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Osprey Elite 55 : Marine Recon 1940-1990

In 1976 Maj. James Capers Jr. welcomed new men and their families into a force reconnaissance company. 'Only the most capable Marines are selected for this duty due to rigid mental and physical demands. A very thorough screening of each applicant is conducted... to test alertness and endurance. The result is a small elite unit with highly qualified Marines who are considered the best in the world.'. Indicative of the standards demanded and achieved was S.Sgt. Jimmie E. Howard's reconnaissance platoon on patrol in Vietnam in June 1966. After two days and nights of controlling artillery and air strikes on Communist forces from Hill 488, the platoon was surrounded and attacked by a battalion-size enemy force. The 18 men held out overnight in an epic small-unit action - a 'fight to remember' - in which six of their number were killed and the rest wounded. By dawn the next day the survivors were left with only eight rounds of ammunition, knives and entrenching tools. Howard earned the Medal of Honor, one of six awarded to Recon Marines in Vietnam - and he was the only one who lived to wear it. Ex-Marine Charles D. Melson examines the history, equipment and insignia of the Marine's amphibious and ground long-range patrol reconnaissance specialists in this book which contains a wealth of photographs and 12 full page colour plates by Paul Hannon.

    Contents
  • The Commander's Eyes & Ears
  • Organization & Operations - World War II
  • The Korean War
  • The Vietnam War
  • The 1970s & 1980s
  • The Gulf War
  • Uniforms & Accoutrements
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Elite


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