Eleven Bravo

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E. Tayloe Wise served in Vietnam from May 1969 through April 1970. During those 11 months, he wrote an estimated 750-800 letters home. This memoir is based on those letters, which recounted the details of his experiences and also served as an outlet where he could express the terror, tedium and even boredom of his daily life while in Vietnam. It tells the story of the Vietnam War as this foot soldier viewed it from the jungle, as both a rifleman and a combat medic who was forced to learn his medical skills under fire, and who later became a personal waiter in the private mess hall of Major General E.B. Roberts, the Commanding General of the 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile).

The story begins with a record of Wise's military history, his training as an infantryman in Leesville, Louisiana and his arrival in Vietnam on May 2, 1969. Chapter two details his first experience under enemy fire on May 11, when suicide squads penetrated their perimeter with the purpose of inflicting the maximum amount of damage with disregard to even the attackers' own lives. Chapters five and six recount the August 1969 battle of LZ Becky, a landing zone that was constructed just south of the Cambodian border and was destroyed only four weeks later. Chapter seven relates Wise's experiences after receiving a job as a waiter in the Commander General's mess hall. On April 9, 1970, his service ended and he headed home. The book contains diagrams of several battles and the author's personal photographs taken while he was in the jungle and in the rear echelon area of Phuoc Vinh.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786419166
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/12/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 294
  • Sales rank: 718,123
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Now retired, Vietnam Veteran E. Tayloe Wise taught Asian History at the University of Richmond. He lives in Cave Creek, Arizona.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Military History of E. Tayloe Wise xi
Preface 1
Prologue: War Is 5
April--Leaving the World 9
May--Baptism 18
June--Bees, Rats, Lizards, and Sleeplessness 38
July--LZ Becky's Birth 72
August--LZ Becky's Death 103
September--Firefights 137
October--Freedom! 181
November to April--Phuoc Vinh, Hawaii, Bangkok, Home Free 212
Afterword 255
Glossary 263
Bibliography 277
Index 279
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2009

    Memory Provoking.

    Book gave a good perpective on being a field soldier in Vietnam. It is fairly factual with dates being the only thing off at times. It would be a good book for anyone wanting to learn what soldiers actually dealt with during their time in Vietnam.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2004

    War from Inside the Tents of Grunts & Generals

    If you want to appreciate the extremes of war as seen through the eyes of a decorated grunt on the battlefield who then goes on to become a witness to the egregious luxury experienced by the commanders in the rear, this book tells it like it is. Most grunts don't see the lavish lifestyles of their commanders nor do most people understand the horrors of war. In this book, both are present and accounted for. <P> I know several Viet Nam Vets. None of them want to talk about it. They tell stories when they're in the mood, but those are always impersonal. Fragging incidents, hot landing zones (LZ's) and R&R capers top the list. Their stories are always about someone or something else, not themselves. Eleven Bravo is different. <P> This is a first-hand account of one grunt's experiences as captured daily through letters sent back home to his parents and friends, preserved for this book that took over thrity years to write. The language seemed at times, repetitive, and there are times while reading it my inclination was to skip some of the material. Then I realized that the repetition is part of the story. War and its daily struggles are all about repetition and once I understood that it was an integral part of the experience, I began to appreciate it. It is honest and haunting. The story of a young man who could have been a commanding general in another era, toting a rifle in the infantry and learning too well the vicissitudes of war; and as if to taunt him with that knowledge of his lineage, also showing him the extremes between grunt and commander. Must read if you want to feel what war is like at the extremes.

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