Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam War of One Green Beret's Heroic Mission To Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines

Crown. 2015. 304p. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9780804139519. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780804139526. HIST
In 1968, during a period when American forces were forbidden to be in Cambodia, a 12-man team of Special Forces and indigenous fighters was inserted into a clearing near the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The area turned out to house a major North Vietnamese base, and a firefight ensued. Staff Sgt. Roy Benavidez jumped into one of the helicopters sent to extract the beleaguered survivors. He organized a defense, was wounded several times, and ultimately ensured all survivors were transported out of Cambodia. Blehm (Fearless; The Only Thing Worth Dying For) relates Benavidez's life story from bracero to combat hero, using him as the touch point for the ill-fated mission. After 13 years, the sergeant was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. While the index is helpful, the lack of bibliography or sources listed means that conversations from the 1960s are related verbatim.
VERDICT This stirring story of heroism and sacrifice will appeal to readers interested in the Vietnam War and military history in general. [See Prepub Alert, 10/13/14.]
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