Bridge at Dong Ha

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Published:August 19, 1996
By John Grider Miller (Author)

THE BRIDGE AT DONG HA is also Availble in an Audio Edition from Audible via Amazon.

This is the true story of the legendary Vietnam War hero John Ripley, who braved intense enemy fire to destroy a strategic bridge and stall a major North Vietnamese invasion into the South in April 1972. Told by a fellow Marine, the account lays bare Ripley's innermost thoughts as he rigged 500 pounds of explosives by hand-walking the beams beneath the bridge, crimped detonators with his teeth, and raced the burning fuses back to shore, thus saving his comrades from certain death.

First published in 1989, the book has broad appeal as a riveting tale of adventure. But John Miller has taken this daring act of heroism beyond the specifics of time and place to provide new insights into the nature of war and warriors, characteristics that have remained unchanged for centuries and will remain valid for generations to come. It has been on the Marine Corps Commandant's recommended reading list since 1990. Newly illustrated by Col. Charles Waterhouse, USMCR (Ret.).

List Price: $19.95
Member Price: $15.96
Product Details
  • Subject: Vietnam War
  • Paperback : 216 pages
  • Illustrations: 19 illustrations; 1 map
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (August 19, 1996)
  • ISBN-10: 155750587X
  • ISBN-13: 9781557505873
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 oz

John Miller, a retired Marine colonel, is the author of The Bridge at Dong Ha and The CoVans: U.S. Marine Advisors in Vietnam. Following his 1985 retirement from the Marine Corps, he became Managing Editor of Proceedings and Naval History, a post he held until 2000.

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Customer Reviews

1 Review
Average Customer Reviews
4.00 Stars
The Bridge at Dong Ha
Monday, July 13, 2009
By: e. chamberlain (eo2 mcb62 1969-70)
I was a young man working with other SeaBee to build the Bridge at Dong Ha in the summer of 1969. I had read in the New York Times about Col. Ripley's death and had finally located the book about his heroism that fatefull time in 1972. I enjoyed the story, so fortunately shared with us through the writtings of Mr. Miller. Now, thinking back all those years to when I helped assemble, transport and place the steel "stringers" that Col. Ripley blew up, I am glad to have just a small part of this man's truely remarkable career. I would love to share with Mr. Miller the one picture I have left, of me, at the foot of those beams Col. Ripley moved across under fire. I think the NVA were watching the entire time we were building the bridge. I think the NVA knew that someday the bridge would indeed be their's. I have often commented to anyone interested enough to ask me what I did in the war; to say that because we were SeaBees, and building things that the NVA and the South Vietnamese wanted and needed, they left us alone. That is why, I think, we had so few casualties in our two deployments to the I Corp during 1969 and 1970. The one little fact or statement made by Vice Admiral Stockdale and Mr. Miller about Col. Ripley crossing the Dong Ha bridge five years before 1972, can not be right. We did not complete the bridge until 1969, but the old French bridge was there. Col. Ripley could have walked across that bridge five years prior to the Easter Offensive. I hate to say anything to detract from this man's truley remarkable accomplishments. I would recommend him for our nation's highest decoration after reading the whole story. I am going to read the other books by Mr. Miller about his Vietnam experiences. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who needs to hear about our fighting men and their dedication to keeping our country free. God bless you Col. John Ripley, a true American Hero.


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