“It’s not easy to stay alive with a $1,000 bounty on your head.”
In 1967, a bullet cost thirteen cents, and no one gave Uncle Sam a bigger bang for his buck than the 5th Marine Regiment Sniper Platoon. So feared were these lethal marksmen that the Viet Cong offered huge rewards for killing them. Now noted Vietnam author John J. Culbertson, a former 5th Marine sniper himself, presents the riveting true stories of young Americans who fought with bolt rifles and bounties on their heads during the fiercest combat of the war, from 1967 through the desperate Tet battle for Hue in early ’68.
In spotter/shooter pairs, sniper teams accompanied battle-hardened Marine rifle companies like the 2/5 on patrols and combat missions. Whether fighting their way out of a Viet Cong “kill zone” or battling superior numbers of NVA crack troops, the sniper teams were at the cutting edge in the art of jungle warfare, showing the patience, stealth, combat marksmanship, and raw courage that made the unit the most decorated regimental sniper platoon in the Vietnam War. Harrowing and unforgettable, these accounts pay tribute to the heroes who made the greatest sacrifice of all–and leave no doubt that among 5th Marine snipers uncommon valor was truly a common virtue.
From the Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: 13 Cent Killers: The 5th Marine Snipers in Vietnam|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Random House, Inc.|
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13 Cent Killers: The 5th Marine Snipers in Vietnam
In 1966 the Marines were landing in ever greater numbers and establishing the giant supply and marshaling yards in Da Nang, Chu Lai, and to the north in Phu Bai, with firebases spread along the Demilitarized Zone at Camp Carrol, Con Thien, the Rockpile, and Gio Linh. South of the DMZ, combat bases had been built out of ARVN camps at An Hoa and Hoi An, southwest and south of Da Nang, respectively. The combat patrols and major offensive operations were fielded against the Viet Cong's guerrilla units and their main forces. The North Vietnamese Army had yet to make any significant presence in the rice basins of the south, but as 1967 approached, the NVA began a major push into South Vietnam across the DMZ from inside Cambodia and Laos through the meandering roads and trails along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Several major infantry battles had been fought with the Communist forces, such as Operation Starlight and Operation Prairie, and they dealt the Viet Cong and NVA forces severe defeats. However, by 1967 the Communists were learning better techniques to fight their American nemesis.
The Viet Cong main force units blended into the surrounding Vietnamese population by day. By night, the Viet Cong became active, setting booby traps and mines and employing set ambushes with hit and run tactics against the stronger and better-armed American forces. The villagers, whether willingly or by coercive intimidation and torture, gave the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese accurate intelligence about U.S. Marine troop movements and patrols. The Viet Cong main forces made detailed plans to ambush and destroy U.S. units that were patrolling hostile regions of I Corps and had no clue as to VC movements ...