But this campaign of aerial terror did not defeat either the Viet Cong guerillas or the North Vietnamese Army. In January 1968 the Viet Cong launched the Tet Offensive, timed to accompany the start of the Vietnamese New Year. For once, the Viet Cong emerged from their tunnels to openly attack major South Vietnamese targets, including the American Embassy in Saigon.
John Colone had joined the army in June 1966. He went through rigorous training in the fetid swamplands and mountainous terrain of Georgia and Tennessee. After that he was shipped out to Vietnam in October 1967, landing at Cam Ranh Bay, just south of Nha Trang.
And it was during the intense fighting of the Tet Offensive that John Colone’s Vietnam story unfolded. Now a sergeant with the 506th Airborne Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, known as the “Screaming Eagles,” Colone had an extraordinary experience that would stay with him for the rest of his life.