Muddy Jungle Rivers: A river assault boat cox'n's memory journey of his war in Vietnam
Muddy Jungle Rivers, A River Assault Boat Cox'n's Memory Journey of his War in Vietnam and Return Home, gives the reader a close-up look at life in the Mobile Riverine Force during 1968, the bloodiest year of the Vietnam War.
Told from a twenty-year-old brown water sailor's point of view, this memoir takes the reader into the frustration, rage, terror, death, betrayal, and search for redemption. Forty years later, Affield writes, "The memories of those muggy days are never far away. When I hear a gunshot, pass over a river, smell diesel fuel or exhaust, decomposing flesh, or a thousand other triggers, I am back on the river. And I hear voices of those we lost."
The January 1968 Tet Offensive had been raging across South Vietnam for eight days when the Brown Water Navy replacement crewmen reached their new duty station, Armor Troop Carrier 112-11, in the Mekong Delta.
On March 3, 1968, General William Westmoreland ordered one River Assault Division to the Cua Viet River. The Cua Viet, five miles south of the DMZ, was a vital supply link to the Khe Sanh battle. On March 14, Tango 7 was mined. Six of the seven man crew was KIA.
Tango 11 and the other Mobile Riverine Force boats operated with the US 3rd Marine Division. They patrolled the Cua Viet River from the South China Sea coast, inland to Dong Ha. Tango 11 swept for mines, endured snipers, groundings, friendly fire, artillery bombardments, and battled among themselves.
July 1968 the boats returned to the Mekong Delta at the height of the southwest monsoon season. On August 18 Tango 11 was in the heart of an ambush on the Hai Muoi Tam Canal. With US Army 3rd Platoon, Co D, 4/47th Infantry Battalion, 9th Infantry Division, in the well-deck, Tango 11 took seven rocket hits and countless rounds of machine gun fire. 3rd platoon was incapacitated. Affield and several other brown water sailors were wounded when rockets burned through the armor shields. With no goodbye to his crewmates, Affield was medevaced out of the jungle and flown home where he was greeted by antiwar protestors when his plane landed at Glenview Naval Air Station in Illinois.
In 1991 Affield reconnected with his boat captain who suffered severe post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Late-night phone calls and visits reawakened Affield's Vietnam memories. After his former boat captain died in 1999 Affield felt compelled to tell their story.
- Author: Wendell Affield
- Publication Date: 2012-02-25
- Publisher: Hawthorn Petal Press
- Product Group: Book
- Manufacturer: Hawthorn Petal Press
- Binding: Paperback, 352 pages
- Brand: Brand: Hawthorn Petal Press
- Used Book in Good Condition
- Package Dimensions:
- Dimensions: 840L x 540W x 100H
- Weight: 95
- List Price: $19.95
- ISBN: 098470230X
- ASIN: 098470230X