During the Vietnam War, MACVSOG was a highly-classified, U.S. joint-service organisation that consisted of personnel from Army Special Forces, the Air Force, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance units, and the CIA. This secret organisation was committed to action in Southeast Asia even before the major build-up of U.S. forces in 1965 and also fielded an element of South Vietnamese military personnel, indigenous Montagnards, ethnic Chinese Nungs, and Taiwanese pilots in its varied reconnaissance, naval, air, and agent operations.
MACVSOG was without doubt the most elite U.S. unit to participate in the Vietnam War, since its operational mandate authorised its missions to take place"over the fence" in North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, where most other American units were forbidden to go. During its nine-year existence it managed to participate in most of the significant operations and incidents of the conflict. MACVSOG was there during the Gulf of Tonkin incidents, during air operations over North Vietnam, the Tet Offensive, the secret bombing of and ground incursion into Cambodia, Operation Lam Son 719, the Green Beret murder case, the Easter Invasion, the Phoenix Program, and the Son Tay POW Raid.
About the Author
Robert M. Gillespie comes from an extended family of military veterans and is a life-long student of military affairs and history. He holds a BA and an MA in history from Clemson University.