Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Naval and military history books, recent releases, magazines, related documents, articles, etc.
Kev D
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Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Kev D »

A thread re books on various non naval topics realated to war, particularly from Vietnam, but also later ones.

Starting it like this so a moderator can hopefully move some posts that intruded on / sidetracked another thread here.
http://www.kbismarck.org/forum/viewtopi ... =28&t=9132
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942
Byron Angel
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Byron Angel »

OK Kev,
Found you 😊

B
Kev D
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Kev D »

Hi Byron. Will wait a bit, but if a mod doesn't move our posts over after a few days, we might have to copy and paste them ourselves to get 'it' going. :D

Best, K
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942
Steve Crandell
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Steve Crandell »

Kev D wrote: Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:16 pm Hi Byron. Will wait a bit, but if a mod doesn't move our posts over after a few days, we might have to copy and paste them ourselves to get 'it' going. :D

Best, K
I don't know what is possible, but you might want to send a PM to Mr. Jurens.
Byron Angel
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Byron Angel »

Kev D wrote: Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:16 pm Hi Byron. Will wait a bit, but if a mod doesn't move our posts over after a few days, we might have to copy and paste them ourselves to get 'it' going. :D

Best, K

Kev, are you referring to the posts we exchanged via PMs? If so, he might not be looking there. Just a thought.

Byron
Kev D
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Kev D »

Byron Angel wrote: Wed Oct 06, 2021 10:02 pmKev, are you referring to the posts we exchanged via PMs? If so, he might not be looking there. Just a thought.Byron
No, I meant tbe ones that intruded off topic on that Afghan thread. I guess we could just copy and paste ours over - from there ourselves and then some mod could just remove our posts from that other thread. I'll give it a try with my first one now.

EDIT: That works, so you just need to move over your reply from after you bought The Ravens that starts with "Just bought The Ravens........." . It's a little playing around adding the persons (mine in your post) quote, so if you just copy and pasted in the body of your reply sans my qoute at top that would do. :cool:
Last edited by Kev D on Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:45 am, edited 3 times in total.
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942
Kev D
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Kev D »

Byron Angel wrote: Wed Oct 06, 2021 10:02 pm Does anyone remember the Vietnam era scandal involving Air America (the CIA's private "airline") and the Burmese drug lord Khun Sa, who controlled the opium trade out of the "Golden Triangle"
Yes, have read several books on the subject. A very detailed one on the whole corrupt mess back then that I can reccomend is "The Politics of Heroin in South East Asia", by Alfred McCoy, first published 1972. (And of course the book that the rather funny / laughable film (with Mel Gibson and Robert Downey) was very, and I repeat very loosley based on, "Air America".) And while I am at it, and while it is more about FACs (Forward Air Contollers) and their 'balls to the wall' missions while operating illegally in Laos and working at timeswith Air America (rather than transporting dope for them) and all the time operating clandestinely / illegally - as officially "we" werent in Laos - it also has parts on helping the Laotian 'good guys" protect their opium, and is called "The Ravens" by Christopher Robbins. A very good book all round, especially on the FAC missions, though!
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942
Byron Angel
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Byron Angel »

Just bought "The Ravens". A 4.5 star Amazon rating on 547 reviews (including more than a few "I was there too" reviews) confirms your praise of the book. Thanks.

Interesting story re Hmong tribesmen, who were mentioned in a number of the Amazon reviews I read. Back in the late 70s, my best friend's wife was involved in sponsoring re-settlement of a group of Hmong evacuees in Boston MA. They ended up in the Allston-Brighton section, a bit of a tough Irish-Catholic neighborhood with the obligatory contingent of young wise-asses. The way she told the story, she was in her office one afternoon when her sponsorship supervisor called in a panic and said they had to go visit the Hmong families RIGHT AWAY. It seems that said local neighborhood wise-asses had been giving a lot of grief to the older Hmong grannies on the streets. The men of the clan had met to decide what to do about "resolving" the problem and decided to take a couple of heads and plant them on various fire hydrants around the neighborhood as a warning.

Linda and her supervisor explained that this approach might be frowned upon by the local authorities and suggested that they would personally intervene with the Boston police about the matter. Apparently the cops collared these neighborhood kids and explained what hard-ass guys the Hmong were in real life and the nature of the bullet they had dodged. No more street hassles.

True story.

