Under Fire with ARVN Infantry

Memoir of a Combat Advisor in Vietnam, 1966–1967


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About the Book

From 1945 to 1973, more than 100,000 members of the U.S. military were advisors in Vietnam. Of these, 66,399 were combat advisors. Eleven were awarded the Medal of Honor, 378 were killed and 1393 were wounded. Combat advisors lived and fought with South Vietnamese combat units, advising on tactics and weapons and liaising with local U.S. military support.

Bob Worthington’s first tour (1966–1967) began with training at the Army Special Warfare School in unconventional warfare, Vietnamese culture and customs, advisor responsibilities and Vietnamese language. Once in-country, he acted as senior advisor to infantry defense forces and then an infantry mobile rapid reaction force. Worthington worked alongside ARVN forces, staging operations against Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army units, and coordinated actions with the U.S. Marines. He describes a night helicopter assault by a 320-man ARVN battalion against a 1,200-man NVA regiment. On another night, the Vietcong ceased fire while Worthington arranged a Marine helicopter to medevac a wounded baby.

About the Author(s)

The late Bob Worthington was a retired Army officer with 15 years in the infantry and special operations and 10 years as a clinical psychologist. He was also a retired university professor, having taught psychology, business and journalism, and an award-winning writer of 2600+ publications. He lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Bibliographic Details

Bob Worthington

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 45 photos maps, appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7436-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3444-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1

 1. U.S. Marine Corps and Army, 1957–1964 5

 2. Preparing for Duty in Vietnam 9

 3. Going to War, Finally 13

 4. Da Nang, My First Assignment 18

 5. Duty in Da Nang Garrison 29

 6. Unrest in Da Nang 47

 7. The Battle for Da Nang 58

 8. ­Good-Bye to Da Nang 63

 9. Joining the Third Battalion, ­Fifty-First Regiment 68

10. The County Fair in Hieu Nhon 83

11. Combat Operations Around Hoi An 92

12. Lam Son Infantry Training Center 109

13. Operations in Thanh Quit 123

14. The Battle for Nong Son: Day 1 134

15. Nong Son, Losing the Battle: Days 2 and 3 146

16. Nong Son, Regaining Lost Ground: Days 4 and 5 165

17. Nong Son, Winning the Battle: Days 6 to 8 176

18. Operations Around An Hoa 191

19. R & R in Hawai’i 201

20. The Night the Viet Cong Stopped the War 204

21. Going Home 215

Epilogue 224

Bob Worthington Military History 227

Index 231

Book Reviews & Awards

• Gold Medal for Excellence in Literature—Military Writers Society of America

• “A good story by a good man…and a good soldier”—The VVA Veteran

• “A must-read…written with humility, honesty, and keen self-reflection…readers will find an honest assessment of American and South Vietnamese soldiers as Worthington saw them”—Military Writers Society of America

• “Worthington has written a terrific account of his experiences as an advisor to ARVN commands. … This book is a terrific account of one man’s advisory duty—from disappointment and ‘boring’ inactivity to the ultimate deadly pace of heavy combat.”—Counterparts