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Code-Name Bright Light: The Untold Story of U.S. POW Rescue Efforts During the Vietnam War Mass Market Paperback – Dec 1 1998


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (Dec 1 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440226503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440226505
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.7 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 263 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #954,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Tucker Fahling on March 1 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is going t be great because my Grandpa's in it, not oonly is he mentoined in this book he's a POW saver.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Code Name Bright Light is a fascinating and highly revealing look into rescue operations in Vietnam performed under the auspices of the Joint Personnel Recovery Center (JPRC) during the longest war ever fought by the United States.

In a six year period, more than 125 rescue operations would be launched to recover U.S. prisoners of war. Attempts to retrieve U.S. servicemen would also be tried by ransoms and prisoner exchanges. The latter methods were minimally successful at best due to the dismal cooperation from the North Vietnamese government and their unwillingness to recognize humanitarian overtures. The actual rescue attempts themselves were outstanding examples of bravery, courage, and audacity in the most harrowing of situation but were also mired in endless problems.

Rescue teams would suffer the indignity of inter-service rivalries and competition, mediocre intelligence information, numerous bureaucratic breakdowns, compromised missions, and bad luck in many cases. Much of this would lead to slow response times to initiate raids on POW compounds which in turn produced many near misses when trying to extricate POW's. On countless occasions, rescue personnel would assault POW camps only to find that prisoners and camp cadre had relocated to new areas only hours before. Although some missions conducted were successful, they would also be bittersweet at the same time. The JPRC teams, during their tenure in Vietnam, were able to rescue hundreds of South Vietnamese POW's but were unsuccessful in ever freeing any living Americans held in confinement.

Leaving no stone unturned, geographically speaking, George J.
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Code Name Bright Light is a fascinating and highly revealing look into rescue operations in Vietnam performed under the auspices of the Joint Personnel Recovery Center (JPRC) during the longest war ever fought by the United States.
In a six year period, more than 125 rescue operations would be launched to recover U.S. prisoners of war. Attempts to retrieve U.S. servicemen would also be tried by ransoms and prisoner exchanges. The latter methods were minimally successful at best due to the dismal cooperation from the North Vietnamese government and their unwillingness to recognize humanitarian overtures. The actual rescue attempts themselves were outstanding examples of bravery, courage, and audacity in the most harrowing of situation but were also mired in endless problems.
Rescue teams would suffer the indignity of inter-service rivalries and competition, mediocre intelligence information, numerous bureaucratic breakdowns, compromised missions, and bad luck in many cases. Much of this would lead to slow response times to initiate raids on POW compounds which in turn produced many near misses when trying to extricate POW's. On countless occasions, rescue personnel would assault POW camps only to find that prisoners and camp cadre had relocated to new areas only hours before. Although some missions conducted were successful, they would also be bittersweet at the same time. The JPRC teams, during their tenure in Vietnam, were able to rescue hundreds of South Vietnamese POW's but were unsuccessful in ever freeing any living Americans held in confinement.
Leaving no stone unturned, geographically speaking, George J.
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Format: Hardcover
Jay Veith, while working outside the bureaucratic infrastructure said to be "dedicated" to the PW-MIA issue, has made a major contribution to the families of those missing by compiling this study of wartime efforts to recover our men in captivity. His dedication in making the facts available to the public continues today, and serves as an excellent example to our civil servants, who could do more were they of a mind to do so.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you don't know much about how American efforts regarding POWs were handled in Vietnam, you'll sure know a lot after reading this book. The most dramatic takeaway from this book is the level of bureacracy that kept more lives from being saved. Excellent research, but many times the writing was weak. Frequently, instead of a carefully drawn out tale of a particular POW episode, the author would right away "reveal the punchline." Before even reading the next few pages, then, you knew the outcome, which kind of ruined it. But very well researched.
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By ra doyle on Dec 8 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book rests on bedrock research and is superb. I however think that Amb. Sullivan is treated unfairly as his mission was to keep Laos out of the conflict as best he could and unfortunetly this sometimes conflicted with the rescue missions.
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Format: Hardcover
Ethicists have debated since time immemorial the question: how many lives is one life worth? Rather than a simple mathematical problem (1=1), this is the question which dogged the men tasked with rescuing U.S. prisoners of war during the Vietnam conflict.
There has been the nasty suspicion lingering for years that the U.S. government decided that the math didn't quite work out and so left our POWs in Southeast Asia to meet their fates alone. Congressional hearings have been held, various recovery missions have been launched, and a cottage industry in conspiracy theory has sprung up in the decades since Operation Homecoming in 1973.
George Veith blows the lid off much of the secrecy surrounding U.S. efforts to recover POWs in Vietnam and thus evaporates much of the conspiracy theories with "Codename: Bright Light." Despite assertions to the contrary, U.S. special forces made substantial and repeated efforts to free POWs during the war. The main obstacles to repatriation were: the constant relocation of prisoners, the intransigence of the North Vietnamese and their American supporters, the failure of intelligence on POW matters, bureaucratic snafus, and the extremely difficult terrain and climate which made escape a dicey proposition at best. As a result, the Bright Light operation failed to rescue a single American POW during its entire course.
Despite these failures, the men supporting Bright Light gave their all to bring our men home and had a substantive impact upon repatriation. Yet most of the surviving members of these teams believe to this day that men were left behind---specifically, those captured in Laos, none of whom returned at Homecoming.
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