Reference Material for Vietnam Era Special Operations

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Thread: Reference Material for Vietnam Era Special Operations

  1. #1
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    Reference Material for Vietnam Era Special Operations

    I was asked to provide what I thought were some good reference material on Vietnam era special operations. Since there are quite a few good books out there on this topic, I concentrated on books that provided a "picture heavy" content so if someone wanted these books for their own library, they got more than just text.
    This is by no means what I would consider the definative list. I've added my own comments on the books after the astrix and included the ISBN if someone needs it. These books are not ranked in any order except how I pulled them off my shelves. If anyone has some to add I personally would appreciate that but remember, this list is for more photographic content books.
    Here you go:
    Special Forces Camps in Vietnam 1961-70, by Gordon L. Rottman, Osprey Publishing
    ISBN 1-84176-839-1
    *Fortress series #33. Photos are in black and white. The book includes color plates of the various sections of a camp. Not very heavy on photos of people, the book might be useful in making a dio.

    Mobile Strike Forces in Vietnam 1966-70, by Gordon L. Rottman, Osprey Publishing
    ISBN 978-1-84603-139-7
    *Battle Orders series #30. Photos are in color as well as black and white.

    Green Beret in Vietnam 1957-73, by Gordon L. Rottman, Osprey Publishing
    ISBN 1-85532-568-3
    *Warrior Series #28. Photos are in black and white and there are color plates.

    Vietnam ANZACs Australian & New Zealand Troops in Vietnam 1962-72, by Kevin Lyles, Osprey Publishing
    ISBN1-84176-702-6
    *Elite Series #103. Photos are in black and white and there are color plates as well as color insignia drawings. Nice reference on Aussie and Kiwi SAS in Vietnam.

    Vietnam Airborne, by Gordon L. Rottman, Osprey Publishing
    ISBN 0-85045-941-9
    *Elite Series #29. Photos are in black and white and there are color plates as well as color insignia drawings. Although there are other non-special operations units covered as well the book covers Marine Recon, Pathfinders, LRRPs, Mike Force, Aussie SAS and New Zealand SAS.

    US Army Rangers & LRRP units 1942-87, by Gordon L. Rottman, Osprey Publishing
    ISBN 0-85045-795-5
    *Elite Series #13. Photos are in black and white and there are color plates as well as color insignia drawings. The Vietnam section is small but might be of use to someone.

    US Army Special Forces 1952-84, by Gordon L. Rottman, Osprey Publishing
    ISBN 0-85045-610-x
    *Elite Series #4. Photos are in black and white and there are color plates as well as color insignia drawings. The book is not purely on Special Forces in Vietnam but does cover the period well.

    Marine Recon 1940-90, by Charles D. Melson, Osprey Publishing
    ISBN 1-85532-391-5
    * Elite Series #55. Photos are in black and white and there are color plates as well as color insignia drawings. The book does not purely cover Recon ops in Vietnam but does have a few photos of that period.

    US Elite Forces – Vietnam, by Leroy Thompson, Squadron/Signal Publications
    ISBN 0-89747-170-9
    *Combat Troops Number 7. Photos are in black and white. There are some color plates in the book center.

    LRRP’s in action, by John Burford, Squadron/Signal Publications
    ISBN 0-89747-312-2
    *Combat Troops Number 11. Photos are in black and white. There are some color plates in the book center.

    SEALs in Vietnam, by Eric Micheletti, Histoire & Collections
    ISBN 2-908-182-645
    * Photos are color as well as black and white. Photos cover Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) and SEAL ops in Vietnam and training for deployment in the States. Nice details of equipment and weapons.

    PJs in Vietnam, the Story of Air Rescue in Vietnam as seen through the eyes of Pararescumen, by SMSgt Robert L. LaPointe, USAF Ret, Northern PJ Press
    ISBN 0-9708671-0-7
    *Photos are black and white. Although most of the pictures are of aircraft, there are a few rare Pararescue photos.

    Ranger, Behind Enemy Lines in Vietnam, by Ron Field, Military Illustrated
    ISBN 1-903040-04-3
    *Photos are in color as well as black and white. Some photos include re-enactors wearing period uniforms.

