The true story of the U.S. Army's 240th Assault Helicopter Company and a Green Beret Staff Sergeant's heroic mission to rescue a Special Forces team trapped behind enemy lines during the Vietnam War, from New York Times bestselling author Eric Blehm.Read more...
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The true story of the U.S. Army's 240th Assault Helicopter Company and a Green Beret Staff Sergeant's heroic mission to rescue a Special Forces team trapped behind enemy lines during the Vietnam War, from New York Times bestselling author Eric Blehm.
On May 2, 1968, a twelve-man Special Forces team covertly infiltrated a small clearing in the jungles of neutral Cambodia--where U.S. forces were forbidden to operate. Their objective, just miles over the Vietnam border, was to collect evidence that proved the North Vietnamese Army was using the Cambodian sanctuary as a major conduit for supplying troops and materiel to the south via the Ho Chi Minh Trail. What the team didn't know was that they had infiltrated a section of jungle that concealed a major enemy base. Soon they found themselves surrounded by hundreds of NVA, under attack, low on ammunition, stacking the bodies of the dead as cover in a desperate attempt to survive the onslaught.When Special Forces Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez heard their distress call, he jumped aboard the next helicopter bound for the combat zone. What followed would become legend in the Special Operations community. Flown into the foray of battle by the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, Benavidez jumped from the hovering aircraft, ran nearly 100 yards through withering enemy fire, and--despite being immediately and severely wounded--organized an extraordinary defense and rescue of the Special Forces team. Written with extensive access to family members, surviving members of the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, on-the-ground eye-witness accounts never before published, as well as recently discovered archival, and declassified military records, Blehm has created a riveting narrative both of Roy Benavidez's life and career, and of the inspiring, almost unbelievable events that defined the brotherhood of the air and ground warriors in an unpopular war halfway around the world. Legend recounts the courage and commitment of those who fought in Vietnam in service of their country, and the story of one of the many unsung heroes of the war.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-05-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Blehm (Fearless) delivers an intense tale of how a poor, troubled boy found salvation and purpose as a solider in the story of Raul "Roy" Benavidez (1935–1998), a Green Beret who saved "at least eight men" during a vicious May 1968 firefight in Cambodia. Incursions into Cambodia were so secret that the troops involved were sworn never to divulge any information about them. Green Beret units engaged in regular missions across the Cambodian border to hunt down North Vietnamese (NVA) troops who used the officially nonaligned country as a base to supply their forces in South Vietnam. On Benavidez's second deployment, he aided a unit surrounded by NVA troops and in the process suffered wounds so severe that he looked like a "human ketchup bottle." Blehm's harrowing and bloody descriptions of the fighting reveal how these missions depended on the paratroopers' mix of superior skill and sheer audacity. Benavidez's incredible actions earned him high accolades; years later, when news of his deeds spread following publication a story in his Texas hometown newspaper, his fellow soldiers pressed for Benavidez to receive his "long-overdue and unfairly denied Congressional Medal of Honor." Blehm gives the jungle hell of the Vietnam War a graphic, suspenseful treatment. (May)