Code-Name Bright Light: The Untold Story of U.S. POW Rescue Efforts During the Vietnam War

Code-Name Bright Light: The Untold Story of U.S. POW Rescue Efforts During the Vietnam War

by George J. Veith

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The history of the U.S. POW/MIA intelligence and wartime rescue operations has long remained concealed under the shroud of national security, unknown both to the public and to the families of the missing. George J. Veith has assembled an extensive range of previously unseen material, including recently declassified NSA intercepts, State Department cables, and wartime interrogation reports which reveal how the U.S. military conducted a centralized effort to identify, locate, and rescue its POW/MIAs.

Code-Name Bright Light also traces the development of the various national POW intelligence operations and provides an in-depth look at the activities of the Joint Personnel Recovery Center, a secretive and highly classified unit in South Vietnam responsible for rescuing captives. Further, it uncovers one of the most tightly held POW/MIA secrets, the primary reason why the government did not think any Americans were left behind: a clandestine communication program between the POWs and the U.S. military. This still-sensitive program provided the identities and locations of American prisoners, defeating North Vietnamese efforts to keep their names and locations secret.

The raids and efforts that make up the narrative of Code-Name Bright Light succeeded in freeing hundreds of South Vietnamese soldiers but resulted in the rescue of few Americans. The vast network of efforts, however, is a testament to the U.S. military's unknown commitment to freeing its captive soldiers. Veith concludes that the United States secretly went as far as any army could go in freeing captives in this type of wartime situation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440226505
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/01/1998
Edition description: Reprinted Edition
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.70(d)

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Code-Name Bright Light: The Untold Story of U.S. POW Rescue Efforts During the Vietnam War 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Book gives many reasons, including bad luck, on why our captured service men were never returned from captivity. For the military person, one can see how service jealousy really was prevelent in this failure. Service jealousy was placed above the fate of known POW's. The State Department was more concerned with what the South Vietnam government might think and in relation to Laos, what the world might think instead of how the POW felt. While the service man was taught that in the event he was captured, an all out effort would be made to get him back, this was not the case. While fellow service men were ready immediately to go and get their fellow brothers, days were lost while the upper echelon wasted valuable time making a decision to attempt a rescue. The author has done an excellent job of identifying his sources and documents to back up his book. A very resourceful book that provides information never seen before by this reader pertaining to our POW's. A must read book for those interested in whether any POW was left in southeast asia or not.