    Uniforms and Equipment of US Army Infantry, LRRPs, and Rangers in Vietnam 1965-1971, by Paul W. Miraldi, Schiffer Military History
    ISBN 0-7643-0958-7
    *Photos are in color as well as black and white. Although all of the black and white and some of the color photos are historical, some of the color pictures of re-enactors wearing uniforms of the period. These pictures are for the modeler as they show various angle shots of gear and weapons.

    Running Recon, a Photo Journey with SOG Special Ops along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, by Frank Greco, Paladin Press
    ISBN 978-1-58160-526-6
    * Photos are black and white. A great companion book to Plaster’s, another photo heavy book.

    SOG, a Photo History of the Secret Wars, by John L. Plaster, Paladin Press
    ISBN 1-58160-058-5
    * Photos are black and white. One of the best photo heavy books on the Studies and Observation Group (SOG), the book covers ground, air and water borne forces assigned to SOG.

    Shadow War, the CIA’s Secret War in Laos, by Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison, Paladin Press
    ISBN 0-87364-825-0
    *Photos are black and white. Of interest are various CIA case officers working with Laotian forces. Not a picture heavy book but the uniqueness of the topic makes it worth the effort.

    Classified Secret, Controlling Airstrikes in the Clandestine War in Laos, By Jan Churchill, Sunflower University Press
    ISBN 0-89745-241-0
    * Photos are black and white. Of interest are Combat Controllers and Forward Air Controllers.
    "I'm so used to being the weirdest guy in the room, over here I am not even in the running" Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr, Air America)

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  3. #2
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    Wow, great list!!! That's above and beyond the call!

    Thanks so much, Craig.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTFazz View Post
    Wow, great list!!! That's above and beyond the call!

    Thanks so much, Craig.
    My pleasure! I enjoyed doing it.
    "I'm so used to being the weirdest guy in the room, over here I am not even in the running" Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr, Air America)

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  6. #4
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    Thats a heck of a book collection. This is one era my library is lacking in.

  7. #5
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    Nice list - some more I'd add are:

    Vietnam: U.S. Uniforms in Colour Photographs (Europa Militaria, Special No 3), Kevin Lyles - Amazon Reference [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1872004520/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top"]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1872004520/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top[/ame]



    Special Forces of the United States Army 1952-82, Ian D. Sutherland - Amazon Reference [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Special-Forces-United-States-1952-82/dp/0912138432/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202961232&sr=1-2"]http://www.amazon.com/Special-Forces-United-States-1952-82/dp/0912138432/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202961232&sr=1-2[/ame]



    Special Forces at War: An Illustrated History, Southeast Asia 1957-1975, Shelby Stanton - Amazon Reference
    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Special-Forces-War-Illustrated-Southeast/dp/0760334498/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202961501&sr=1-1"]http://www.amazon.com/Special-Forces-War-Illustrated-Southeast/dp/0760334498/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202961501&sr=1-1[/ame]

    * Photo book on USSF during VN - first printed in the early 1990's, it soon became a collector's item and went for big bucks if you could find one. Now it's about to be re-printed for dirt cheap - can't recommend this one highly enough.

    As for the others .. well, I'll let the amazon reviews speak for themselves as they reflect my opinions on these books.

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    Quote Originally Posted by filupe View Post
    Nice list - some more I'd add are:

    Vietnam: U.S. Uniforms in Colour Photographs (Europa Militaria, Special No 3), Kevin Lyles - Amazon Reference http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/187...pr_product_top



    Special Forces of the United States Army 1952-82, Ian D. Sutherland - Amazon Reference http://www.amazon.com/Special-Forces...2961232&sr=1-2



    Special Forces at War: An Illustrated History, Southeast Asia 1957-1975, Shelby Stanton - Amazon Reference
    http://www.amazon.com/Special-Forces...2961501&sr=1-1

    * Photo book on USSF during VN - first printed in the early 1990's, it soon became a collector's item and went for big bucks if you could find one. Now it's about to be re-printed for dirt cheap - can't recommend this one highly enough.

