Vietnam War Bibliography:

Marines in Reconnaissance and Special Operations

Randy Baumgardner, ed., 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion: Vietnam 1965-1969. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing, 2003. 112 pp.

John Edmund Delezen, Eye of the Tiger: Memoir of a United States Marine, Third Force Recon Company, Vietnam. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003. 186 pp.

Lt. Col. W.C. Floyd USMC (Ret), et al., Green Ghosts: Personal Accounts of Reconnaissance in the DMZ by the Marines and Corpsmen who daily bet their lives in the most dangerous environment in Vietnam. iUniverse, 2004. 259 pp. Floyd as a Captain commanded 3d Force Recon Company from June 1966 to November 1967.

Colonel Andrew R. Finlayson, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), Marine Advisors with the Vietnamese Provincial Reconnaissance Units, 1966-1970. Quantico, VA: History Division, United States Marine Corp, 2009. vii, 71 pp. Finlayson as a Captain was an advisor to the Tay Ninh PRU in 1969.

Andrew R. Finlayson, A Marine Long-Range Recon Team Leader in Vietnam, 1967-1968. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2013. Finlayson's first tour in Vietnam ended early in 1968. He was with the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company.

Andrew R. Finlayson, Rice Paddy Recon: A Marine Officer's Second Tour in Vietnam, 1968-1970. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2014. Finlayson returned to Vietnam about the end of November 1968, and was initially assigned to the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company. Later he was an adviser to a Provincial Reconnaissance Unit (PRU) in Tay Ninh province.

Rick Greenberg, Silent Heroes: A Recon Marine's Vietnma War Experience. Createspace, 2017. 312 pp. Greenberg served 1969-70.

Donald M. Hamblen, with B. H. Norton, One Tough Marine: The Autobiography of First Sergeant Donald M. Hamblen, USMC. hb New York: Ballantine, 1993. 337 pp. Hamblen lost a leg in an accident in 1962. He returned to duty with Force Recon, then went to Vietnam assigned to SOG (as advisor to a team of RVN Marines based at Camp Black Rock a.k.a. My Khe). He was with SOG approximately May 1965 to November 1967. But there have been credible charges by B.G. Burkett (see Stolen Valor, by B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley) that the book is seriously fictionalized.

Ray Hildreth and Charles W. Sasser, Hill 488. New York: Pocket Books, 2003. xix, 359 pp. On the night of June 15-16, 1966, an 18-man platoon of C Company, 1st Recon Battalion was attacked by greatly superior VC and PAVN forces on Hill 488 (Nui Vu Hill) about 34 km west of Tam Ky, during Operation Kansas. The platoon leader, Gunnery Sergeant Jimmie E. Howard, won the Medal of Honor for the action. Hildreth was a participant in the battle. Some names have been changed, and some conversations and scenes have been reconstructed.

Rob Honzell, Sr., M.S., First Person: Combat PTSD., 2008. 195 pp. Covers Honzell's service in Marine recon unit, and his later life.

Sergeant Major Maurice A. Jacques and Major Bruce H. Norton, Sergeant Major, U.S. Marines. New York: Ivy, 1995. xiii, 464 pp. A substantial portion of the book deals with Jacques' three tours in Vietnam, mostly with First Force Recon, beginning 1965 and ending January 1970.

R.R. Keene, "So Doc, You Wanna Be in Recon?" Leatherneck, LXXXIV:10 (October 2001), pp. 50-55. Story of Robert G. Buehl and Edward Henry Jr., hospital corpsmen who volunteered in 1968 to serve with the 1st Recon Battalion.

R.R. Keene, "Straight Reconnaissance: The Best Assignment in 'the Corps, Bar None". Leatherneck, LXXXV:3 (March 2002), pp. 38-43. Marines who served in Vietnam with the 1st Recon Battalion.

R.R. Keene, "Hill 119 in the 'Nam: The Night Recon Called In 'Guns-A-Go-Go'." Leatherneck, LXXXVI:1 (January 2003), pp. 30-34. Hill 119, about 25 miles south of Danang, had the Thu Bon River Basin and Goi Noi Island to its north, the Arizona Territory to its west, and Alligator Lake to its southwest. The title of the article refers to an incident in August 1969.

Lt. Col. Alex Lee, Force Recon Command: A Special Marine Unit in Vietnam, 1969-1970. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1995. xxxii, 254 pp. Foreword by Gen. Alfred M. Gray. Lee commanded the Third Force Recon Company, northern I Corps, 1969-70.

J. Boyd MorningStorm, The American Indian Warrior Today: Native Americans in Modern U.S. Warfare. Manhattan, Kansas: Sunflower University Press, 2004. 144 pp. MorningStorm, a Menominee, served 1966-67 in the USMC 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. The seven others in the book were in wars from WWII to Desert Storm.

Bruce H. Norton, Force Recon Diary, 1969. New York: Ivy Books, 1991. Norton was a Navy hospital corpsman who somehow became the leader of a team of the Marine Corps 3d Force Recon Company.

Bruce H. Norton, Force Recon Diary, 1970. New York: Ivy Books, 1992. Sequel to the above, covering Norton's service in the 1st Force Recon Company.

Bruce H. Norton, Force Recon Diary, 1969-1970. Military Book Club, 1992. The two volumes above combined into one.

Bruce H. Norton, ed., Stingray.  New York: Ballantine, 2000. 357 pp. Much of the book is excerpts from the various volumes of U.S. Marines in Vietnam, which are listed under  U.S. Marine Corps Publications.

Dr. Bill Peters, First Force Recon Company: Sunrise at Midnight. New York: Ivy, 1999. xiv, 238 pp. Peters, a Marine Lieutenant, served in Vietnam from mid 1969 to early 1970, with 1st Force Recon Company.

John R. Rhodes, Rejoice or Cry: Diary of a Recon Marine, Vietnam 1967-1968. Danbury, CT: Economy Printing, 1996. 219 pp. Rhodes was in the 3d Recon Battalion.

Lawrence C. Vetter, Jr., Never without Heroes: Marine Third Reconnaissance Battalion in Vietnam, 1965-70. New York: Ivy, 1996. 370 pp. Vetter served as a platoon and patrol leader in the battalion for seven months in 1966.

Francis J. West, Jr., "Stingray '70," Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute, November 1969, pp. 27-37. Actually a discussion of (and strong endorsement of) operations of small strike teams in general, including Navy SEALs and Army patrol units, not just the Marine Force Recon units operating under the name "Stingray."

Ron Yerman, Lead, Follow, or Get the Hell Out of the Way. New York: Vantage Press, 1997. viii, 156 pp. 3d Force Recon Company.

Paul R. Young, First Recon—Second to None: A Marine Reconnaissance Battalion, 1967–68. New York: Ivy, 1992. 2LT Young served from January 1967 to January 1968.

Marine Reconnaissance Unit Documents

The Virtual Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech University has placed online a considerable variety of reports from Marine reconnaissance units. The listing that follows is probably incomplete:


See also U.S. Marines

See also Marine Corps Snipers

See also U.S. Marine Corps Publications

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Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017, 2019, Edwin E. Moise. This document may be reproduced only by permission. Revised June 28, 2019.