The untold story of the most important rescue mission not just of the Vietnam War, but the entire Cold War: one American aviator, who knew our most important secrets, crashed behind enemy lines and risked capture by both the North Vietnamese and the Soviets. One Navy SEAL and his Vietnamese partner had to sneak past them all to save him.
At the height of the Vietnam War, few American airmen are more valuable than Lt. Colonel Gene Hambleton. His memory is filled with highly classified information that the Soviets and North Vietnamese badly want. When Hambleton is shot down in the midst of North Vietnam’s Easter Offensive, US forces place the entire war on hold to save a single man hiding amongst 30,000 enemy troops and tanks. Airborne rescue missions fail, killing eleven Americans. Finally, Navy SEAL Thomas Norris and his Vietnamese guide, Nguyen Van Kiet, volunteer to go after him on foot. Gliding past hundreds of enemy soldiers, it takes them days to reach Hambleton, who, guided toward his rescuers via improvised radio code, is barely alive, deeply malnourished, and hallucinating after eleven days on the run.
In this deeply-researched, untold story, award-winning author Stephan Talty describes the extraordinary mission that led Hambleton to safety. Drawing from dozens of interviews and access to unpublished papers, Saving Bravo is the riveting story of one of the greatest rescue missions in the history of the Special Forces.
About the Author
"A gripping true story of unbelievable courage. Talty puts a tingle at the nape of your neck and a knot of horror in the pit of your stomach." —Captain Rich Phillips, author of the New York Times bestselling A Captain's Duty
“A terrifying story of aviators shot down behind enemy lines. Saving Bravo gives us a fresh and insightful look into the chaotic rescue of Gene Hambleton deep in the jungles of Vietnam. A must read, packed with unsung heroes." —U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Michael Golembesky, New York Times bestselling author of Level Zero Heroes
"Expertly researched and brilliantly told. The biggest rescue operation of the Vietnam War depended on the will of Gene Hambleton to evade the enemy and survive - and the wills of Navy SEAL Tom Norris and Nguyen van Kiet to save him. Bravo shows us the enormous sacrifices that went into the mission. This is the stuff that heroes are made of." – Stephen Templin, New York Times bestselling author of SEAL Team Six
"Stephan Talty does it again. In Saving Bravo, Talty puts his prodigious story-telling and research skills to work on the miraculous story of Gene Hambleton, an over-the-hill flyboy who ejects out of a jet into enemy territory in Vietnam. A true story of human survival and the largest rescue mission of the Vietnam War, told so vividly you can practically hear the gunfire." —A.J. Baime, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental President
"Saving Bravo is the best account I have read of this mission. As a former SEAL I am very familiar with this legendary operation. Talty's research and writing lets you get to know the men and what they are feeling in this tribute to human perseverance. This book proves that real world SEAL ops are better than fiction." —Howard Wasdin, New York Times bestselling author of SEAL Team Six
“A taut study of the largest military search-and-rescue operation in history and the lessons learned…[Talty] shows informed appreciation for military culture and the workings of war…[with] a well-conceived work of military history dissecting a seemingly minor episode that still speaks volumes.”—Kirkus Reviews