The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War


Doug Stanton - 2017
    Alongside other young American soldiers in an Army reconnaissance platoon (Echo Company, 1/501) of the 101st Airborne Division, Stanley Parker, the nineteen-year-old son of a Texan ironworker, was suddenly thrust into savage combat, having been in-country only a few weeks. As Stan and his platoon-mates, many of whom had enlisted in the Army, eager to become paratroopers, moved from hot zone to hot zone, the extreme physical and mental stresses of Echo Company’s day-to-day existence, involving ambushes and attacks, grueling machine-gun battles, and impossibly dangerous rescues of wounded comrades, pushed them all to their limits and forged them into a lifelong brotherhood. The war became their fight for survival. When they came home, some encountered a bitterly divided country that didn’t understand what they had survived. Returning to the small farms, beach towns, and big cities where they grew up, many of the men in the platoon fell silent, knowing that few of their countrymen wanted to hear the stories they lived to tell—until now. Based on interviews, personal letters, and Army after-action reports, The Odyssey of Echo Company recounts the searing tale of wartime service and homecoming of ordinary young American men in an extraordinary time and confirms Doug Stanton’s prominence as an unparalleled storyteller of our age.

The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War


Frederick Downs - 1978
    The book includes a new chapter on what happened to the platoon members when they came home.

We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam


Harold G. Moore - 2008
    And Young" (1992) is still required reading in all branches of the military. Every day the authors receive letters from readers wanting to know what's happened to the characters they came to admire such as Ed "Too Tall to Fly" Freeman and Bruce "Old Snake" Crandall. There are also questions about whether they are still in touch with their North Vietnam counterparts and where they are now.Many of these questions are finally answered in title "We are Soldiers Still", which recounts a unique journey back to the battlefields by the commanders and veterans of both sides - a journey which ended with the authors and some of the comrades stranded overnight, alone, on the isolated field code-named Landing Zone XRay where so many perished. They will tell what was learned and felt during a night when a meteor shower filled the sky and peace came upon them. The authors mix gritty and vivid detail with reverence and respect for their comrades. Their authority on the military, their ability to capture man's sense of heroism and brotherhood, and readers' fascination with their story is sure to make this a must-buy book for all history buffs. While "We Were Soldiers" brought to life an important moment in US history, "We are Soldiers Still" will illuminate how that history has changed the authors, the men involved, and our country.

Serenade to the Big Bird


Bert Stiles - 1952
    the whole low squadron was gone ... blown up ... burned up ... shot to hell ... one guy got out of that.” At the age of twenty-two, Bert Stiles joined the American Air Force. Two years later he began his life as a co-pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress, flying high over Germany and bombing cities far below. In his moving memoir of that time Stiles takes you right to the heart of life as a young bomber pilot in World War Two; the terror of being under fire from flak and German planes, the disillusionment in their mission, the thoughts of girls back home and those they’d met on their travels, the dreams of the future and the overwhelming tiredness that hung over every member of the crew. “A book of terrific impact. Perhaps the best to come out of World War II.” The Philadelphia Inquirer “The serenade is a simple and moving story of the war in the air. The big bird was a Flying Fort. She had a crew of ten men and all but one of them were 20 to 24 years old. … They went out on missions together into Germany from England. They ran into flak and had the daylights scared out of them, and burned out their guns shooting down 109's and Focke-Wulfs. They dropped bombs on Berlin and other cities, and hated war, and did not like to think what their bombs had done.” The New York Times Bert Stiles was a student at Colorado College in 1942 when he joined the American Army Air Force. He received his commission in November, 1943, and went overseas to Great Britain in March, 1944. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross and was a veteran of thirty-five bomber missions. Instead of returning to America when leave was due to him, he requested to be transferred to fighters. On November 26, 1944, he was shot down in a P-51 on an escort mission to Hanover. He died at the age of 23.

The Forgotten War: America in Korea, 1950-1953


Clay Blair Jr. - 1987
    Like no book before, it combines enormous battlefield-level detail with command-level military history and domestic and international politics. 32 pages of black-and-white photographs. 15 maps.

To the Limit: An Air Cav Huey Pilot in Vietnam


Tom A. Johnson - 2006
    At age nineteen, Tom Johnson flew in the thick of it, and lived to tell his harrowing tale. Johnson piloted the UH-1 "Iroquois"-better known as the "Huey"-as part of the famous First Air Cavalry Division. His battalion was one of the most decorated units of the Vietnam War, and helped redefine modern warfare. This riveting memoir gives the pilot's perspective on key battles and rescue missions, including those for Hue and Khe Sanh. From dangerous missions to narrow escapes, Johnson's account vividly captures the adrenaline rush of flying and the horror of war, and takes readers on an unforgettable ride.

