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
Blehm writes an excellent story about Roy Benavidez and the rescue of a Green Beret mission in Cambodia on May 2nd of 1968. Blehm brings the characters to life, or back to life. We’re given a rare look into the world of Special Operations during the Vietnam War. There are times when the story drags and there are lots of details, but this just sets up the final battle and rescue. I wish Blehm had explained why it was so important to keep our involvement in Cambodia a secret. Most of the North Vietnamese Army was in Cambodia with Russian and Chinese equipment. It seemed like it was only a secret to the US citizen. Everyone else knew. The books shows the US solder was heroic even if our leadership wasn’t.
“You can’t help but have the feeling that there will come a generation of men . . . who will look at old pictures of helicopters and say, You’ve got to be kidding,” said ABC news correspondent Harry Reasoner, reporting from Vietnam in the late sixties. “The thing is, helicopters are different from airplanes. An airplane by its nature wants to fly, and if not interfered with too strongly by unusual events or incompetent piloting, it will fly.
“A helicopter does not want to fly. It is maintained in the air by a variety of forces and controls working in opposition to each other. And if there is any disturbance in this delicate balance, the helicopter stops flying-immediately and disastrously.
“There is no such thing as a gliding helicopter.
“That’s why being a helicopter pilot is so different from being an airplane pilot, and why in generality airplane pilots are open, clear-eyed, buoyant extroverts. And helicopter pilots are brooders, introspective anticipators of trouble.
“They know if something bad has not happened, it is about to.” page 130