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The Coast Guard at War: Vietnam, 1965-1975 Hardcover – March, 1997
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combat. Captain Larzelere, as a young officer, commanded patrol boats in Vietnam so is able to bring his perspective to this book on the Vietnam conflict.
Larzelere has done a great service to those who wish to study how this nation's
smallest armed force performed during the long and divisive war. The small amount of publicity the U.S. Coast Guard received from their efforts in Southeast Asia came from the patrol boats and high endurance cutters. In this account, however, the author covers all the activities, from explosive loading details, shipping advisors and aids to navigation duties. Furthermore, what makes the account even more valuable is Larzelere's interviews with many of the U.S. Coast Guardsmen who served in Vietnam, although this tends to be mostly from officers, there are very few enlisted men interviewed.
On the debit side, this is an uncritical history. Readers will believe no one made
any mistakes while serving in Vietnam, nor is there any discussion about how the war affected
the service as a whole, or even what lessons were learned during the war. These demurs are the reason for the rating I have assigned to this book.
These caveats aside, Captain Larzelere's account is very readable and should be read
by anyone interested in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard or the Vietnam War. It will be a
standard book on the history of the service.