You-are-there stories of ambushes and patrols on the Mekong in the Vietnam War
Developed specifically for the Vietnam War (and made famous by the 2004 presidential campaign), swift boats were versatile craft “big enough to outrun anything they couldn’t outfight” but too small to handle even a moderate ocean chop, too loud to sneak up on anyone, and too flimsy to withstand the mildest of rocket attacks. This made more difficult an already tough mission: navigating coastal waters for ships and sampans smuggling contraband to the Viet Cong, disrupting enemy supply lines on the rivers and canals of the Mekong Delta, and inserting SEALs behind enemy lines. The stories in this book cover the swift boats’ early years, which saw search-and-inspect operations in Vietnam’s coastal waters, and their later years, when the swifties’ mission shifted to the Mekong Delta’s labyrinth of 3,000 miles of rivers, streams, and canals. This is an intimate, exciting oral history of swift boats at war in Vietnam.
GUY GUGLIOTTA, a former swift boat officer, worked for more than forty years as correspondent and columnist for UPI, the Miami Herald, and the Washington Post. He is coauthor of Kings of Cocaine and author of Freedom’s Cap. Gugliotta was awarded three Bronze Stars. He lives in New York City.
JOHN YEOMAN received three Bronze Stars as a swift boat skipper in Vietnam. He lives in Hawaii.
NEVA SULLAWAY is former publisher of the Journal of Pacific Maritime History. She lives near San Diego.