Archive for May 2022
I am delighted to announce a new documentary film project is underway in association with the Naval Helicopter Association Historical Society. No Warrior Left Behind: The Untold Story of HC-7 is the first Vietnam War project I have undertaken, but I have wanted to write and direct a Vietnam War film for a long time. This project is perfect for me as it highlights courage and sacrifice in a naval squadron whose story is not well known.
The Story in Brief:
By September 1967 when HC-7 was established, Vietnam was fast becoming the “helicopter war.” It is the defining mode of transport and image that remains in the minds of most Americans today. These birds brought men into battle and carried them home.
The role of HC-7 was CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) and the task was not for the faint of heart. The Navy lost an average of two SAR aircraft for every three aircrews rescued and one SAR crewman killed or captured for every two aircrews rescued. Many more rescues were attempted than succeeded.
Undaunted by those odds, aviators of HC-7 performed their duties with courage and determination. They knew what was at stake. A captured American pilot faced torture, isolation, and many times death at the hands of the fanatical North Vietnamese.
With the passage of time, we are losing these naval veterans, the survivors, and their stories. No Warrior Left Behind preserves the inspiring tales of a combat rescue squadron whose sole purpose and mission were to bring our warriors back home.
More about the book:
On June 19, 1864, just off the coast of France, one of the most dramatic naval battles in history took place. On a clear day with windswept skies, the dreaded Confederate raider Alabama faced the Union warship Kearsarge in an all-or-nothing fight to the finish, the outcome of which would effectively end the threat of the Confederacy on the high seas.
Authors Phil Keith and Tom Clavin introduce some of the crucial but historically overlooked players, including John Winslow, captain of the USS Kearsarge, as well as Raphael Semmes, captain of the CSS Alabama. Readers will sail aboard the Kearsarge as Winslow embarks for Europe with a set of simple orders from the secretary of the navy: "Travel to the uttermost ends of the earth, if necessary, to find and destroy the Alabama."
Winslow pursued Semmes in a spectacular fourteen-month chase over international waters, culminating in what would become the climactic sea battle of the Civil War.
Wednesday May 11th join me for a conversation with author Jared Frederick. Jared is a history instructor at Penn State Altoona and hosts the popular Youtube Channel Reel History. His new book is called Fierce Valor: The True Story of Ronald Speirs and his Band of Brothers.