Phantom Warriors
by Gary Linderer

This book is about the LRRP, LRP and Ranger teams in Vietnam. He relies on official records and therefore misses much of what we did in 1966 and early 1967. There is a chapter about our patrol that included Ron Bonert, Danny Harmon, Ron Coon and Jim Sommers.

Customer Reviews : Barnes & Noble
"This is a great book if you are looking for great action stories about the LRRP's in Vietnam but if you are looking for personal experiances and the kind of book that gets you close to its charactors this is not the best.
Also recommended: 'Six Silent Men', 'Apache Sunrise',and 'Fortune Favors the Bold."

"A great read. A well-written and compelling book; close-up combat combined with compassion for the American soldier who was put in an impossible situation because of the lefties back home. Also recommended: Black Hawk Down."

Inside the LRRPs
by Michael Lee Lanning

This book cites a paper presented by General Peers to MACV concerning the effectiveness of his LRRP units ... Bill Steffens

The LRRP--Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols--worked in small groups, hiding in enemy territory where they lay ambushes, seized prisoners and tapped communications. Here is their story--how they were trained, what equipment they used, and how they survived the devastation of Vietnam. Original.

From the Publisher
Vietnam was a different kind of war, calling for a different kind of soldier. The LRRPs--Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols--were that new breed of fighting man. They operated in six-man teams deep within enemy territory, and were the eyes and ears of the units they served. This is their story--of perseverence under extreme hardship and uncommon bravery--and how they carried out the war's most hazardous missions.

 

The first and only definitive history of the U.S. Army Rangers in Vietnam, by an acclaimed military historian (ed note: so claims the publisher). Their legacy dates from Colonial America to the jungles of 20th-century Southeast Asia. Their mission: to be the first in the worst danger zones and make them secure at all costs. (Military History)

Rangers At War
by Shelby Stanton

Shelby Stanton's "Rangers at War" has a blurb on a mission that I recall. Team members were me, Cabeceras and a name that escapes me. The description in the book is much different from what I recall. We were on the Se San watching a ford from way high. we kept seeing something black flit in and out of the bushes. Went down to investigate and caught four NVA in the river. Called it in and immediately took 400 (what I remember being told) 175mm rounds in a 4 km square area surrounding us, I still have tinnitus from it. Had to climb a cliff to escape. I think we also used claymores to clear an LZ. An assistant division commander was at the fire base and questioned us. I remember him saying they fired knowing we were in the middle of it. He wanted to catch a VC Main Force battalion which he thought we had contacted. For the first time, but not the last, I realized we were expendable ... Bill Steffens

 

From the Publisher
Shelby Stanton, the author of six highly acclaimed books on the Vietnam War, presents the definitive work on the U.S. Army Rangers of the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols (the "Lurps"), the teams specially selected for extremely dangerous scouting and raiding missions. This authoritative, action-packed account is the first and only complete history of the U.S. Army Rangers in Vietnam. U.S. Army Long Range Patrol and Ranger units in Vietnam highlighted the longest sustained American use of combat reconnaissance since the exploratory scout and raiding sorties of the western frontier. The renewed importance of combat reconnaissance was mandated by the impact of Southeast Asian insurgent, or low-intensity warfare against an army designed for conventional, linear operations with stabilized front lines. In Vietnam, where a well-defined front rarely existed, the Army organized special patrol teams to discern the fragmented battlefield and detect guerilla activity. These teams, later designated as Rangers, operated deep in hostile territory to find the enemy, provide warning, and conduct small precision strikes. They led a very perilous existence.

Reviews From Library Journal
This history of American combat reconnaissance units in the Vietnam War, the author's seventh book dealing in whole or in part with U.S. ground forces in Southeast Asia, will add to Stanton's growing reputation as a leading interpreter of that conflict's military aspects. Here, he covers the evolution and experiences of rangers from each of the larger American units (1st Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division, etc.), including selected combat narratives for each. Reconnaissance troops, along with the tunnel rats and Medevac crews, remain unsung heroes of Vietnam. No other book to date has even attempted such an overview of how they responded to the tactical problems posed by Southeast Asia. Recommended for Vietnam War collections.-- John R. Vallely, Siena Coll. Lib., Loudonville, N.Y.

From Publisher's Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Stanton (Green Berets at War) makes a significant contribution to the operational history of the Vietnam War with this volume on Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol units. Depending on helicopters for insertion and extraction, usually employed in teams only a half-dozen strong, the Vietnam-era rangers specialized in intelligence collecting and small-scale raids. Their improvised role was the product of a war without stable fronts and terrain that defied conventional means of information gathering. Stanton describes the Rangers' history company by company and discusses their use and misuse by generals often as bewildered by the war as were the men they led. The book is particularly useful as a background for the large number of memoirs by veterans of Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol units. Not every fire fight was a victory, not every Ranger a hero, but in Stanton the men in black berets have a worthy chronicler. (June)

True Magazine
May 1968

True Magazine was from a different era. In the 1960's and before .. it was billed as "The Man's Magazine" ... a magazine that was always around the barber shops.

After returning home, I saw a copy of True magazine and was surprised to find an article about our unit. A Navy Seal was on the cover, and the feature article was about the special operations of Navy Seals and the Army LRRPs. The article described a patrol by Sgt. John Sanderson, 22, team leader, of Detroit, Michigan; Sp. James E. Umberger, 24, assistant team leader, of Pulaski, Virginia; Ronald E. Norton, 20, of Knoxville, Tennessee; and PFC Daniel Harmon, 20, of Kodiak, Alaska.

