This is the true story of the legendary Vietnam War hero John Ripley, who braved intense enemy fire to destroy a strategic bridge and stall a major North Vietnamese invasion into the South in April 1972. Told by a fellow Marine, the account lays bare Ripley’s innermost thoughts as he rigged 500 pounds of explosives by hand-walking the beams beneath the bridge, crimped detonators with his teeth, and raced the burning fuses back to shore, thus saving his comrades from certain death.
First published in 1989, the book has broad appeal as a riveting tale of adventure. But John Miller has taken this daring act of heroism beyond the specifics of time and place to provide new insights into the nature of war and warriors, characteristics that have remained unchanged for centuries and will remain valid for generations to come. It has been on the Marine Corps Commandant’s recommended reading list since 1990. Newly illustrated by Col. Charles Waterhouse, USMCR (Ret.).
John Miller, a retired Marine colonel, is the author of The Bridge at Dong Ha and The CoVans: U.S. Marine Advisors in Vietnam. Following his 1985 retirement from the Marine Corps, he became Managing Editor of Proceedings and Naval History, a post he held until 2000.