Byron
Byron Angel
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Byron Angel »

Hi Kev,
IIRC, the first book I ever bought on the topic of the VN War was "The 13th Parallel" by John del Vecchio in the early 80s. It was nominally a novel, but del Vecchio had served in VN. It was in that book that I discovered the term "the green square" and its meaning and it ever after helped to guide my efforts in understanding the war. Prior to that time, the only information available was coming from the government and broadcast media - which as we have come to discover was (and remains) about 97 percent bullshit.

I also accumulated US military manuals (weapon systems, organizational, tactical, operational guides) that friends of mine were throwing away after being RIF'ed out of the Army. Later came various official US postwar analyses - the stuff on the air war I would describe as "enlightening".

The next step in the addiction was collecting the wave of paperback 'first-person' reminiscences by returning servicemen that flooded the book stores later in the 80s: not necessarily perfect references to rely upon for a doctoral dissertation, but a far sight more informative in terms of getting a grasp of the tactical realities from the grunt's perspective. I still have them - about 70 different titles. Then came the wave of officer-written works in the 90s, along with the first series of works by legitimate historians (with absolutely due respect to Bernard Fall, who led the way three decades earlier).

The officer-written books (post retirement, I'm guessing) are still popping up. One very good one I recently picked up is "Abandoned in Hell; The Fight for Vietnam's Firebase Kate" by William Albracht and Marvin Wolf - both retired US Army captains. Albracht was the Green Beret officer who commanded the defense of Firebase Kate with a platoon of GIs and a company of Montagnards (<200 men in all) . It's a detailed and painfully honest book, with the same sort of reception as "The Ravens" on Amazon - 4.5 stars on 500+ reviews. FWIW.

Dunno exact library count - maybe 200 books in all.

Byron
Kev D
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Kev D »

Byron Angel wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:22 amnteresting story re Hmong tribesmen, who were mentioned in a number of the Amazon reviews I read. Back in the late 70s, my best friend's wife was involved in sponsoring re-settlement of a group of Hmong evacuees in Boston MA. They ended up in the Allston-Brighton section, a bit of a tough Irish-Catholic neighborhood with the obligatory contingent of young wise-asses. The way she told the story, she was in her office one afternoon when her sponsorship supervisor called in a panic and said they had to go visit the Hmong families RIGHT AWAY. It seems that said local neighborhood wise-asses had been giving a lot of grief to the older Hmong grannies on the streets. The men of the clan had met to decide what to do about "resolving" the problem and decided to take a couple of heads and plant them on various fire hydrants around the neighborhood as a warning.

Linda and her supervisor explained that this approach might be frowned upon by the local authorities and suggested that they would personally intervene with the Boston police about the matter. Apparently the cops collared these neighborhood kids and explained what hard-ass guys these Hmong were in real life and the nature of the bullet they had dodged. No more street hassles.

True story.

Byron
Yes, your story of the Hmongs - or the 'little people' as they were affectionately known to their US 'advisors' back in 'the Nam - planning to put a few severed heads around the Boston neighborhood doesn't surprise me one bit, as I am sure they did think of doing it, and were definatelycapable of doing it.

It certainly worked in 'scaring' their NVA adversaries back in the day. As you no doubt know, many of the clandestine / illegal - but rightfully conducted IMO - 'across the fence' missions into Loas from Vietnam 'runnin recon' were comprised of small teams (usually about eight to ten men, even more if it was a 'heavy team', with US soldiers 'in the lead' - usually two to four of them) and expat Hmongs, along with tne 'Yards' living in the Vietnam highlands, making up the bulk of the teams. They were considered (by their American partners) as highly courageous and very reliable / faithful, and extremely good fighters, with a penchant for the odd NVA / Cong severed head if they could get away with it.   But it probably would not have gone over very well with the people of Boston / the police.  

Anyway, I am sure you will enjoy that Ravens book, I found it hard to put down.
Byron Angel wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:22 am Hi Kev,I have a LOT of books on the Vietnam War
Me too, might have to swap notes / start another thread (or offline) on those type of books - as I had a library overflowing with same also, most that I have now given to my son - on that other 'clusterf%#k' called the Vietnam War.

And my, my, with a little effort we have started that 'other thread'! :clap:
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942
Kev D
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Kev D »

Dan Hampton has a very good book out called 'Viper Pilot' of which he was one, "and subsequently one of America's most decorated combat pilots. From 1986 to 2006 Hampton was a leading member of the Wild Weasels, the elite Air Force fighter squadrons whose mission is recognized as the most dangerous job in modern air combat." Anyone familiar with Vietnam will know how dangerous Wild Weasel missions were there against SAM sites. High rate of attrition, IIRC. Anyway, very good book IMO.

