True Faith and Allegiance
An American Paratrooper and the 1972 Battle for An Loc
Narrated by Brian E. Smith
Approximately 7 hours
Book published by The University of Alabama Press
True Faith and Allegiance: An American Paratrooper and the 1972 Battle for An Loc is an intimate and compelling account of the most brutal infantry warfare and is also a critique of the mishandling of America’s departure from Indochina. An unintended consequence of Washington’s stampede to get out of Indochina was an upsurge in combat on a scale not seen before in Vietnam, peaking with the Easter Offensive of 1972.
The battle for An Loc, a key component in the North Vietnamese attempt to overwhelm the South, swept Mike McDermott, then the senior advisor to an elite South Vietnamese paratrooper battalion, into some of the most horrific close-quarters fighting of the war. His in-the-trenches account is augmented by detailed descriptions of a user’s perspective on the parachute resupply, tactical airpower, and B-52 strikes that allowed the An Loc garrison to survive.
True Faith and Allegiance is a riveting recounting of the prism through which a Vietnam veteran views the war as he continues to live with the aftereffects of life-altering experiences in the service of his country.
Mike McDermott is a retired infantry colonel and one of the most highly decorated soldiers of the Vietnam War—two Distinguished Service Crosses, the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars for Valor, the Purple Heart, and some thirty other awards and decorations—and served four years in combat with U.S. and Vietnamese paratrooper units.
“Having myself spent two months on the ground in An Loc during the Easter Offensive, Mike McDermott’s personal and heartfelt narrative brought back the searing experience of that battle in vivid and moving detail. I cannot recommend this book strongly enough.”
—James H. Willbanks, Vietnam veteran and author of The Battle of An Loc, Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War and The Tet Offensive: A Concise History
“I found it more interesting and more informative than most Vietnam memoirs. Partly, this is because it deals with a period of the war about which not much has been written. Partly, it is because McDermott thinks and writes clearly, and deals with significant issues. He describes the nature of the fighting at An Loc—the forces and weapons, how they were used or misused, and what impact they had—with great clarity.”
—Edwin E. Moïse, author of The A to Z of the Vietnam War and Modern China: A History