The B-52 Overture

Don Bendell, Author Dell Publishing Company $4.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-440-21138-9
This fast-paced but poorly organized war memoir covers the little-known activities at Dak Pek, an isolated corner of Vietnam inhabited by the Montagnards, mountain tribespeople who were exploited and hated by all Vietnamese, and, according to former Special Forces Captain Bendell ( Crossbow ), saved by the American Green Berets. Dak Pek served as a base for U.S. border operations into Laos; thus, the North Vietnamese and local Vietcong targeted it, eventually taking over the camp but perishing in a B-52 carpet bombing strike. Bendell's stories of combat and life at Dak Pek are dramatic, but several lack transitions--one tale of his being taken prisoner is never even resolved. Moreover, liberal use of verbatim dialogue and interior monologue is suspect. Vietnam buffs, however, may overlook these faults and glean some insights into the brave, fierce Montagnards, many of whom fought with the Americans. Bendell describes the history of the Montagnard resistance movement and confesses to childhood dreams ``about being the white man taken in by a proud tribe of warriors''; he took a Montagnard lover and now serves as an adviser to the movement. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1992
Release date: 06/01/1992
Paperback - 172 pages - 978-1-62815-107-7
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