The article was the magazine cover story. It featured the Navy SEALS, the Marine's Recon Units , and the Army's Long Range Recon Patrols. The portion of the article dealing with our units is excerpted at the right.

Mike Lapolla
Excerpts from
True: The Man's Magazine: A Fawcett Publication.
May 1968 Men at War: by William Tuohy

"Besides the Navy SEALS, whose members are qualified both as frogmen and as parachutists, there are similar groups in other services. The Army operates teams variously known as LARPS or LURPS, phonetic forms of the initials LRRP, for Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol. The Marines call their patrols simply "recon" teams. "Delta" teams do the same kind of work for the Army's Special Forces or the "Green Berets" which also operate the top-secret SOG. This Special Operations Group conducts highly classified missions outside of South Vietnam in Laos and, sometimes, in North Vietnam.

"Just as the SEALS prowl the Delta swamps and accept the challenges there, the LARPS (sic) of the Fourth Infantry Division have become intimately familiar with some of the roughest terrain in Southeast Asia. LARP teams operating out of Plei Djerang, a forward command post, shadow the North Vietnamese army troops infiltrating from Cambodia in the Central Highlands.

"Like the SEALS, the LARPS dress in tiger suits, bit wear broad-brimmed cowboy-type hats as the distinguishing badge of their specialty. One typical LARP team which patrolled the southwestern corner of the Kontum Province; an area containing some of the most inhospitable terrain in the country; was composed of only four men: Sgt. John Sanderson, 22, team leader, of Detroit, Michigan; Sp. James E. Umberger, 24, assistant team leader, of Pulaski, Virginia; Ronald E. Norton, 20, of Knoxville, Tennessee; and PFC Daniel Harmon, 20, of Kodiak, Alaska.

Weary, dusty, his face stubled by a four-day beard, Sergeant Sanderson debriefed about the patrol at Plei Djerang. "Our mission was to locate the North Vietnamese units moving into South Vietnam," he said. "We operate on the basis of the guerilla warfare Charlie uses." (Most soldiers refer to the enemy as "Charlie," whether they are Viet Cong or regulars in the North Vietnamese army.)

"On this patrol," continued Sanderson, "we ran across their units moving into South Vietnam. At one point, we were within 10 feet of them as they moved down the trail. We could see them clearly from where we are hiding."

For the days the LARP team watched the movements of the North Vietnamese army units. All in all, they counted 25 soldiers at point-blank range, and estimated the overall enemy unit was probably a company numbering about 125 men. The LARP team called in artillery fire on the enemy concentration and then, toward the end of the second day, they tried to follow the retreating North Vietnamese westward toward the Cambodian border.

"We stopped to make a communication check" said Sanderson. "Another North Vietnamese unit was coming up the trail and stumbled onto us. We fired at them and killed two of them, then we faded away and called in artillery to cover us while we got to our extraction spot. Once we're spotted in that country, with the odds being all in their favor, we figure our goose is just about cooked, and it's time to get out."

From Frank
The first LRRP book available- leader of the pack. LRRP is a nonfiction account of the early days of the 4th Inf Division's Long Range Patrol experience in Vietnam.
We were "provisional" then, and making it up as we went along.

LRRP: The Professional
by Frank Camper

From the Publisher
"The jungles of Vietnam and the bravery and expertise of the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols are brought vividly to life in this engrossing depiction of warfare and survival. A freelance mercenary for 15 years, Camper has become a controversial figure, appearing on two segments of 60 Minutes."


From Carmel, California
"As a fellow writer about life in the military, this is the first time I have enjoyed such colorful yet exacting descriptions. Camper gives the reader all the sights, sounds, and smells of this conflict without bitterness or false heroics. After having read Robert Hemphill's "Platoon, Bravo Company", one man's account of the war behind the lines; and Dennis Marvicsin's "Maverick" co-written by Jerold Greenfield, a bad mix of WAR and ROSES; this is the best written work by a front liner. Camper's graphic depiction is the story of a young boy who becomes a Vet in a short time. His pictures are exciting without being poetic, thrilling without being melodramatic and personal without being elitist. Unlike Tim O'Brien's "If I Die in a Combat Zone", LRRP chronicles a soldier's life with clarity about his thoughts without the drudgery of the everyday minutiae. And unlike O'Brien, Camper tells a homecoming that leaves you wanting to read the next book instead of glad that you finished this one."

From Baltimore
"A must have for those interested in infantry combat skills. Camper breaks up his accounts into one and two page diary entries that make for quick and easy reading."

From Houston, Texas
"This is an excellent account of one man's transformation to hardcore warrior. The author volunteers for the LRRP's (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol) to fight the war on his own personal terms. He sees first hand the heavy casualties inflicted on the large noisy maneuver line units by the NVA, and the disproportianate casualties inflicted by the LRRPs on the enemy. To increase the chances of his own survival he chooses to rely on his own skills and those of his team members in small four man recon teams as they patrol deep in enemy territory. The author brings to the reader the frustration of fighting both the enemy and the rear echelon bureaucrats, the confusion and terror of combat, and commeraderie of men relying on one another in dire circumstances. Note: The author went on to become an international mercenary, covert operator, and security specialist and has written other books on his post-Vietnam experiences."