He also recently came out with a book on the WWII Yamamoto shootdown called 'Operation Vengence' which unfortunately is not so good. All the 'air' related parts are first class, but too many unenforced errors / historical inacurracies in the 'filler' or 'back story' which takes up maybe half(?) the book, i.e. the naval and land goings on in the background during the time frame covered, which is late 1941 to early 1943 (and later, as the arguments progessed on who really shot down Yamamoto's plane, which anyone who has studied tne op knows was Rex Barber, although it was Tom Lanphier who initially claimed credit and argued for years it was him (for it seems not only the kudos, but his 'long term' political plans). But it has been proven beyond doubt it was Barber, as is clearly proven (again) in Hampton's book.
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942
Kev D
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Kev D »

And, back to 'the Nam', although I am usually not into war 'novels', this I can highly recommend.

The Dying Place by David A. Maurer, which is "an unflinching look at MACV-SOG, Vietnam, and a young man’s entry into war. David Maurer’s own experiences at MACV-SOG’s Command and Control North come to life in this tense action-packed story. The U.S. was not supposed to be in Laos during the Vietnam War and by all accounts, we weren’t. Some know better, and fortunately, Maurer is one of those. With a fine ear for dialogue Maurer takes you back and sets you down squarely on the LZ, where inner turmoil is quelled and external conflict takes over, if only for awhile. If you’re lucky, you just might make it out alive.".

Maurer was a one zero runnin' recon over the fence with the 'little people', so knows his stuff. Probably wrote it as a 'novel' because at the time of first publication (86 I think) maybe some stuff was still 'classified' or just as likely, still 'denied'. Original had the Phantom on the cover.
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We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942
Byron Angel
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Posts: 1378
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Byron Angel »

OK Kev,
Thanks for the references/recommendations. I took a few minutes to pull out some books related to ops over/in South Vietnam (which you, of course, may already be aware of !)-

"Hunter-Killer Squadron: Aero-Weapons; Aero-Scouts; Aero-Rifles: Vietnam 1965-1972" Matthew Brennan (editor).
https://www.amazon.com/Hunter-Killer-Sq ... oks&sr=1-1

"Low Level Hell - A Scout Pilot in the Big Red One", by Hugh Mills Jr, with Robert A Anderson.
https://www.amazon.com/Low-Level-Hell-H ... oks&sr=1-1

"A Lonely Kind of War - Forward Air Controller, Vietnam", by Marshall Harrison.
https://www.amazon.com/LONELY-KIND-WAR- ... oks&sr=1-2

and an account of a bloody defensive battle by the USMC in "I" Corps:
"Foxtrot Ridge - A Battle Remembered", by Mark Woodruff.
https://www.amazon.com/Foxtrot-Ridge-Re ... oks&sr=1-1


I consider them all "keepers" - FWIW. Check for cheaper paperbacks; some of these old hardcovers are expensive nowadays.


Byron
Kev D
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Kev D »

Thanks for the tips Byron. I have 'Low Level Hell' ready to read on my shelf, waiting in line. I tend to read various books on a very regular basis and sort of rotate through different wars, or if non war related then 'subjects'. Or even reread some of the oldies but goodies from back in the day. I recently reread 'Battleship' (sinking of PoW and Repulse) by M and M, and found it just as interesting and exciting as I did years ago. My current book is quite the tome on the history of the Himalaya (where I spent a lot of time in my younger daze). Next one I think is a new book / area (for me) called 'The Iron Sea: How the Allies Hunted and Destroyed Hitler's Warships' by Simon Read OR 'The Battle of the Atlantic: How the Allies Won the War' Jonathan Dimbleby. Having become very familiar with the early years of the naval war in 'Asia' and the Pacific I recently started to try to broaden my understanding of both the land campaigns, and naval war, in Europe as it were. On that note, does anyone have a reccomendation on a single book that covers the various naval action / campaigns in the Med? Anyway, whatever your subject matter, enjoyable reading to all!
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942
Kev D
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Re: Cobras, Loach's, Hogs, FACs & Fast FACs, etc.

Post by Kev D »

While looking through your reccomendations Byron for the right priced SH ones, I came across this, which, having heard of Yarborough's exploits before, and given he is flying FAC for SOG, looks good also.

Da Nang Diary: A Forward Air Controller's Gunsight View of Flying with SOG  
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942
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