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Tango 1-1 (Hardback)

9th Infantry Division LRPs in the Vietnam Delta

Colour Books Military > Pre-WWI > American History Military > Regimental History

By Jim Thayer
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 168
Illustrations: 20
ISBN: 9781526758583
Published: 5th March 2020



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LRPs were all volunteers. They were in the spine-tingling, brain-twisting, nerve-wracking business of Long Range Patrolling. They varied in age from 18 to 30. These men operated in precision movements, like walking through a jungle quietly and being able to tell whether a man or an animal is moving through the brush without seeing the cause of movement. They could sit in an ambush for hours without moving a muscle except to ease the safety off the automatic weapon in their hand at the first sign of trouble. These men were good because they had to be to survive. Called LRP’s for short, they were despised, respected, admired and sometimes thought to be a little short on brains by those who watched from the sidelines as a team started out on another mission to seek out the enemy. They were men who can take a baby or small child in their arms and make them stop crying. They shared their last smoke, last ration of food, last canteen of water. They were kind in some ways, deadly in others. They were men who believed in their country, freedom, and fellow men. They were a new kind of soldier in a new type of warfare.

LRPs stand out in a crowd of soldiers. It's not just their tiger fatigues but the way they walk, talk and stand. They were proud warriors because they were members of the Long Range Patrol.

Thayer’s Tango 1–1 honors the unique role LRRP and Ranger units played in the war while humanizing the men who fought and died under often desperate and trying conditions.

Arms History

...full of the details and insights that only someone who has actually been in combat can relate.

Military Heritage, Fall 2020

A very good read.

Windscreen, The Military Vehicle Trust - December 2020

An absorbing account of special forces operations by Airborne Rangers of the Long Range Patrol in the Vietnam Delta. The use of troops behind enemy lines is not new, gong back to ancient times, but the Vietnam War saw some new twists and turns as the US attempted to wage war against a low tech enemy, using high tech equipment. – Highly Recommended.

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Tango 1-1 is more than a personal memoir, but a homage to Thayer’s unit and the men he fought alongside.

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GoodReads, Robert Neil Smith

The book describes his war stories and military experience in an elite, basically a different story than the ordinary "grunt" of the US infantry in Vietnam. There are no particular reflections on the reason for the war, Thayer did not have the time during his time in Vietnam. But at the same time there is no particular hatred towards the enemy.

The book is thus extremely interesting for its exceptional nature in telling, with great sincerity, the experiences of a man who intensely experimented with the fighting in the Vietnam War and returned to tell his story.

Read the full Italian review here

On The Old Barbed Wire

As featured on Argunners


"Fact is stranger than fiction" and "Tango 1-1" hit the mark for me. Personal accounts are a look behind the scenes and add clarity to what I have read about of similar circumstances/events. Thank you for your service, Jim, and the efforts you put into letting the rest of us understand what Vietnam was like.

NetGalley, Allen Grew

I've read Tango 1-1 a book about the 9th Infantry Division LRPs in the Vietnam Delta by Jim Thayer. I have to thank Pen & Sword and Netgalley for making it available to me. I find it interesting reading about this conflict for some reason. This is somewhat different from most books about this war and the men who fought it. I recommend it for those interested in military history and the Vietnam war.

NetGalley, Mikael Sandeberg

This account takes the reader into the front line in Vietnam with a remarkable group of men who were proud to be warriors. The narrator takes us on patrol to jungle, forest and paddy fields and his account leaves little to the imagination. His recall is astonishing and you feel his fear, his relief, his triumph and his doubts. Overall, the enduring message is the importance of the team ethic coupled with the bravery and boldness of the LRPS. The thing that he has in common with soldiers of other eras is that reluctance to share experiences with the uninitiated. In this book he has succeeded in spanning that gap and has delivered an account that is so good you can smell the rotting vegetation, feel the damp, and gain at least some insight into the world he knew in Vietnam.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Jim Thayer

Jim Thayer served in the LRPs of the US 9th Infantry Division in 1968-69 in the war in Vietnam. He was highly decorated for his bravery in combat, (Silver Star, 3 Bronze Stars with ‘V’, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, 2 Air Combat Medals, and 3 Purple Hearts). Thayer was severely wounded in combat, but recovered and went on to a career in law enforcement after Vietnam. He sadly passed away in January 2020.

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