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.
Reviews : Barnes & Noble
"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."
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
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)
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
Reviews From Library Journal
From Publisher's Weekly
- Publishers Weekly
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
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."