Two 36-foot boats crept through the darkness in the Rung Sat Special Zone-long known as the "Forest of Assassins." It was a maze of waterways, all laced together through thick forests of
mangrove, where pirates and other outlaws had always lurked-now it belonged to the Vietcong.
Because their boss was Lieutenant Kenneth MacLeod, the Sailors who manned these two small craft had come to call themselves "MacLeod's Navy" in tribute to the popular TV comedy series McHale's Navy. There were a few parallels-such as their unconventional logistics methods they had euphemistically dubbed "MacLeod's Midnight Marine Supply Company"-but not much was funny about what they were doing.
At 0515, three contacts glowed bright green on the lead boat's radar screen. The engines throttled up from a monotonous rumble to a full-throated growl, and a pair of spotlights mounted to the twin-50s up forward winked on. In the bright glare, three motorized sampans suddenly appeared-at the very least they were curfew violators, at worst. . . .