Unlikely Warriors

The Army Security Agency's Secret War in Vietnam 1961-1973

by Gary B. Blackburn & Lonnie M. Long



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 5/14/2013

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 490
ISBN : 9781475990577
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 490
ISBN : 9781475990584
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 490
ISBN : 9781475990591

About the Book

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.

About the Author

Lonnie M. Long was born in North Carolina and served with the Army Security Agency from August 1962 to November 1965. After completing ASA training at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, Lonnie served with the 76th Special Operations Unit, Shu Lin Kou Air Station, Taiwan. In 1964, he volunteered for duty in Vietnam and began a fifteen-month tour with the 3rd Radio Research Unit, Aviation Section, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon.

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.