Capturing Skunk Alpha: A Barrio Sailor's Journey in Vietnam (Peace and Conflict) (Paperback)

Capturing Skunk Alpha: A Barrio Sailor's Journey in Vietnam (Peace and Conflict) By Raúl Herrera, John E. O'Neill (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Raúl Herrera, John E. O'Neill (Foreword by)
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On the evening of July 11, 1967, a Navy surveillance
aircraft spotted a suspicious trawler in international waters heading toward
the Quang Ngai coast of South Vietnam. While the ship tried to appear innocuous
on its deck, Saigon quickly identified it as an enemy gunrunner, codenamed
Skunk Alpha.

A four-seaborne intercept task force was established and
formed a barrier inside South Vietnam's twelve-mile territorial boundary. As the
enemy ship ignored all orders to surrender and neared the Sa Ky River at the
tip of the Batangan Peninsula, Swift Boat PCF-79 was ordered to take the
trawler under fire. What followed was ship-to-ship combat action not seen since
World War II. Capturing Skunk Alpha relates
that breathtaking military encounter to readers for the first time.

But Capturing Skunk
is also the tale of one sailor's journey to the deck of PCF-79. Two
years earlier, Ra l Herrera was growing up on the west side of San Antonio, Texas,
when he answered the call to duty and joined the US Navy. Ra l was assigned to
PCF Crew Training and joined a ragtag six-man Swift Boat crew with a mission to
prevent the infiltration of resupply ships from North Vietnam.

The brave sailors who
steered into harm's way in war-torn Vietnam would keep more than ninety tons of
ammunition and supplies from the Viet Cong and NVA forces. The Viet Cong would
post a bounty on PCF-79; Premier Nguyễn Cao Kỳ and Chief of State Nguyễn Văn
Thiệu would congratulate and decorate them for their heroism. Capturing Skunk Alpha provides an
eyewitness account of a pivotal moment in Navy operations while also
chronicling one sailor's unlikely journey from barrio adolescence to perilous
combat action on the high seas.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781682831731
ISBN-10: 1682831736
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Publication Date: June 27th, 2023
Pages: 312
Language: English
Series: Peace and Conflict