Preservation, Education, and Commemoration of Naval History
RSVP for Naval Historical Foundation 2013 Annual Meeting
15 June 2013
Featuring the debut of a new exhibit about U.S. Prisoners of War during the Vietnam War
BOOK REVIEW – Seabee Teams in Vietnam, 1963 – 1968
Edited by Kenneth E. Bingham. NMCB-8 Association, Ventura, CA (2013).
Reviewed by Charles Bogart
The subtitle of this book is “The 13-Man Teams That Helped Rural Vietnamese and who Fought Alongside the Special Forces.” The introduction of the book under review proclaims that it consists of excerpts taken from the book “COMCPAC REPORTS, Special Edition, Seabee Teams Oct. 1959 – July 1969”, by Lt. Joseph L. Henley and Chief Journalist Thomas A. Johnson. This COMCPAC report as written covered not only Seabee Teams that served in Vietnam but also in the Americas, Africa and Thailand. The editor of the book under review has chosen to use within his book only information concerning those teams that saw service in Vietnam.
Naval Historical Foundation Working to Commemorate 40th Anniversary of POW Release
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the return of American Prisoners of War held by the North Vietnamese. Many of the POWs were naval aviators, and the Naval Historical Foundation, in conjunction with the National Museum of the United States Navy, is working on a number of initiatives to remember the long ordeal endured by these brave Americans. We hope that you’ll follow along with our efforts, and even consider a donation to support this important work.
BOOK REVIEW – McNamara, Clifford, and the Burdens of Vietnam, 1965-69
By Edward J. Drea, Washington, D.C.:Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, (2011).
Reviewed by Dr. Richard P. Hallion
The historians within the Office of the Secretary of Defense have established an enviable reputation for meticulously researched and well-crafted books, particularly their series on the various Secretaries of Defense. Edward J. Drea’s impressive new volume in this series will add further luster to both the office and its author. Drea, a highly regarded historian of wide-ranging experience, is no stranger to those in the military history community, and he has drawn on a wide range of official and unofficial sources to brilliantly relate four crucial years in the Johnson era.
BOOK REVIEW – Pass Me The Rice
By Robert G. Kay, Author House, Bloomington, IN (2011).
Reviewed by Charles H. Bogart
In 1966, the author, as a Navy Lt. (JG) with his marriage collapsing in divorce, volunteered for duty as a Naval Advisor in Vietnam to allow him to refocus his life and to help his promotional opportunities. Robert Kay would complete two back to back tours of duty in Vietnam, seeing combat with both a Vietnamese Junk Group and a River Assault Group. His second tour would end early after he was wounded by a booby trap that resulted in the loss of a foot. After being discharged from the Navy, Kay returned to Vietnam and served there as a DOD civilian employee until April 1975. The book, however, only covers his naval service in Vietnam from 1966 – 1969.
BOOK REVIEW – The United States Coast Guard and National Defense: A History from World War I to the Present
By Thomas P. Ostrom., McFarland & Company, Jefferson, NC. (2012).
Reviewed by Charles H. Bogart
Anyone interested in the United States Coast Guard will want to read this well-written and researched book. The book consists of fifteen chapters and three appendices. Each chapter and appendices is a stand-alone article on the history of the Coast Guard or a report on current Coast Guard operations.
On 11 March 1965 Operation Market Time patrols began off the coast of South Vietnam. In this photo, a U.S. advisor with his weapon at the ready prepares for a sampan inspection.
Forthcoming Histories of the Vietnam War
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the conflict in Southeast Asia, the Naval Historical Foundation and the Naval History and Heritage Command are cosponsoring a series of monographs entitled The U.S. Navy and the Vietnam War.
BOOK REVIEW: Shore Duty – A Year in Vietnam’s Junk Force
By Stewart M. Harris, iUniverse, Inc., New York, NY. (2009)
Reviewed by Nathan D. Wells
The role that the United States Navy played in the Vietnam Conflict is well known; but there are still gaps. While the importance of Naval Aviation, Special Warfare and Riverine Forces have been well-covered by both works of scholarly and popular history, there were other sailors involved in America’s then-longest war. Some of them were attached to the South Vietnamese Navy’s Junk Force; operating out of Coastal Group bases. They were vital to both the interdicting of maritime trade from North Vietnam; as well as prosecuting the war on the ground. Stewart Harris, a former U.S. Navy lieutenant who served as an advisor to one such unit, has ably filled one of these gaps with his well-researched and very readable account.