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The Eyes of the Eagle: F Company LRPs in Vietnam, 1968

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Book Overview

In the 101st Airborne, if you cared enough to send the very best, you sent The Howlers. Gary Linderer volunteered for the Army, then volunteered for Airborne training. When he reached Vietnam in 1968,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

I was there

I have read all of this author's books and found them all well written and captivating in description of the horrors of war, the brotherhood of warriors and the rise of ordinary American young men to heroic deeds in the face of a determined enemy. As an eye witness to some of the events described I find some of those all too captivating in their reality and accuracy. I consider it my extreme good fortune to have known the author both as dedicated warrior and true American patriot, who after leaving the Army has used his experiences in offering a strong hand or a sympathetic shoulder to any other veteran in need. Unfortunately, there is one veteran whose choice was to return that hand with teeth marks in it. This veteran, fancying himself as a modern day Oliver Twist frequently posts reviews laden with inaccurate and irrelevant staff duty logs as evidence that the actions on 20 Nov 68 never happened or are distorted fantasies created Gary Linderer. He often identifies himself as "a reader" or with handles like Mark Twain "Joy", but never his real name and all his facts Oliver Twisted. If Linderer fantasized the action of 20 Nov 68 it surely was a mass hallucination, taking in some 30 pilots, the Company Commander and even Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division all who actually there that day Oliver. The dream was so realistic that team members and reaction force soldiers can still show one the scars inflicted by this author's imagination. It also took in an unknown, but clearly large number of enemy soldiers who spent the better part of ten hours trying to shoot me out of the sky every time I went near that hill. Maybe I just imagined myself in a very large hornets nest, but the difference was that I was there that day and Mr. Reader was not. Reader questions the author's awards, but fails to mention that the U.S. Army saw fit to hand out dozen of valorous awards for that action that included two Distinguished Service Crosses. I visited the author in the hospital the next day so I am convinced that he earned a Purple Heart that day whether it made it into his records or not. Have your mommy read you Mr. Dickens work again, you may discover that Oliver did get what he wanted when he asked for, "More please."


In 1998, I bought Gary's book "Black Berets and Painted Faces". Its now 2005 and I just finished my twentieth time through the book! Inspired, I picked up about 4 other books written by men Gary served with. They are all great books, and its awesome to read about some of the same events through other peoples point of view. My father served in 'nam from '68-'69 (around the same time Gary was there) in I corps, air cav, as an FO for his firebase near LZ Uplift. Though my fathers experiences differed from those of the LRP's/rangers, it helps me to read books like this to understand what happened in Southeast Asia long before I was born. The war always interested me, and knowledge of it brings me closer to my father. I have great respect for those who served, and much excitement for the stories people like Gary share. Reading some of these anonymous reviews prompted me to research whether I was being lied to or not. Sure, I found those radio logs. Yes, I see some of his decorations werent documented, blah blah blah. I came across the website of this anonymous person and read a letter that was written about Gary and his "false claims" and I was suprised at the audacity they had by saying that the battle on Nov. 20th never even took place! The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC doesnt lie! The KIA's in Gary's book are consistent with names and dates on the wall. There are even log entries from the wall online, written by family members of said casualties, whos' entries give confirmation of how and when these men were killed. And they want to say this battle never happened!? I will not dishonor the dead by discussing this further... As for the claims that Gary ran from this fight, and left his gear behind: Read the book! It clearly states that they dropped their rucks to fight before the catastrophic explosion that took out most of the team. And when they were medivac'd, were they supposed to carry all their gear with them!? No. Priority One was to get the heck out of dodge, rucked up or naked. And as for claims that they couldnt have possibly killed over 200 NVA: HA! First of all, Im inclined to believe Mr. Reid from the previous review. I dont know, theres something about an eye witness account that always adds significance to the story... Second of all, Its not like Gary is clamiming that he and the hand of God smote down this enemy alone! They used artillery, gunships, and air strikes to save their lives. Its not hard to believe that more than 200 NVA soldiers massed on this area in attempt to overrun the team, and that almost 200 of them were killed by supirior tactical rescources on hand for the trapped LRPs. Third of all, my fathers firebase was surrounded during the Tet Offensive, and after two days of bloody fighting, there were at least 35 NVA KIA piled up infront of his M-60 outside his bunker alone. I have both a picture, and a newspaper article to back his story up. His company wiped out an entire NVA regiment o


There have been anonymous reviews posted about Linderer's books that question his truthfulness. I'm posting this review under my own name because I was an eyewitness to some of the incidents described in Linderer's books, particularly the events of 20 Nov 68. My name is John Reid. I served briefly in Gary Linderer's unit then transferred to B Co 101st Aviation Battalion, the unit that proveded helicopter support for Linderer's unit. I was flying as door gunner for pilot W.T. Grant (author "Wings of the Eagle) on 20 Nov 68. Warrent Officer Grant and Captain Bill Meacham (author "Lest We Forget") piloted the two helicopters that arrived over Linderer's team shortly after they ambushed an enemy unit on 20 Nov 68. Both pilots braved enemy fire trying to extract the team with MacGuire rigs. The trees were too thick to lower ropes to the team. We could see armed enemy all around the team trying to get at them. We were hovering low enough to see that most of the team were badly wounded. Only the combined efforts of the artillery, gunships and Air Force fighter bombers, directed by LRRP commander Captain Eklund, kept the enemy at bay and saved the wounded survivors of the team. I personally witnessed this from a helicopter just above the action (off the gun target line) and heard most of the radio communications that day. Pilots Grant and Meachum spent most of the day ferrying in a reaction force to rescue the teams survivors and then extracting them all later in the day. The battle began at ten in the morning and we brought out the last friendlies well after dark. We took enemy fire every time we flew close to the ground that day. Flying in and out of the landing zone I saw many dead enemy soldiers on the slope below the LRRP team. On the missions we flew after dark that day, the muzzle flashes and tracers of multiple enemy weapons trying to shoot us down were visible to the support air crews overhead. I've read the descriptions of the 20 Nov 68 battle in the books written by Linderer, Grant and Meacham. As someone who was actually there, I find no discrepancies in their descriptions. The anonymous smears lead back to one person who I have talked to but will not name here. That person, who served in Vietnam, was not near Linderer's team on 20 Nov 68, but by his own admission was in a different unit hundreds of miles away. He bases his attacks on Linderer's veracity on a brief log kept by clerks at a base camp miles away from the action. All the participants in the action that day, that I have talked to, agree on the basic facts of the battle. The brief notations of the clerks in the rear are slightly different. Who are you going to believe. The soldiers and air crew who were actually there or some anonymous person who wasn't anywhere near the battle. This same person calls Linderer a liar because not all his medals are listed on the Form DD214 held at the army records repository in St Louis. By that same logic I'm a liar too because I received an Air

The best account of the Vietnam War

Gary Linderer gives us a detailed account of his one-year tour of duty in Vietnam. Inserting into indian country in six man teams Linderer and his team mates sneek and peek in the enemies backyard. Linderer describes everything that happened 35 years ago with great detail. He also makes the reader feel that they are their with him through out his tour with the Rangers. I met"Mother" Rucker at a reunion and talked with him for more than a half hour about things in this book like I was there and I did not even serve in Vietnam. Linderer's book gives us insight into the courage, bravery and professionalism of men that America did not care about. This is a must read for those that want to know what Vietnam was like in an elite unit.
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