Vietnam War Soldier Memoirs

19 Minutes to Live - Helicopter Combat in Vietnam: A Memoir by Lew Jennings
Lew Jennings
19 Minutes to Live - Helicopter Combat in Vietnam: A Memoir by Lew Jennings
19 Minutes to Live - Helicopter Combat in Vietnam: A Memoir by Lew Jennings
Lew Jennings

Lew Jennings flew 726 missions in Vietnam piloting the Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter and was awarded with over 15 decorations. His memoir describes the harrowing experiences of helicopter pilots in Vietnam, including the author's participation in hunter-killer missions and his combat experiences in the A Sau Valley and the Battle of Hamburger Hill.

Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam
Mark Bowden
Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam
Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam
Mark Bowden

Bestselling author Mark Bowden assembles U.S. and Vietnamese war archives and interviews Battle of Hue participants from the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, Army of the Republic of Vietnam, the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong to create an outstanding day-by-day account of the most important battle of the Vietnam War.

The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War
Frederick Downs Jr.
The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War
The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War
Frederick Downs Jr.

A memorable, week-to-week account of what life was like in a U.S. Army platoon in Vietnam. This memoirs describes the difficulty of combat conditions for soldiers who fought in that conflict, vividly spelling out the cost of war for its participants. The author's tour of duty ended after only four months, due to injuries from a "Bouncing Betty" landmine.

Chickenhawk
Robert Mason
Chickenhawk
Chickenhawk
Robert Mason

A veteran of more than one thousand combat missions with the 1st Air Cavalry Division and the 48th Assault Helicopter Company, author Robert Mason excels in cutting to the heart of the combat experience of a Huey pilot in Vietnam. His book Chickenhawk is universally regarded as one of the best Vietnam War combat memoirs.

A Rumor of War: The Classic Vietnam Memoir (40th Anniversary Edition)
Philip Caputo
A Rumor of War: The Classic Vietnam Memoir (40th Anniversary Edition)
A Rumor of War: The Classic Vietnam Memoir (40th Anniversary Edition)
Philip Caputo

Philip Caputo was with the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade as it landed at Da Nang in March 1965. His book is a simple story about the things men do in a war and what war does to them. It shatters one's illusions about war, letting you in, only requesting appreciation for one man's attempt to be honest about what happens once open conflict breaks out.

Legend: The Incredible Story of Green Beret Sergeant Roy Benavidez's Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines
Eric Blehm
Legend: The Incredible Story of Green Beret Sergeant Roy Benavidez's Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines
Legend: The Incredible Story of Green Beret Sergeant Roy Benavidez's Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines
Eric Blehm

A powerfully honest, realistic and moving account of 5th Special Forces Group Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez's mission to rescue a special operations reconnaissance team trapped behind enemy lines in Cambodian territory, after they had been inserted by helicopter into an area controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army.

Guts 'N Gunships: What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam
Mark Garrison
Guts 'N Gunships: What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam
Guts 'N Gunships: What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam
Mark Garrison

Mark Garrison flew hundreds of missions in 1967-68 in the Central Highlands. His description of his tour includes many perilous combat flight incidents. Infantry soldiers knew that there was no braver group in Vietnam than the chopper pilots. If you want to learn about the Vietnam War from the perspective of a gunship pilot, this book is highly recommended.

We Were Soldiers Once...and Young: Ia Drang - The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam
Harold G. Moore
We Were Soldiers Once...and Young: Ia Drang - The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam
We Were Soldiers Once...and Young: Ia Drang - The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam
Harold G. Moore

The story of the Battle of Ia Drang as chronicled by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway. Moore was commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment when they were dropped by helicopter into Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley. Galloway was the only journalist on the ground throughout the fighting.

The Tunnels of Cu Chi: A Harrowing Account of America's Tunnel Rats in the Underground Battlefields of Vietnam
Tom Mangold
The Tunnels of Cu Chi: A Harrowing Account of America's Tunnel Rats in the Underground Battlefields of Vietnam
The Tunnels of Cu Chi: A Harrowing Account of America's Tunnel Rats in the Underground Battlefields of Vietnam
Tom Mangold

Through countless interviews with American military personnel and former Viet Cong leaders and guerrillas, the author portrays the bravery of American tunnel-warfare specialists, while explaining the unbelievable hardships endured by the Vietnamese in order to outlast the greatest military power on earth.

Things I'll Never forget: Memories of a Marine in Viet Nam
James M. Dixon
Things I'll Never forget: Memories of a Marine in Viet Nam
Things I'll Never forget: Memories of a Marine in Viet Nam
James M. Dixon

This account of U.S. Marine boot camp and the ensuing 13 month tour in Vietnam will keep you spellbound. The author takes you through the triumphs and tragedies faced by a Marine in the jungles of Vietnam. You'll find yourself unable to put down this edge-of-your-seat commentary, which is written in an easy to read manner.

