Author: Bill Shanahan, John P. Brackin
Publisher: Da Capo Press (2004)
Binding: Paperback, 304 pages
From Stealth Patrol:"He spoke in a sort of clipped cadence, his words tumbling out quickly, one on top of the other; and his voice was deep and throaty, the way a bear might sound, if he could talk, after a night of drinking. 'Basically I'm here recruiting guys for the Lurps.... We operate in teams of five, maybe six, members apiece. In the Lurps, every man counts-and that's why we only take the best.'"Just four months after he arrived in Vietnam in 1968, Bill Shanahan joined the LRPs (Long Range Patrol). The mission of the Lurps, as they were called, was dangerous: Five- or six-man teams were dropped into the dense forest behind enemy lines. With quiet stealth, they observed enemy troop movements and staged ambushes that often ended in fierce firefights. When their mission was accomplished, they called for quick helicopter extraction. Back on base, they debriefed and tried to sleep off the adrenaline. Two days later they were back in the brush. The missions changed from week to week, but every day the goal was the same-stay alive.
MWSA 2004 Bronze Medal for Non-fiction, History
This is the true story of Bill Shanahan and his two tours of duty in Vietnam. Bill and his co-author John Brackin have created a book that gives the reader a fox-hole view on a unique kind of warfare. In Vietnam at this period of time, the Army and the Marines were all engaged in large operations with big units going into battles. Meanwhile, small Ranger units began to play by another set of rules with the enemy forces. They would ambush and engage the enemy where and when they chose. Sometimes the NVA and VC had greater numbers but these silent and invisible killing forces were able to pull success after success.
The authors give the reader some rich imagery through their wording and descriptions. This story is well worth telling and it will inspire and entertain. Bill was a real hero as were the men he fought with in his Ranger unit. I believe that this book gives justice to what they did.
Reviewed by: Bill McDonald (2004)