    As for the others .. well, I'll let the amazon reviews speak for themselves as they reflect my opinions on these books.
    Ahhh! So Special Forces at War: An Illustrated History, Southeast Asia 1957-1975 is the book I have been looking (OK, lusting after) for years! A friend of my wifes husband had that and I tried buying it from him. I have that book on order for sure now. Thank you Filupe!
    "I'm so used to being the weirdest guy in the room, over here I am not even in the running" Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr, Air America)

  9. #7
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    Great list, thanks for sharing.
    I'm quite happy to have bought most of these years back, looks like the price of some of them has gone crazy (Sutherland's for one).
    There's a couple I still have to add to my library though.

    May I add to the list Paul Miraldi's Uniforms & Equipment of U.S. Military Advisors in Vietnam: 1957-1972, Schiffer Publishing.

    There is also a great thread on Nam Spec Ops in militaryphotos.net.

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    Thank you Saint. Apparently Mr Miraldi has visited the forum and has anounced a new series on Vietnam special operations forces. Definitely something I would be interested in!
    "I'm so used to being the weirdest guy in the room, over here I am not even in the running" Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr, Air America)

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    He announced further works in the dust jacket of his latest book, on Marine Corps, USN Seals, &c. Good to hear that they are under way.

    I don't like much the way he presented his stuff in the "Infantry, LRRPs, &c." book. There are tons of great items, but many are in my opinion badly illustrated. I would have liked more detailed shots of the different items, rather than the half-thought catalogue shown in the last part (as an exemple, the lightweight rucksack is incomplete). Though not his fault I guess, many pictures are not clear. Still, it is a good reference work, and a companion to the Stanton's book I mentionned in another thread.

  12. #10
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    Paul Miraldis book

    Hello saint
    hey thanks for the Kudos on the book Infantry Lrrps, and Rangers, your right and I apoligize for the back section!! Do you own the Advisor book by chance?? Its always nice to get some constructive critiques, I appreciate it alot!!! Im currently working on a book totally dedicated to the 1/6 scale modeler and reenactor called MACV SOG Recon Teams, The complete and comprehensive guide to reenacting and modeling SOG reconnaisance men. Including Uniforms, equipment, headgear team makeup packing lists and items carried!!!

    Also a side note I also doing an 8 volume set on Special Forces at War De Opprese Liber, 1957-1975 including one whole book on tools of the trade and headgear!!!

    Thanks again and I look forward to any other feedback I can get to make the books better for everyone!!

    All my best,
    Paul W. Miraldi

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    Thnaks Saint and Air Commando for the praise,
    I appreciate the mention of the books!!
    Yes I love your forum this is an avenue many of my peers in the History world have either overlooked or Ignored, But I gotta say some of you all are more advanced than some of the 1/1 collectors Ive seen. your attention to detail is incredible and the fact that if something is wrong you all wanna change it and make your figure as acurate as possible. So I say Good Job!! many in my field are not hip to someone pointing out that something may be wrong or post war or they are too lazy to make the correction!!
    Im sorry people in my field, and me to a lesser extent, have not recognized your contribution to this hobby! you all are helping preserve history, just on a smaller scale
    If there is anything I can do or help with any questions please feel free to contact me any time always happy to help out

    [email protected]

    All my best and Good job again guys!
    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by RT_HABU View Post
    Thnaks Saint and Air Commando for the praise,
    I appreciate the mention of the books!!
    Yes I love your forum this is an avenue many of my peers in the History world have either overlooked or Ignored, But I gotta say some of you all are more advanced than some of the 1/1 collectors Ive seen. your attention to detail is incredible and the fact that if something is wrong you all wanna change it and make your figure as acurate as possible. So I say Good Job!! many in my field are not hip to someone pointing out that something may be wrong or post war or they are too lazy to make the correction!!
    Im sorry people in my field, and me to a lesser extent, have not recognized your contribution to this hobby! you all are helping preserve history, just on a smaller scale
    If there is anything I can do or help with any questions please feel free to contact me any time always happy to help out

    [email protected]

    All my best and Good job again guys!
    Paul
    OK Paul, right to the point, when are your new books due out???? LOL
    "I'm so used to being the weirdest guy in the room, over here I am not even in the running" Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr, Air America)

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    With the amount of new gear and gear concepts being tested/fielded in these turbulent times it's easy to get somewhat confused amongst all the acronyms. Especially so when it seems each service is trying it's own thing both in terms of uniforms and gear - and we won't even go into the SF community!

