Unlikely Warriors: The Army Security Agency's Secret War in Vietnam 1961-1973by Lonnie M. Long
In early May 1961, a U.S. military aircraft taxied toward a well-guarded terminal building. The plane slowed to a halt; steps were maneuvered up to its side, and the door was pulled open. The tropical night air was heavy and dank, and the moon shone dimly through high thin clouds. On board the aircraft were ninety-two members of a specially selected team. The men
In early May 1961, a U.S. military aircraft taxied toward a well-guarded terminal building. The plane slowed to a halt; steps were maneuvered up to its side, and the door was pulled open. The tropical night air was heavy and dank, and the moon shone dimly through high thin clouds. On board the aircraft were ninety-two members of a specially selected team. The men were dressed in indistinguishable dark suits with white shirts and dark ties, and each man carried a new red U.S. diplomatic passport inside his breast pocket. The men held copies of their orders and records in identical brown Manila envelopes, and each man's medical records were stamped "If injured or killed in combat, report as training accident in the Philippines."
In such clandestine fashion, the first fully operational U.S. military unit arrived at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in South Vietnam. The unit was so highly classified even its name was top-secret. It was given a codename, a cover identity to hide the true nature of its mission. The unit's operation was housed in a heavily-guarded compound near Saigon, and within two days of its arrival, Phase I was implemented. Its operatives were intercepting Viet Cong manual Morse communications, analyzing it for the intelligence it contained and passing the information to the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group-Vietnam. The Army Security Agency was on duty.
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I did three tours in Nam with the ASA (337th RRC & 146th Avn Co), the last year spent doing ARDF work as a Ditty-Bopper. I found the book to be an interesting and very informative read. I was however, disappointed in the author’s need to voice their pro-conservative, anti-liberal leanings at the books end. It made me question whether other parts of the book were also biased. In any case, to all who were there with the ‘Radio Research’, I would recommend this book.
I was a cryptanalyst with the 175th RR Co from 4/68 until 1/70 and was very good at my job (ACM). The authors must have been drinking the kool aid. They have got commint and sigint completely backward,. ARDF was a very good tool but not the end all. By the way we were a field station along with Phu Bai and Pleiku
I am about halfway through this book. It is well written. The author pretty much tells it like it was. From 1962 to 1965 I was an 058/059 in the Far East. It has brought back a lot of memories;..... some good and some bad..... I often smile while reading and my mind flashes back to: "Been there. Done that. Got the scars to prove it". We certainly were "Unlikely Warriors", but we had a job to do and we did it damn well: ASA All The Way!
Great Book and informational!