The Son Tay Raid: American POWs in Vietnam Were Not Forgotten
John Gargus. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2007. 332 pp. Illus. Maps. Notes. Bib. Index. $29.95.
In May 1970, aerial photos revealed what looked like a POW camp near the town of Son Tay, 23 miles west of Hanoi. Soon thereafter, U.S. military leaders began developing an intricate scheme to rescue the more than 60 Americans thought to be held captive there.
Because the camp was in the heart of North Vietnam and heavily defended by various antiaircraft sites, the need for meticulous planning and execution was apparent. The Joint Chiefs of Staff approved the rescue operation the following July. It was to be conducted by a task group consisting of volunteers from Army and Air Force special operations forces.