Unlikely Warriors

Front Cover

In early May 1961, a U.S. military aircraft taxied toward a well-guarded terminal building. The plane slowed to a halt; steps were maneuvered up to its side, and the door was pulled open. The tropical night air was heavy and dank, and the moon shone dimly through high thin clouds. On board the aircraft were ninety-two members of a specially selected team. The men were dressed in indistinguishable dark suits with white shirts and dark ties, and each man carried a new red U.S. diplomatic passport inside his breast pocket. The men held copies of their orders and records in identical brown Manila envelopes, and each man's medical records were stamped If injured or killed in combat, report as training accident in the Philippines.

In such clandestine fashion, the first fully operational U.S. military unit arrived at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in South Vietnam. The unit was so highly classified even its name was top-secret. It was given a codename, a cover identity to hide the true nature of its mission. The unit's operation was housed in a heavily-guarded compound near Saigon, and within two days of its arrival, Phase I was implemented. Its operatives were intercepting Viet Cong manual Morse communications, analyzing it for the intelligence it contained and passing the information to the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group-Vietnam. The Army Security Agency was on duty.


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About the author (2013)

Does your family have a secret? Our family did, a secret that would not reveal itself for over forty years, one that would change our lives and family compass forever. The so-called sins of the father can afflict several generations, that is unless the act is revealed, dealt with, and understood with love and compassion. Like Prince Charming awakening Sleeping Beauty with a kiss, sometimes an act can cause or stir a dormant hostility and hatred that far surpasses the act itself and that too carries over to the next generation . . . This book chronicles one family's journey into the abyss of deception, greed, loss, and delusional entitlements. Perhaps this story will mirror your own family or someone that you know. You are not alone. Our mother had many hurts and heartaches from long ago, pain that would separate her love for the elder sister from the rest of us three siblings, a wound that she chose to fester, leaving her family in a wake of disbelief and disillusion. The nightingales are sobbing in the orchards of our mothers, And hearts that we broke long ago have long been breaking others. by W. H. Auden of "Master and Boatswain

Gary B. Blackburn is a native Iowan and served with the U.S. Air Force Security Service from April 1961 to November 1964. Gary studied Mandarin Chinese at the Institute of Far Eastern Languages, Yale University, followed by assignments to the Joint Sobe Processing Center, Torii Station, Okinawa, working for NSA, and the 6987th Security Group, Shu Lin Kou Air Station, Taiwan.

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