Colonel Donald Gilbert Cook was the first U.S. Marine captured in Vietnam, the first and only Marine in history to earn the Medal of Honor while in captivity; and the first Marine POW to have a U.S. Navy ship named in his honor, the USS Donald Cook (DDG-75). On December 31, 1964, while serving as an observer with a South Vietnamese Marine Corps battalion on a combat operation against Viet Cong forces, he was captured near the village of Binh Gia in South Vietnam. Until his death in captivity in December 1967, Cook led ten POWs in a series of primitive jungle camps. This first book-length biography concentrates especially on Cook’s three years in captivity, and is the first book exclusively about a Marine POW held in South Vietnam. Throughout, Cook’s adherence to the Corps’ traditional leadership principles and knowledge of the Code of Conduct are highlighted. His biography provides a unique case study of exemplary leadership under extremely difficult conditions. Includes 68 photographs.
"This is the first book-length biography of Colonel Donald G. Cook. With background information on Cook's life and prewar career, it concentrates especially on his three years in captivity, and is the first book exclusively about a Marine POW held in South Vietnam. The author outlines the circumstances surrounding Cook's Medal of Honor citation and death"--Provided by publisher.
A Marine’s highly personal memoir reliving the hellish days of a pivotal conflict of the Vietnam War Con Thien, located only two miles from the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Vietnam, was a United States Marine Corps firebase that was the scene of fierce combat for months on end during 1967. Staving off attacks and ambushes while suffering from ineffectual leadership from Washington as well as media onslaughts, courageous American Marines protected this crucial piece of land at all costs. They would hold Con Thien, but many paid the ultimate price. By the end of the war, more than 1,400 Marines had died and more than 9,000 sustained injuries defending the “Hill of Angels.” For eight months, James P. Coan’s five-tank platoon was assigned to Con Thien while attached to various Marine infantry battalions. A novice second lieutenant at the time, the author kept a diary recording the thoughts, fears, and frustrations that accompanied his life on “The Hill.” Time in the Barrel: A Marine’s Account of the Battle for Con Thien offers an authentic firsthand account of the daily nightmare that was Con Thien. An enticing and fascinating read featuring authentic depictions of combat, it allows readers to fully grasp the enormity of the fierce struggle for Con Thien. The defenders of Con Thien were bombarded with hundreds of rounds of incoming rockets, mortars, and artillery that pounded the beleaguered outpost daily. Monsoon downpours turned the red laterite clay soil into a morass of oozing mud, flooded bunkers and trenches, and made Con Thien a living hell. .Being at Con Thien came to be ruefully referred to by the Marines stationed there as "time in the barrel” because they were targets as easy as fish in a barrel. More than a retelling of military movements, Coan’s engrossing narratives focus on the sheer sacrifice and misery of one Marine’s experience in Vietnam. Through his eyes, we experience the abysmal conditions the Marines endured, from monsoon rainstorms to the constant threat of impending attack. Climatic moments in history are captured through the rare, personal perspective of one particularly astute and observant participant.
Journalists possess critical responsibilitiesone is simply to inform, another is to explain. As a military photojournalist during the Vietnam Era, Bob Bowen has captured visually with his camera and explained eloquently with his written words, the horrors and the honorable service of that period. In his new book My Life and Lens, Bowen articulates not only high action combat but the artful subtleties and tactics of warfare. He writes so well that the reader is pulled into the stories as if there in person. It is one thing to provide facts to Americas cumulative history; its another to display the facts through personal experiences. One will learn through reading this memoir that the life of a journalist in a war zone could be short-lived. It is dangerous work; but when successful, the work informs. This is what makes Bowens book such a compelling read. This memoir is an excellent pictorial and literary contribution not only to our nations history but in the recognition of those who honorably participated in that unpopular conflict. Respect is demonstrated to the families of the brave American heroes of this long-ago era by Bob Bowens memorializing them in his book. - Worth Earlwood Norman, Jr., retired account executive, EDS Corporation; author of two biographiesJames Solomon Russell: Former Slave, Pioneer Educator, and Episcopal Evangelist (McFarland Publishing, 2012), William Jelks Cabaniss, Jr., Crossing Lines in His Business, Political and Diplomatic Life (Archdeacon Books, 2014) and one memoir, Six Bits: USMC 1962-1963 (My Years in USMC Bands 1962-1966) (Kindle eBook) I predict this is a great book by Bob Bowen who is writing about his own life during the Vietnam War. Bob is an expert photographer and was a war correspondent and a fine writer. This job was dangerous. This book could really take off and be a great success. I recommend it to anyone interested in the Vietnam War. The war was a harrowing experience for the men involved, and they have never been given proper credit for their bravery. - Don Gilmore, author, Eyewitness Vietnam The images you captured of our Marines in Vietnam are unequaled. Your book will be a smash hit! - Franklin Cox, author, Lullabies for Lieutenants My friend Bob Bowen has been a member of The American Legion for more than four decades, during which time he has been totally devoted to our country, our veterans, and their families. This memoir details his insights not only into war and coming home, but also into the people who are Americans. His life is proof that when most veterans take off their uniforms, they dont quit their service to the nation. My Life and Lens is the inspiring story of how one Marine is still serving America. - Daniel S. Wheeler, National Adjutant, The American Legion