That Close: A memory of combat in Vietnam
Robert Allen Driskill
That Close: A memory of combat in Vietnam
That Close: A memory of combat in Vietnam
Robert Allen Driskill

A great read, short but raw. Author Robert Driskill describes trials and tribulations endured while fighting for the 12th Infantry Regiment of the 199th Light Infantry Brigade in 1969. The author tells the tale of commonplace courage demonstrated by the infantrymen who served with him, defending the approaches to Saigon against an implacable enemy.

Low Level Hell
Hugh L. Mills Jr.
Low Level Hell
Low Level Hell
Hugh L. Mills Jr.

Author Hugh Mills blazed many trails during his three tours in Vietnam. In his extremely well-written and captivating memoirs, he lets the reader see the Vietnam War through the eyes of a scout helicopter pilot, flying low to the ground, just above the jungle canopy, searching for the enemy and finding them with monotonous regularity.

Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills
Charles Henderson
Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills
Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills
Charles Henderson

Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock had an illustrious career with the Marine Corps, most notably as the top sniper in Viet Nam, with 93 confirmed kills and countless more unconfirmed. His legendary exploits included stalking enemy snipers, infiltrating a North Vietnamese general's headquarters, and pinning down a company of enemy soldiers for several days.

War for the Hell of It; A Fighter Pilot's View of Vietnam
Ed Cobleigh
War for the Hell of It; A Fighter Pilot's View of Vietnam
War for the Hell of It; A Fighter Pilot's View of Vietnam
Ed Cobleigh

Author Ed Cobleigh served two tours of duty with the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. Based at Ubon Air Base in Thailand, he flew F-4 Phantom fighter-bomber missions over Laos and North Vietnam. With well crafted prose the author puts you right into the cockpit, providing an unprecedented look into the state of mind of a pilot in the heat of combat.

Secret Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines with the Elite Warriors of SOG
John L. Plaster
Secret Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines with the Elite Warriors of SOG
Secret Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines with the Elite Warriors of SOG
John L. Plaster

John Plaster, who earned four decorations for his three tours with the MACV-SOG, describes the role of special ops commandos in highly classified efforts to control the flow of North Vietnamese soldiers and supplies into South Vietnam. Missions are related in remarkable detail, filling the reader with fascination, horror and a sense of the extraordinary.

The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War
Doug Stanton
The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War
The Odyssey of Echo Company: The 1968 Tet Offensive and the Epic Battle to Survive the Vietnam War
Doug Stanton

The gripping, true story of a young man who enlisted in the Army, learned long-range reconnaissance skills and arrived in Vietnam just before turning twenty. There he was assigned to a reconnaissance platoon belonging to the 101st Airborne Division and found himself in an opening skirmish of the Battle of Quang Tri, as the Tet Offensive got underway.

Guns Up!: A Firsthand Account of the Vietnam War
Johnnie M. Clark
Guns Up!: A Firsthand Account of the Vietnam War
Guns Up!: A Firsthand Account of the Vietnam War
Johnnie M. Clark

Author Johnnie Clark is a disabled veteran who was wounded three times in Vietnam. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps at age seventeen and served in 1968 as a machine gunner with the 5th Marine Regiment. This book puts you right on the ground and in the middle of the action, describing the brutality of Vietnam jungle combat.

Hill 488
Ray Hildreth
Hill 488
Hill 488
Ray Hildreth

On the night of June 15, 1966, an 18-man Marine reconnaissance platoon on a hilltop observation post were attacked by a North Vietnamese battalion. The following morning, Ray Hildreth was one of only three Marines able to walk away unassisted. With captivating and gripping narrative, "Hill 488" tells the story of his platoon's overnight struggle to survive.

Vietnam's Forgotten Army: Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN
Andrew Wiest
Vietnam's Forgotten Army: Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN
Vietnam's Forgotten Army: Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN
Andrew Wiest

The contrasting life-stories of two former Army of the Republic of Vietnam "superstars" are chronicled here. One of them fought until his capture in 1970, after which he endured thirteen years in a North Vietnamese prison. One surrendered his regiment in 1972, then completed his career in the People's Army of Vietnam.

Battle for Hue: Tet 1968
Keith Nolan
Battle for Hue: Tet 1968
Battle for Hue: Tet 1968
Keith Nolan

Popular Vietnam War chronicler Keith W. Nolan was the first to give extensive coverage to the urban combat that took place in the city of Hue during the 1968 Tet Offensive. Nolan, a military historian, interviewed 34 veterans of the Battle of Hue in order to produce his excellent and thorough recounting of that key Vietnam War battle.