The 14-Hour War Valor on Koh Tang and the Recapture of the SS Mayaquez

The 14-Hour War Valor on Koh Tang and the Recapture of the SS Mayaquez

by James E. Wise Jr., Scott Baron


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The 14-Hour War Valor on Koh Tang and the Recapture of the SS Mayaquez by James E. Wise Jr., Scott Baron

The book recounts the 1975 American operation to recapture the U.S. container ship SS Mayaquez and her crew, an incident that is unfamiliar to most Americans. Previous literary work documenting the event have focused on the actions of the crew of the Mayaquez, the air force helicopter pilots and, President Ford and the National Security Council..The focus of the 14 Hour War is the airmen, sailors and Marines, primarily the Marines, who went in to rescue a crew that wasn't there, A force comprised of approximately 200 Marines most of whom were fresh out of boot camp was tasked with the rescue, They were briefed to expect minimal resistance from some 20 to 30 lightly armed fishermen militia, What they found was between 400 and 600 Khmer Rouge combat veterans with heavy weapons in entrenched and fortified positions, Plagued by incomplete and inaccurate intelligence and hindered by a micro-managed command and control structure that extended all the way to the Oval Office, the Marines held out for 14 hours against a vastly superior and more experienced enemy in a fight they dare not lose, Getting on the island was remarkable, Getting off the island was a miracle, As a result of that 14 hour battle, four Air Crosses and a Navy Cross were awarded, 41 U.S, servicemen lost their lives and three Marines were left behind and, America regained a small bit of luster to a reputation tarnished by its withdrawal from Cambodia and Vietnam, In addition to a comprehensive narrative of the planning and the battle itself, the book will contain over 30 first person accounts by Koh Tang veterans and unpublished photographs taken by veterans while engaged with the enemy, The appendices will include verbatim minutes of NSC discussions and decisions regarding the strategy and tactics to be carried out by local commanders, U.S. Marine Corps Post Action and Investigative reports and the latest information as of December 2009) on what happened to the three Marines that were left behind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591149743
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Publication date: 05/11/2011
Pages: 297
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

James E. Wise Jr., a former naval aviator, intelligence officer, and Vietnam veteran, retired from the U.S. Navy as a captain. His books include Stars in Blue and U-505, among many others.

Scott Baron, a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War and former law enforcement officer in California, is the author of They Also Served: Military Biographies of Uncommon Americans and coauthor, with Wise, of The Navy Cross and Women at War: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Conflicts.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xix

One Introduction 1

2 The Capture of the SS Mayaguez 3

3 First Casualties 7

4 President Ford Orders Military Action 11

5 Operation Plan 15

6 Marine "Boots on the Ground" on Koh Tang 23

7 Extraction 45

8 The Fate of the Missing Marines 59

9 After the Battle 65

10 Return to Koh Tang 73

11 Epilogue 85

12 Recollections: The Vets Remember 87

Appendix A U.S. Helicopter Aircrews and Transport of Marines and Other Personnel (Military Sealift Command, Navy, U.S. Air Force, and Army) 269

Appendix B U.S. Military Dead 275

Appendix C Partial List of Marines Wounded 277

Appendix D U.S. Military Personnel Decorations 279

Notes 281

Index 287

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