By John Francis Guilmartin, John Keegan
On could 12, 1975, below weeks after the autumn of Saigon, Khmer Rouge naval forces seized the S.S. Mayaguez, an American box send, off the Cambodian coast within the Gulf of Siam. The fast army reaction ordered by way of President Gerald Ford used to be designed to recapture the Mayaguez, held at anchor off the island of Koh Tang, to free up her group, and to illustrate U.S. energy and get to the bottom of within the quick aftermath of America's such a lot humiliating defeat.Guilmartin, a former air rescue helicopter pilot stationed in Thailand, presents a different and compelling account of the Mayaguez–Koh Tang problem, laying off new gentle at the politics, the strategies, the orders, the high-level selection makers, and the struggling with males entangled in a very important army motion that just about led to catastrophe for U.S. forces.". . . a super and exceedingly transparent tactical examine that gives some degree of departure for broader reflections at the nature of contingency and uncertainty in all army operations."--Foreign Affairs"This is a phenomenal ebook. . . [Guilmartin's] paintings transcends the occasions themselves, illustrating quite a few points of fellows in warfare. His insights and observations are compelling."--Journal of army History". . . written with the aptitude and pleasure of an event novel. Even those that be aware of the result and the teachings of the Mayaguez incident will locate this publication tough to place down till finished."--Proceedings
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Page xxiii Acknowledgments This book could never have been written without the help of a host of individuals, not all of whom are named below for reasons of space and discretion. In addition to counsel and information, which in many cases I could have obtained in no other way, they provided the critical increment of motivation on a number of occasions just when it was most needed. Although I can never fully discharge my debt to them, I trust that the pages that follow will serve as partial payment.
The quality of the experience is ephemeral. The above recollections were still fresh in my mind when the Mayaguez-Koh Tang operation took place, and I talked and listened to as many participants as I could as soon afterward as possible. But in contrast to the comparatively leisurely hours aboard Midway after Frequent Wind, our schedules were hectic and opportunities were few. Fatigue was also a limiting factor. We had been hard on the go for months, and the Mayaguez crisis came as the culmination of what seemed likeand wasan incredibly intense experience.
13 Measured by the parameters established by air force standardization and training directives, the aircrews were extremely competent. To cite two examples, standards of aircraft systems knowledge were very high, an important consideration with a machine as complex as the H-53. So were standards of instrument flying. Using formal readiness criteria, both squadrons were mission capable,14 but the statistics concealed weaknesses. 15 In the case of the 40th, this included training with Korat-based A-7 fighter-bombers designated for the RESCORT (rescue escort) role, but this instruction was not required and was conducted only sporadically.