For some, Hill 488 was just another landmark in the jungles of Vietnam. For the eighteen men of Charlie Company, it was a last stand—this is the stirring combat memoir written by Ray Hildreth, one of the unit's survivors.
On June 13, 1966, men of the 1st Recon Battalion, 1st Marine Division were stationed on Hill 488. Before the week was over, they would fight the battle that would make them the most highly decorated small unit in the entire history of the U.S. military, winning a Congressional Medal of Honor, four Navy Crosses, thirteen Silver Stars, and eighteen Purple Hearts—some of them posthumously.
During the early evening of June 15, a battalion of hardened North Vietnamese regulars and Viet Cong—outnumbering the Americans 25-to-1—threw everything they had at the sixteen Marines and two Navy corpsmen for the rest of that terror-filled night. Every man who held the hill was either killed or wounded defending the ground with unbelievable courage and unflagging determination—even as reinforcements were on the way.
All they had to do was make it until dawn...
An amazing story about unlikely heroes in a desperate battle. Highly recommended!
The book was written in such a manner as to effectively put me, the reader, in the midst of the lives of the men who participated in the battle for Hill 488 before, during and after the fight. I’m thankful for Mr Hildreth and Sasser for putting something together that helps those of us who were never rerquired to participate in such an extraordinary event to better understand the courageous efforts of the men who were there…i was in tears over the loss of such young men and will, for the rest of my days stand in awe of their fortitude, commitment to each other and the sacrifices they made that night in June 1966 and what i suspect have been some difficult times that night created for them thereafter. They are all heroes in my mind and it would do well for many of today’s citizens of this country to read this book.
An Amazing Story
Unlike many other Nam books this one is very well written. As an old Vietnam Vet there were times when I had tears in my eyes, this is an incredible story of one of the most incredible battles of the war, any war, the proof is in the citations.