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Combat Talons in Vietnam: Recovering a Covert Special Ops CrewJohn Gargus, Texas A&M University Press, 2017, $35

A personal account from mission planner John Gargus, Combat Talons in Vietnam recounts the first use of C-130s and the one nighttime mission that left 11 American crewmembers missing. For over 30 years, the fate of the crew of this classified mission remained unknown. In the late 1990s, with the wartime records becoming declassified, Gargus began to research and inquire about the failed flight that had come to haunt him. 

Gargus’ journey to find peace not only for himself, but for the families of those 11 men spanned many years, yet ultimately lead to a measure of closure for both. Combat Talons in Vietnam is a moving insider’s view of the  covert war within Vietnam and the lengths a soldier will go to to bring his friends home.