    I see it as history happening right now - in 5-10-20 years time someone may write a tome entitled, 'Uniforms and Equipment of the US Infantry/Marines/Special Forces in Iraq and the Global War on Terror 1991 - 2015(?)'. I have my own special interests as well but I too am always impressed by the breadth and depth of knowledge (both 1:1 and 1:6) that I observe on this forum - I am learning everyday.

    Sometimes I see kitbashes on here that aren't quite right and it is difficult sometimes to gauge whether I should be the 'stitch nazi' and pipe up with what's wrong with what detail - particularly since I don't exhibit many bashes here myself. I realise that some people aren't worried about the small detail and bash to whatever 'looks cool', however, being modellers and miniaturists, we generally ARE concerned with accuracy and if I can add to someone else's knowledge pool with my 1:1 items and references then all the better because I have gained a lot of good info from being a member of this forum myself.

  16. #14
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    An excellent bibliography thread.

    Shelby Stanton's done other books which are valuable resources for Vietnam, including Special operations -

    U.S. Army Uniforms of the Vietnam War (Stackpole Books) ISBN 0-7394-0224-2 Full of photos and line drawings of uniforms, headgear, boots, and just about everthing else that was worn, used, and carried.

    VIETNAM ORDER OF BATTLE (Galahad Books) ISBN 88365-709-0 OOBs, insignia, and unit deployments, stations and operations from 1961-1973. Includes SpecOps, Allied and Vietnamese forces, and section on weapons and equipment.

    GREEN BERETS AT WAR U.S. Army Special Forces in Southeast Asia 1956-1975 (Presidio) This is a smaller hardback published in 1985, no ISBN on it. Some photos and maps, but mostly a history.


    Other authors' works (light on photos) -

    INSIDE THE GREEN BERETS The First Thirty Years by Charles M. Simpson III (Presidio 1983) Again, no ISBN, perhaps Presidio just didn't do them then.

    U.S. Army Special Forces 1961-1971 by Col. Francis J. Kelly (Dept of the Army VIETNAM STUDIES, 1973) Library of Congress Card Number 72-600263 Lots of tables, action reports, details.



    Welcome aboard Paul, glad to have you here and your generosity is much appreciated.
    You are
    What you do
    When it counts---The Masao
    - Ryan Bonaminio lived his life this way -

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    Quote Originally Posted by filupe View Post
    Sometimes I see kitbashes on here that aren't quite right and it is difficult sometimes to gauge whether I should be the 'stitch nazi' and pipe up with what's wrong with what detail - particularly since I don't exhibit many bashes here myself. I realise that some people aren't worried about the small detail and bash to whatever 'looks cool', however, being modellers and miniaturists, we generally ARE concerned with accuracy and if I can add to someone else's knowledge pool with my 1:1 items and references then all the better because I have gained a lot of good info from being a member of this forum myself.
    It is hard to say sometimes if comments on accuracy is taken in the right vain or not but it seems that most take it only as a means of help. That would be as long as the comments are made in a tone of assisting vice nit-picking.
    Some of us have been lucky enough to have even been a part of the history, known someone close that was or have studied history for a while longer than others so if help is needed that information can be passed along. I guess it's all part of the old adage you never stop learning.
    "I'm so used to being the weirdest guy in the room, over here I am not even in the running" Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr, Air America)

  18. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AirCommando View Post
    It is hard to say sometimes if comments on accuracy is taken in the right vain or not but it seems that most take it only as a means of help. That would be as long as the comments are made in a tone of assisting vice nit-picking.
    You're on target as far as how commentary and critiques are approached. It's kind of a case-by-case situation, but most of us appreciate any help we can get.
    You are
    What you do
    When it counts---The Masao
    - Ryan Bonaminio lived his life this way -

  19. #17
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    Hello Paul, great to see you on board - and for taking so kindly my rather harsh comments on your book.
    I still have somewhere articles you published in past issues of Military Illustrated years ago.

