond the Call of Duty      273

Epilogue      290
Appendix: The U.S. Military Code of Conduct      299
Chapter Notes      301
Bibliography      309
Index      315

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
  • “rRveting…extensive research”—U.S. Naval Institute