Leave No Man Behind
Author: George Galdorisi, Thomas Phillips
Publisher: Zenith Press (2009)
Binding: Hardcover, 656 pages
Beginning with the birth of combat aircraft in World War I and the early attempts to rescue warriors trapped behind enemy lines, Leave No Man Behind chronicles in depth nearly one hundred years of combat search and rescue (CSAR). All major U.S. combat operations from World War II to the early years of the Iraq War are covered, including previously classified missions and several Medal-of-Honor-winning operations. Authors George Galdorisi and Tom Phillips (both veteran U.S. Navy helicopter pilots) highlight individual acts of heroism while telling the big-picture story of the creation and development of modern CSAR.
Although individual missions have their successes and failures, CSAR, as an institution, would seem beyond reproach, an obvious necessity. The organizational history of CSAR, however, is not entirely positive. The armed services, particularly the U.S. Air Force and Navy, have a tendency to cut CSAR at the end of a conflict, leaving no infrastructure prepared for the next time that the brave men and women of our armed forces find themselves behind enemy lines.
The final chapter has not yet been written for U.S. combat search and rescue, but in view of the life-saving potential of these forces, an open and forthright review of U.S. military CSAR plans and policies is long overdue. Beyond the exciting stories of heroic victories and heartrending defeats, Leave No Man Behind stimulates debate on this important subject.
Leave No Man Behind is a historical treatise of combat search and rescue operations as developed by aircraft operations from the beginning of the 20th century in WWI through present day operations in the 21st century.
Both authors are combat veterans who served in CSAR (Combat Search And Rescue) operations in Vietnam. The book starts from the very beginning of such operations as carried out and developed in WWI. Included by both Galdorisi and Phillips are the lessons learned from mistakes and shortfalls of the initial rescue attempts. Within the stories of successes and failures, a standard operating procedure was developed and put into effect.
The books outlines the improvement of aircraft from fixed wing used exclusively in WWI and WWII to the development of rotary wing (helicopter) rescue aircraft used in both rescue and medevac operations utilized in Korea and Vietnam. Also other equipment which was further developed by lessons learned in prior operations are explained and developed within this book. One can see the slow and steady progress that the Navy and Air Force made when applying the lessons learned to future operations especially in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
Within this book we learn of how the lessons of past operations helped to develop the standard rescue protocol used today in all CSAR operations used by the military throughout the world.
This book can be used as a reference to further research in historical studies background to historical accuracy in other stories and essays.
Reviewed by: Dick Geschke (2012)