Battle for the Central Highlands: A Special Forces Story by George DooleyBattle for the Central Highlands: A Special Forces Story by George Dooley

Battle for the Central Highlands: A Special Forces Story

byGeorge Dooley

Mass Market Paperback | September 5, 2000

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THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS--WHERE DANGER REIGNED SUPREME AND DEATH WAS A CONSTANT COMPANION

The fighting was fierce in the Central Highlands where Green Beret George Dooley served with elite Special Forces A-teams, training the rugged Montagnards in guerrilla warfare and accompanying them on patrols. The Viet Cong and NVA were entrenched in the sparsely populated Highlands, where towering mountains gave them the ruthless upper hand.

The missions Dooley led, often in enemy territory, provided a steady diet of sniping, ambushes, booby traps, and mines. As the war escalated, Dooley commanded his own A-team, and the battles against the large numbers of crack NVA troops became even more desperate and deadly. By then military command routinely assigned anything-but-routine missions to Special Forces and expected them to meet their objectives. BATTLE FOR THE CENTRAL HIGHLANDS details the unbelievable valor of these legendary American warriors. . . .
George E. Dooley was born, raised, and educated in Chicago, Illinois.  At 17 he quit college to join the army, where he served as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division.  He was selected for Special Forces training, and in February 1967, when he was a Sergeant First Class (E-7) he was commissioned as a second lieutenant.  While s...
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Title:Battle for the Central Highlands: A Special Forces StoryFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 6.88 × 4.25 × 0.63 inPublished:September 5, 2000Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0804119392

ISBN - 13:9780804119399

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Battle for the central highlands The title does not fit the story very little is talked about the battle and what is he is not even involved in the battles if anything the title should be changed to represent what the book ls about which really isn't about the battle for the central highlands
Date published: 2014-10-29

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What Am I Going to BeWhen I Grow Up?I saw the North Vietnamese lieutenant standing in the wood line to myright. The man in front of me saw him that same moment and instinctivelyfired, hitting the lieutenant in the abdomen. The lieutenant had a grimaceon his face and was bending slightly forward when I finished the job byputting an M-16 round through his left cheek and blowing his brains outthe back of his head. Still operating on instinct and training, I switchedto full automatic and sprayed left and right into the wood line, killinganother North Vietnamese soldier. In five seconds in the summer of 1966, Ihad my first confirmed kills in Vietnam. Fortunately, the two NorthVietnamese Army (NVA) soldiers were the only two enemy there, and thecontact ended.Along with a Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) company of mostlyJarai montagnards, we were finding our way out of the operational area toCung Son, a Special Forces camp in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, whenthe contact occurred. I was one of two Americans with the montagnardcompany, both of us Special Forces men, sometimes known as Green Berets.Ed Sprague was the other American, and we've been lifelong friends since1965.Walking as third man in the point squad of the company, I was following acompass azimuth to the northeast, checking my map against the terrain tothe front, when the NVA lieutenant appeared. Although busy with the mapand compass, I let them both fall as I fired. The compass was tied to mypatrol harness and the map wasn't going anywhere. But there's more to thestory.Ten days before, Ed Sprague and I accompanied the CIDG company from TraiMai Linh, our base camp in the Central Highlands, to Cung Son, anotherSpecial Forces camp about fifty miles south. The U.S. 1st Cavalry Divisionhad found an NVA regiment to the south of Cung Son and wanted help fromthe Vietnamese army to hold blocking positions around the NVA. TheVietnamese army had declined to assist, and the tasking was given toSpecial Forces. Three montagnard CIDG companies were flown out of threedifferent camps to help with the cordon operation. Supposedly, as we andother units of the 1st Cavalry held the NVA in the encirclement, the NVAwould be hunted and killed within the cordon.It proved to be a boring ten days, with the montagnards anxious to operateagainst the NVA but limited to local security around the blocking positionthat we occupied. Occasionally, we'd spot an NVA or two and fire on them,but that was all. The 1st Cavalry brought B-52 strikes onto the supposedlytrapped NVA, but as was often the case throughout the war, the NVA seemedto have vanished. Nobody thought about turning the tables: the montagnardsought to have been the hunters looking for the NVA, and the 1st CavalryDivision should have occupied the blocking positions. But that was theVietnam War in 1966.When we were inserted, we spent the rest of the day and night with a rifleplatoon from the 1st Cavalry. It was interesting to contrast our twototally different ways of operating. They carried extra water infive-gallon cans; we found water throughout the land and purified it withiodine tablets before drinking it. The U.S. troops carried heavier loadsthan we did, but seldom traveled as far as we normally went. They weremuch more dependent on helicopter resupply, getting at least one resupplyeach day; we usually went three days before needing a resupply. Not thatthe U.S. troops were better or worse than we were; they were justdifferent in how they approached the job.While we sat in our blocking position, the Cav maneuvered within thecordon. They found base camps, caches, and very few enemy. Periodically,air strikes would bomb targets, but there just weren't very many enemyaround, although the signs and indicators were abundant.Perhaps the officers of the 1st Cavalry Division were frustrated at theirlack of success. Maybe there were other reasons. But as anxious as the Cavwas to fly us from Mai Linh to Cung Son and then by helicopter out to thecordon position, they just couldn't seem to find the helicopters to fly usback to Cung Son when the operation ended. So we walked out, withoutbenefit of maps for most of the area. It didn't matter; we had radios, afully armed and aggressive montagnardCIDG company, and the NVA just weren't as good as we were.So what was a young American man from the south side of Chicago doing in aplace like this? I was where I ought to have been. By virtue of custom,history, and birth, I was needed in Vietnam in 1966, and that's where Iwas.I was born in the back-of-the-yards neighborhood of Chicago, in the areasouth of the Union Stock Yards on Chicago's south side. In the summer, awelcome cooling wind from the north would bring the smell of the yards,but that was a given. In books that I've read since, the neighborhood hasbeen described as tough and poor, but I don't remember it that way. Theneighborhood that I remember was full of ethnic Irish, German, Polish, anda few other groups. Sure, you had to have a few fights as a young boy andteenager, but I didn't know that that was terribly abnormal.