A Vietnam memoir, notable mainly for the gritty detail it offers on one man's tour of combat duty during the Khe Sanh siege,...

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LIMA-6: A Marine Company Commander in Vietnam June 1967--January 1968

A Vietnam memoir, notable mainly for the gritty detail it offers on one man's tour of combat duty during the Khe Sanh siege, a campaign that the author's prolific collaborator has ably chronicled (Khe Sanh, p. 673). A career Marine (who retired in mid-1988 as a full colonel after 26 years of active service in the Corps), Camp provides a straightforward, if often rueful, log of his six months as commander of L Company (Lima-6), 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines. Following a mercifully quiet period of adjustment, the unblooded captain and his men began to trust one another on patrol as well as elsewhere around the front lines. Camp largely eschews commenting on big-picture strategies or home-front conflicts, in part because he had precious little idea of what they might be while trying to survive the workaday terrors and tedium of life under fire in the highlands south of the DMZ. The author does not shrink, though, from settling scores with old enemies whose ranks encompass ungifted intelligence officers, rear-echelon superiors whose idiocies undermined battlefield morale, and whatever dolts fouled up his R&R leave in Honolulu, plus grudgingly admired NVA regulars. Nor does he shy from recounting the harrowing realities of tactical air strikes, high-ground assaults, reconnaissance in poorly charted territories, close calls, and body counts. Particularly horrifying is his allusive account of shelling's cumulative effect on the scout dogs billeted at Khe Sanh. An honorable and dead-honest narrative that, however, fails to add substantively to a well-documented record. The text includes photographs and maps (not seen).

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 1989

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1989