The Flying Tigers: The Untold Story of the American Pilots Who Waged a Secret War Against Japan Before Pearl Harbor


Samuel Kleiner - 2018
    Led by legendary army pilot Claire Chennault, these men left behind an America still at peace in the summer of 1941 using false identities to travel across the Pacific to a run-down airbase in the jungles of Burma. In the wake of the disaster at Pearl Harbor this motley crew was the first group of Americans to take on the Japanese in combat, shooting down hundreds of Japanese aircraft in the skies over Burma, Thailand, and China. At a time when the Allies were being defeated across the globe, the Flying Tigers’ exploits gave hope to Americans and Chinese alike. Kleiner takes readers into the cockpits of their iconic shark-nosed P-40 planes—one of the most familiar images of the war—as the Tigers perform nail-biting missions against the Japanese. He profiles the outsize personalities involved in the operation, including Chennault, whose aggressive tactics went against the prevailing wisdom of military strategy; Greg “Pappy” Boyington, the man who would become the nation’s most beloved pilot until he was shot down and became a POW; Emma Foster, one of the nurses in the unit who had a passionate romance with a pilot named John Petach; and Madame Chiang Kai-shek herself, who first brought Chennault to China and who would come to visit these young Americans.A dramatic story of a covert operation whose very existence would have scandalized an isolationist United States, The Flying Tigers is the unforgettable account of a group of Americans whose heroism changed the world, and who cemented an alliance between the United States and China as both nations fought against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Parachute Infantry: An American Paratrooper's Memoir of D-Day and the Fall of the Third Reich


David Kenyon Webster - 1994
    Relying on his own letters home and recollections he penned just after his discharge, Webster gives a first hand account of life in E Company, 101st Airborne Division, crafting a memoir that resonates with the immediacy of a gripping novel. From the beaches of Normandy to the blood-dimmed battlefields of Holland, here are acts of courage and cowardice, moments of irritating boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror, and pitched urban warfare. Offering a remarkable snapshot of what it was like to enter Germany in the last days of World War II, Webster presents a vivid, varied cast of young paratroopers from all walks of life, and unforgettable glimpses of enemy soldiers and hapless civilians caught up in the melee. Parachute Infantry is at once harsh and moving, boisterous and tragic, and stands today as an unsurpassed chronicle of war--how men fight it, survive it, and remember it.

Islands of the Damned: A Marine at War in the Pacific


R.V. Burgin - 2010
     See R.V. Burgin in the award winning documentary film Peleliu 1944: Horror in the Pacific. Click here for more information. This is an eyewitness-and eye-opening-account of some of the most savage and brutal fighting in the war against Japan, told from the perspective of a young Texan who volunteered for the Marine Corps to escape a life as a traveling salesman. R.V. Burgin enlisted at the age of twenty, and with his sharp intelligence and earnest work ethic, climbed the ranks from a green private to a seasoned sergeant. Along the way, he shouldered a rifle as a member of a mortar squad. He saw friends die-and enemies killed. He saw scenes he wanted to forget but never did-from enemy snipers who tied themselves to branches in the highest trees, to ambushes along narrow jungle trails, to the abandoned corpses of hara kiri victims, to the final howling banzai attacks as the Japanese embraced their inevitable defeat. An unforgettable narrative of a young Marine in combat, Islands of the Damned brings to life the hell that was the Pacific War.

China Marine: An Infantryman's Life After World War II


Eugene B. Sledge - 2002
    Sledge's story in the HBO miniseries The Pacific !China Marine is the extraordinary sequel to E.B. Sledge's memoir, With the Old Breed, which remains the most powerful and moving account of the U.S. Marines in World War II. Sledge continues his story where With the Old Breed left off and recounts the compelling conclusion of his Marine career.After Japan's surrender in 1945, Sledge and his company were sent to China to maintain order and to calm the seething cauldron of political and ideological unrest created by opposing factions. His regiment was the first Marine unit to return to the ancient city of Peiping (now Beijing) where they witnessed the last of old China and the rise of the Communist state. Sledge also recounts the difficulty of returning to his hometown of Mobile, Alabama, and resuming civilian life while haunted by shadows of close combat. Through the discipline of writing and the study of biology, he shows how he came to terms with the terrifying memories that had plagued him for years.Poignant and compelling, China Marine provides a frank depiction of the real costs of war, emotional and psychological as well as physical, and reveals the enduring bond that develops between men who face the horrors of war.

Bounty Hunter 4/3: My Life in Combat from Marine Scout Sniper to MARSOC


Jason Delgado - 2017
    He ultimately escaped the death and drugs of a crime-riddled Bronx by way of the United States Marine Corps. However, after earning his way into the esteemed ranks of the service's famed Scout Snipers, Delgado saw that old struggle reignited when he was dumped into the hell of war in Iraq.There Delgado proved not only a participant, but a warrior capable of turning the tide in several of the most harrowing and historically important battles of the evolving war. He took all the hard lessons learned in combat and, as MARSOC's original lead sniper instructor, made himself a pivotal figure in revolutionizing the way special operations snipers trained and operated. But even after accomplishing his mission in the military, Delgado still faced that original fight, struggling to understand and accept the man his experiences had transformed him into. Bounty Hunter 4/3 is Jason Delgado's captivating first-hand account of these powerful and life-changing experiences.

Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway


N. Jack "Dusty" Kleiss - 2017
    (j.g.) "Dusty" Kleiss burst out of the clouds and piloted his SBD Dauntless into a near-vertical dive aimed at the heart of Japan’s Imperial Navy, which six months earlier had ruthlessly struck Pearl Harbor. The greatest naval battle in history raged around him, its outcome hanging in the balance as the U.S. desperately searched for its first major victory of the Second World War. Then, in a matter of seconds, Dusty Kleiss’s daring 20,000-foot dive helped forever alter the war’s trajectory.Plummeting through the air at 240 knots amid blistering anti-aircraft fire, the twenty-six-year-old pilot from USS Enterprise’s elite Scouting Squadron Six fixed on an invaluable target—the aircraft carrier Kaga, one of Japan’s most important capital ships. He released three bombs at the last possible instant, then desperately pulled out of his gut-wrenching 9-g dive. As his plane leveled out just above the roiling Pacific Ocean, Dusty’s perfectly placed bombs struck the carrier’s deck, and Kaga erupted into an inferno from which it would never recover.Arriving safely back at Enterprise, Dusty was met with heartbreaking news: his best friend was missing and presumed dead along with two dozen of their fellow naval aviators. Unbowed, Dusty returned to the air that same afternoon and, remarkably, would fatally strike another enemy carrier, Hiryu. Two days later, his deadeye aim contributed to the destruction of a third Japanese warship, the cruiser Mikuma, thereby making Dusty the only pilot from either side to land hits on three different ships, all of which sank—losses that crippled the once-fearsome Japanese fleet.By battle’s end, the humble young sailor from Kansas had earned his place in history—and yet he stayed silent for decades, living quietly with his children and his wife, Jean, whom he married less than a month after Midway. Now his extraordinary and long-awaited memoir, Never Call Me a Hero, tells the Navy Cross recipient’s full story for the first time, offering an unprecedentedly intimate look at the "the decisive contest for control of the Pacific in World War II" (New York Times)—and one man’s essential role in helping secure its outcome.Dusty worked on this book for years with naval historians Timothy and Laura Orr, aiming to publish Never Call Me a Hero for Midway’s seventy-fifth anniversary in June 2017. Sadly, as the book neared completion in 2016, Dusty Kleiss passed away at age 100, one of the last surviving dive-bomber pilots to have fought at Midway. And yet the publication of Never Call Me a Hero is a cause for celebration: these pages are Dusty’s remarkable legacy, providing a riveting eyewitness account of the Battle of Midway, and an inspiring testimony to the brave men who fought, died, and shaped history during those four extraordinary days in June, seventy-five years ago.

Across an Angry Sea: The SAS in the Falklands War


Cedric Delves - 2019
    Within days a Royal Navy Task Force is assembled and British forces dispatched. This is the story of D Squadron, 22 SAS, commanded by Cedric Delves. The Squadron will be in at the start, at the repossession of South Georgia; and they will be there at the end, still going forward. Theirs will be the first Union Jack raised over Government House in Stanley, signifying the end of the war.This is more than a tale of derring-do, although the events and their relentless tempo defy belief. Angry seas, inhospitable glaciers, hurricane force winds, an Argentine submarine, helicopter crashes, raids behind enemy lines –– all these and more are in the mix. 'Across an Angry Sea' is a chronicle of daring. The Squadron prevails, but the cost is high. They lose a third of their fighting strength. This is a portrait of a tight knit SAS band of brothers at war. It doesn’t always go right. But the Squadron learns fast. They win through and at all times fight hard, with determination, skill and steadiness, never losing sight of their humanity.

Roll Me Over: An Infantryman's World War II


Raymond Gantter - 1997
    Sobered by that sight, Gantter and his fellow infantrymen moved across northern France and Belgium, taking part in the historic and bloody Battle of the Bulge, before slowly penetrating into and across Germany, fighting all the way to the Czechoslovakian border.With depth, clarity, and remarkable compassion, Gantter--an enlisted man and college graduate who spoke German--portrays the extraordinary life of the American soldier as he and his comrades lived it while helping to destroy Hitler's Third Reich. From dueling with unseen snipers in ruined villages to fierce battles in which the lightly armed American infantry skirmished against Hitler's panzers, Gantter skillfully captures one infantryman's progress across a continent where guns, fear, and death lay in wait around every bend in the road.

Escape From Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War


John D. Lukacs - 2010
    The prisoners were survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March and the Fall of Corregidor, and the prison from which they escaped was surrounded by an impenetrable swamp and reputedly escape-proof.