    There are plenty of folks here who have a deep knowledge on military history and uniforms, and found a way in 1/6th to illustrate/make a tribute to the soldiers of the past and present. Space and finance are also interesting factors ! LOL

    As for the critics, when and to whom they should be addressed, well, like PD says, it depends of the author of the figure. You hardly can be harsh on a new comer in both fields of figure making and history. For a more veteran basher, it would also be unfair and pointless to just say "your fig s*cks" without offering solutions to correct what you feel is wrong. Well, this is what I try to do. In the main, I've found critics are well taken by the latter, and sooner or later, a upgraded figure pops up - what a better example that Vandalus' 1965 Marine :
    https://www.onesixthwarriors.com/foru...ad.php?t=76267

    Cheers
    Eric
    Last edited by The Saint; 02-18-2008 at 05:51.

  20. #18
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    Paul,

    darn .. I won't even go near MY comments .. but I understand now that a proportion of my comments can be attributed to the publisher and I feel they really had the responsibility to advise you and put out a better product - the primary information provided by yourself was faultless.

    I can only echo Eric's comments and in a way, my earlier post above alluded to that. Some of us are widely read and experienced in a particular field eg. I will defer to Eric when it comes to Rhodesian/South African matters and I know Mike (PD) is very knowledgable on many matters, particularly French Indochina, another of my 'fave' periods. As for myself, well, being a 20 year reserve infantry JNCO in the Australian Army with 2 years in the British TA (Far East) allows me to speak with authority on SOME matters.

    Your reputation on this board precedes you and although those in the know acknowledge and welcome your expertise in this area, in one way is a disadvantage as it can attract 'heat' from some individuals on the board, particularly since you've just joined. It would be interesting to see how many new Vietnam SF bashes will be posted from now on!

    I understand what you are trying to do and that your intentions are pure. However, I would read the thread and try to gauge the acceptance of the poster to criticism. Even then, I would not go to town and just pick one or two salient points (God knows I've been guilty of breaking this myself ..)

    I hope I'm not out of line here, but after viewing the Gen Discussion forum I just wanted you to know that you do have friends here.

    On a lighter note, and to get back to the subject at hand ... do you have any AATT-V items?

    Regards,

    Adrian
    aka 'filupe'

  21. #19
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    Paul,
    May I ask that you post the pics of your collection I saw in the gen forum in this thread as well. They are 'reference material' !
    Very impressing collection, BTW.

    Adrian,

    If ever you need material on the Indochina War, I'd be happy to share what I have. Four of my uncles fought in the War, the first arrived in 1946, the last left in 1955. My father's elder brother was an Engineer Lt in DBP.

    Cheers
    Eric

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    20th SOS

    Air Commando and Guys,

    Another recommendation: A very belated Christmas gift (which became a Valentine's Day gift) from my loving, yet long suffering wife was Wayne Mutza's new book from Schiffer (sp?) Publishing on the USAF's 20th Special Operations Squadron (SOS). The book chronicles the 20th from its Vietnam days through today. It's primarily a photo book. Some great Vietnam shots, especially of the ships and USAF crewmen who supported SOG missions in Vietnam.

    It's available from The Squadron Shop, as well as from Schiffer, and I suppose Borders and Barnes and Noble.

    Regards

    Jack

  23. #21
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    Thank you Jack. I actually have that book and not sure why I left that off the list. I bought mine from Amazon.com (ISBN 978-0-7643-2779-7).
    The book does have some nice color shots of 20th SOS personnel during the Vietnam era as well as some clear black and white photos.
    "I'm so used to being the weirdest guy in the room, over here I am not even in the running" Billy Covington (Robert Downey Jr, Air America)

  24. #22
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    I have Shelby Stanton's Green Berets At War and Rangers At War as well as a book called Wings Of The C.I.A. by Frederic Lert which talks about Air America and other covert air operations in Vietnam. All are good books but lack in pics for bashing purposes but I didn't buy them for bashing purposes.

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    Better not start a list of paperbacks, there are just tons of them LOL ! About half the members of Co F, 58th Inf (101st Abn Div LRRP) wrote a book...

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Reference Material for Vietnam Era Special Operations
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