Swift Boats at War in Vietnam

Swift Boats at War in Vietnam


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Swift Boats at War in Vietnam by Guy Gugliotta


Developed specifically for the Vietnam War (and made famous by the 2004 presidential campaign), Swift Boats were versatile craft “big enough to outrun anything they couldn’t outfight” but too small to handle even a moderate ocean chop, too loud to sneak up on anyone, and too flimsy to withstand the mildest of rocket attacks. This made more difficult an already tough mission: navigating coastal waters for ships and sampans smuggling contraband to the Viet Cong, disrupting enemy supply lines on the rivers and canals of the Mekong Delta, and inserting SEALs behind enemy lines. The stories in this book cover the Swift Boats’ early years, which saw search-and-inspect operations in Vietnam’s coastal waters, and their later years, when the Swift Boats' mission shifted to the Mekong Delta’s labyrinth of 3,000 miles of rivers, streams, and canals. This is an intimate, exciting oral history of Swift Boats at war in Vietnam.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811719599
Publisher: Stackpole Books
Publication date: 05/01/2017
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 551,963
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

GUY GUGLIOTTA, a former Swift Boat officer, worked for more than forty years as correspondent and columnist for UPI, the Miami Herald, and The Washington Post. He is coauthor of Kings of Cocaine and author of Freedom’s Cap. Gugliotta was awarded three Bronze Stars. He lives in New York City.

JOHN YEOMAN was the skipper of PCF 37 and PCF 692. He also served as tactical commander of combined PCF, SEAL, and helicopter attacks in the canals of the Mekong Delta. After leaving the Navy, he earned an MBA from the University of Chicago and then worked in New York as an investment banker. In the late 1990s, he left Wall Street and was the skipper of commercial vessels, tugboats, and mega-yachts on San Francisco Bay. Since 2001, he has lived on Maui and now works as a financial advisor for a major wealth management firm. John was awarded the Bronze Star on three occasions while he was the skipper of Swift Boats.

NEVA SULLAWAY is an author, editor, and publishing consultant living in San Diego, California. A former photojournalist and competitive sailor, Sullaway has authored three books, all maritime-related. She published the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s Journal of Pacific Maritime History for ten years and continues to work with clients, preparing their work for publication.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 1965-66: Making It Up as We Go 21

Oops John Louk 25

S.E.R.E. Rod McAlpin 29

Shakedown Cruise Jim Franklin 33

Man Overboard Gary Liedorff 37

Getting There Is Hard … Getting Out Is Better Dick Olsen 41

Chapter 2 1967: Doing Damage 47

Trawler Bernard W. Wolff 51

To Build a Better Boat Herb Pollock 56

Smell Like a Rose Rod McAlpin 61

Rogue Wave Stirlin Harris 67

VC Tax Station Larry Irwin 76

Chapter 3 1968: Changing the Rules 81

Even the Best of Intentions … Rod McAlpin 85

Shooting High Stirlin Harris 89

The Little Girl from Tamassou Island Bernard W. Wolff 96

Brown's Run Michael Brown 103

A Turning Point Michael Bernique 112

Regarding Henry W. Henry Inabnett 120

Chapter 4 1969: SEALORDS 127

Fire Mission David P. Marion 132

Bow Gunner Joe Muharsky 138

Duong Keo Virgil Erwin Peter N. Upton 148

Rules of Engagement by Rich Kern 158

Chapter 5 1969: Pacification 165

Too Young Virgil Erwin 170

Seafloat Jim Corrigan 175

Death in the Family Robert Hunt Charles Janner Reynaldo Lopez 184

WIA Patrick L. Evans 192

Chapter 6 1970: Doing the Best You Can 201

The Original Arnold Horshack Paul D. Johnson 206

The 12-Boat Paul D. Johnson 211

Hearts and Minds Tom Byrnes 215

What the Hell Am I Doing Here? Ted Kenny 223

Irma La Douche Virgil Erwin 228

Chapter 7 1970: Turning Out the Lights 233

Cambodia Bill Rogers 238

Rescue on the Mekong Senyint Chim 247

"What Are They Going to Do, Send Me to Vietnam?" Lou Marucheau 253

Endgame Robert O. Lincoln 259

Not with a Bang … or a Whimper John Dooley 265

Chapter 8 Aftermath: "Swiftboat" Is Not a Verb 275

Slaying Goliath Duane Holman Jenny Barr 278

The Real World Guy Gugliotta 288

Encore John R. Juarez 294

Legacy Suzanne Edwards 300

Afterword 305

Glossary 307

Notes 313

Selected Bibliography 317

Index 319

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Swift Boats at War in Vietnam 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
wwj More than 1 year ago
A great book about something seemingly simple...paper, yet the author explains it's value throughout history to the present day. I would recommend this quick read for anyone, it's quite fascinating.