Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam War of One Green Beret's Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines

Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam War of One Green Beret's Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines

by Eric Blehm


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The true story of the U.S. Army’s 240th Assault Helicopter Company and a Green Beret Staff Sergeant's heroic mission to rescue a Special Forces team trapped behind enemy lines during the Vietnam War, from New York Times bestselling author Eric Blehm. 

On May 2, 1968, a twelve-man Special Forces team covertly infiltrated a small clearing in the jungles of neutral Cambodia—where U.S. forces were forbidden to operate. Their objective, just miles over the Vietnam border, was to collect evidence that proved the North Vietnamese Army was using the Cambodian sanctuary as a major conduit for supplying troops and materiel to the south via the Ho Chi Minh Trail. What the team didn’t know was that they had infiltrated a section of jungle that concealed a major enemy base. Soon they found themselves surrounded by hundreds of NVA, under attack, low on ammunition, stacking the bodies of the dead as cover in a desperate attempt to survive the onslaught.
When Special Forces Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez heard their distress call, he jumped aboard the next helicopter bound for the combat zone. What followed would become legend in the Special Operations community. Flown into the foray of battle by the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, Benavidez jumped from the hovering aircraft, ran nearly 100 yards through withering enemy fire, and—despite being immediately and severely wounded—organized an extraordinary defense and rescue of the Special Forces team.
Written with extensive access to family members, surviving members of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, on-the-ground eye-witness accounts never before published, as well as recently discovered archival, and declassified military records, Blehm has created a riveting narrative both of Roy Benavidez’s life and career, and of the inspiring, almost unbelievable events that defined the brotherhood of the air and ground warriors in an unpopular war halfway around the world. Legend recounts the courage and commitment of those who fought in Vietnam in service of their country, and the story of one of the many unsung heroes of the war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804139519
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 04/28/2015
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 596,097
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

ERIC BLEHM is the bestselling author of Fearless and The Only Thing Worth Dying For, which recounts the harrowing story of the first Special Forces A-team to infiltrate Taliban-held southern Afghanistan weeks after 9/11. Both books were New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers. The Last Season, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award, was named by Outside magazine as one of the 10 "greatest adventure biographies ever written." Blehm lives in California with his wife and children.

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Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam War of One Green Beret's Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
If the story of this brave soldier and his comrades doesn’t have your adrenaline flowing, your heart pounding and your eyes watering, you must be wearing a toe tag. This story of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death is truly from what legends are made. From the author of the book, Fearless, the story of U. S. Navy Seal Adam Brown, we are once again presented with a true story of service and sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty. With great respect and admiration, author Eric Blehm recounts the story of Special Forces Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez, who’s heroic action in the war in Vietnam would ultimately earn him the Congressional Medal of Honor. On May 2, 1968, Green Beret Benavidez was a team member of MACV-SOG, which was charged with running clandestine missions behind enemy lines in Cambodia and Laos, outside the U. S. military’s principal mission in Vietnam. Benavidez awoke at his base camp to the news that a twelve man tactical insertion across the border in Cambodia had gone very wrong. The team had apparently been inserted inadvertently in the midst of a North Vietnamese base camp. Three choppers had already been severely shot up and had to abort the pullout of the team that was pinned down and taking casualties. Without hesitation, Benavidez jumped on a chopper that was being quickly repaired and rearmed to join the rescue attempt. He reacted so fast he only thought to grab a bag with medical supplies, forgetting he had neglected to bring his weapon. When the chopper arrived over the pickup zone, the enemy fire was fierce. Benavidez took the medical bag and jumped from the hovering craft, deciding to pick up a weapon from the field. As he run towards the beleaguered team, he fell as he was hit in the leg. He picked himself up only to be thrown to the earth by the blast from an RPG. Bleeding from many shrapnel wounds, he once again rose and finally joined what was left of the team. He immediately started to provide what medical aid he could. He coordinated with the team leaders and took control, grabbing an available weapon, setting up fire control, distributing ammunition, and taking point on calling in addition air support. He helped some of the team members to the waiting chopper that had been taking a beating from enemy fire. As the chopper attempted to lift off with some of the men, the pilot was hit by enemy fire and the chopper went down. Although he had sustained addition wounds, Benevidez went to the rescue of the downed chopper pulling those who survived the crash back to the defense perimeter of the Special Forces team. Once again Benavidez took charge, providing medical aid, tactical support, calling in more air power to suppress the ever increasing enemy fire, and refusing to let the trapped men give up hope. When against all odds, another chopper finally landed, Benavidez once again assisted wounded team members to the craft. On a second trip to help more men to the chopper, Benavidez was clubbed in the head by an enemy soldier. As he fought with the soldier, Benavidez received a bayonet wound, but managed to overcome the soldier. He finished helping the remaining wounded to the chopper. Benavidez shot and killed two enemy soldiers who were rapidly approaching the chopper from it’s unprotected blind side. Only after checking that all survivors were on board, did he finally allow himself to be pulled onto the chopper as it lumbered into the air. His actions had helped save the lives of eight men. Wh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew nothing abut this until this book. I was in the Marines in 1954 in Korea. I knew that helicopters were the way of the future. This book proves that out. What outstanding warriors. I hope that all those that came in contact with him knew that they were in the presence of greatnress.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Roy is the ideal of what a legend should be. A fearless and patriotic soldier who just wanted to do what was right. Anyone in search of a role model need look no further.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This an excellent, well written book. The author does an admirable job giving the reader good background information on most of the main participants in the action. Once the "team" is engaged in battle with the NVA that background certainly brings empathy for those men. The action itself, the team members, the helicopter crews engaged is riveting can't quit reading material. One of the best books I have read on Special Forces units that went "over the fence".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the third of Eric Blehm's books I have read and it is just as impressive as the others. Mr. Blehm is able to bring clarity and readability to a story and a man we should never forget. Mr. Blehm also brings to light the bravery, dedication and selflessness of the others Roy Benavides served with.
ChatWithVera More than 1 year ago
 Legend  is a story worth reading. As I turned the pages, I realized how little I knew of the time when the United States was fighting in Vietnam. I was young, the age of many of these young soldiers, during this time. But I honestly had little idea the intensity of each moment. True, no matter the time or age or era, war is terrible and truly beyond comprehension for the lay person. But I wasn't ready for the reality that this story brought forth. Beginning with the background of who Roy Benavidez is and what shaped him into the individual he became is a wonderful story in itself. His was the story of the migrant worker family and how they were short on schooling because they followed the crops and the seasons. A story of hard work. A story of teen rebellion and a grandfather who taught him pride in family and achievement, and whose guidance steered him toward a better life. As he moved into army life, he was determined to do well. After serving a tour in Vietnam and becoming so seriously wounded he should never have been able to walk again, the determination instilled into him by his grandfather to overcome adversity drove him to push himself to recovery and strength. He was determined to remain in the army. The army was determined that if he remained he would have a desk job. He was determined to become a Green Beret in Special Forces. How he achieved this is miraculous and intriguing. As the story progresses it is easy to get bogged down in names, divisions, acronyms, and other military "speak." However, the lay person (especially a Southern Lady with no experience or knowledge of military life) can read through this even not understanding and follow this fantastic story.  I highly recommend this book and believe that Eric Blehm has written another best seller. I also a believe that this story of a United States Army man, Green Beret Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez, needs to be told. It needs to be told so ALL of those who served in Vietnam can be appreciated for their service. There is to be NO SHAME for those who served.   DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary from the Blogging for Books review program to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated for this review.
ryeLee More than 1 year ago
Always glad to learn about an American hero, as well as learn more about the Vietnam War.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago