Assault from the Sky

U.S Marine Corps Helicopter Operations in Vietnam

Dick Camp

 
Date Published :
August 2013
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Illustration :
photos throughout
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781612001289
Pages : 264
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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+
In stock
$32.95

Overview
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This work describes U.S. Marine Corps helicopter operations, including their actions and evolution, throughout the Vietnam War. The book is divided into parts spanning the three stages of the Corps’ combat deployment: “Buildup (1962–1966),” “Heavy Combat (1967–1969),” and “The Bitter End (1975).” Each part includes chapters devoted to “telling the story” of Marine helicopters from the individual to the strategic level.

Vietnam has often been called our “first helicopter war,” and indeed the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as Army, had to feel its way forward during the initial combats. But by 1967 the combat was raging across South Vietnam, with confrontational battles against the NVA, on a scale comparable to the great campaigns of WWII. In 1968, when the Communists launched their mammoth counteroffensive, the Marines were forced to fight on all sides, with the helicopter giving them the additional dimension that proved decisive in repelling the enemy.

The author, a Vietnam veteran, uses his experiences as a company commander to bring the story to life by weaving personal accounts, after-action reports and official documents into a remarkably readable narrative of service and sacrifice by Marine pilots and crewmen. The entire story of the war is here depicted through the prism of Marine helicopter operations, from the first deployments to support the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) against the Viet Cong through the rapid United States buildup to stop the North Vietnamese Army, until the final withdrawal from our Embassy.

Colonel Dick Camp, a Purple Heart recipient, served 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps before retiring in 1988. Upon retirement he served as the Deputy Director, U.S. Marine Corps History Division and as the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, Vice President for Museum Operations at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, Virginia. Currently residing in Fredericksburg, Virginia, he is the author of ten books and over 100 magazine articles on various military related subjects.

About The Author
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Colonel Dick Camp, a Purple Heart recipient, served 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps before retiring in 1988. Upon retirement he served as the Deputy Director, U.S. Marine Corps History Division and as the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, Vice President for Museum Operations at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, Virginia. Currently residing in Fredericksburg, Virginia, he is the author of ten books and over 100 magazine articles on various military related subjects.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Prologue

PART I: THE BUILDUP, 1962-1966
ONE: Archie’s Angels
TWO: HMM-364 Strike Mission
THREE: Death on the Flight Line
FOUR: One Very Bad Afternoon
FIVE: Ashau Valley Rescue
SIX: Helicopter Valley

PART II: HEAVY COMBAT, 1967-1969
SEVEN: Special Landing Force
EIGHT: A Month in the Tour of HMM-165
NINE: The Beach Rescue
TEN: Super Gaggle
ELEVEN: Lang Vei Rescue Attempt
TWELVE: Team Box Score

PART III: THE BITTER END, 1975
THIRTEEN: Operation Frequent Wind
FOURTEEN: Saigon Rooftops
FIFTEEN: Defense Attaché Compound
SIXTEEN: The Embassy

APPENDIX A: Marine Corps Helicopter Development 1948–1969
APPENDIX B: Pless Recommendation for Medal of Honor
APPENDIX C: Navy Unit Commendation Task Force 76

Bibliography
Index

REVIEWS
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"Camp has done a great job of combing not only the after action-reports and official records but also the personal accounts of the Marines who were “there” in what was often very intense combat. It is these accounts from commanders, pilots, crewmen, and “grunts” that make this an engaging reading experience. This is not just some dry military history."

- VHPA Aviator

"Assault from the Sky is a well-researched, detailed history of Marine helicopters from the time the first ones arrived in Vietnam in 1962 all the way through to the helicopter-heavy evacuation of Saigon in 1975."

- The VVA Veteran

"... validates Dick's extraordinary story telling ability and writing skills. It is a must read for military historians, aviation enthusiasts, and especially those who were and are affiliated with a military service helicopter unit. "

- Marine Corps Aviation Association

"There are two reasons why “Assault From the Sky: U.S. Marine Corps Helicopter Operations in Vietnam” is so distinctive that it deserves an appellation all its own: first, combining qualities of superlative research and scholarship for the first book to document the sacrifice and heroism of helicopter crews in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975; and, second, the author, Dick Camp, himself...a cogent, yet stunning, strategic history that the reader will find difficult to put down..."

- Leatherneck

" The author, a Vietnam veteran, uses his experiences as a company commander to bring the story to life by weaving personal accounts, after-action reports and official documents into a remarkably readable narrative of service and sacrifice by Marine pilots and crewmen. "

- Books Monthly

"...a fitting tribute to our Marines of the Vietnam era...The inspirational and at times tragic events vividly described by Camp make this work an easy yet important read. Every Marine is indeed a rifleman first and foremost. Assault from the Sky is a timely and valuable reminder of this ethos."

- Proceedings

"a must read for every student of the history of aerial combat in Vietnam... The reader is taken through the fine details of planning and execution of several missions to insert personnel, replenish munitions and supplies and evacuate the wounded while under constant close enemy fire during major assaults.This is an action packed work that keeps the reader turning the pages in anticipation of the next attack on his senses...fitting tribute to several of the men he personally knew who were later selected as examples to be decorated for their bravery. A compilation of true accountings whose details are often further documented in the actual language of the numerous citations awarded, the reader is given little time to pause and reflect on character development. It is not about the persons involved as much as it is about the situations they faced and the ways in which they responded without hesitation. This is what we have always admired about Marines. impressed with the dedication to the subject matter and with the captivating style of the author. His experience as an accomplished author shines through in the manner in which he brings the reader artfully through the fog of war with clarity... Any aspiring author of military history could learn from his style."

- 20th Century Aviation Magazine

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