SOG Chronicles - The Secret War in Vietnam



"The best military history is written by those who were there — those who humped a rucksack and stood shoulder to shoulder in the mud and the blood…John ‘Tilt’ Meyer and John E. Peters are two such authors — they were Special Forces.” 
Jim Donahue Special Forces Combat Veteran Former Marine, Highly Decorated in the Vietnam War.
He is the author of Mobile Guerrilla Force, Blackjack-33, and Blackjack-34. 

A Notable Quote: Black Ops told with the terrifying clarity that only one who was there can tell it.
W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV

SOG’S SECRET WAR: 1964-1972

The most secret unit of the Vietnam War, the Studies and Observation Group, formally began American-led operations against the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the Fall of 1964. Many of legendary Colonel Bull Simon’s men had actually been involved in secret operations against the Communists since before 1961, when the genesis of the Vietnam War is officially recorded. The Green Berets who fought as part of SOG’s OP 35, the Ground Studies Group, were the bravest men to ever wear the uniform.

The unit experienced an incredible casualty rate of exceeding 100 percent - meaning that at one time or another, every man serving in that unit was wounded at least once, with some having as many as eight Purple Heart medals. The heroic struggles of these men, both against a cruel and often inhuman enemy, and sadly, against an all too-often uncaring leadership, are herein documented for posterity. The veil of secrecy surrounding SOG and the war fought "across the fence" which was kept from the American public was formally lifted in April of 2001 at a quiet ceremony held at Ft. Bragg, N.C. when the unit was honored with the Presidential Unit Citation, America’s highest unit decoration.

In On The Ground: The Secret War in Vietnam, authors John S. Meyer and John Peters write of the life and death struggles of young men in the green hell of Laotian, Cambodian, North and South Vietnamese jungles and history demands that their stories be recorded. The protected need to know.

Ray Calafell
Vietnam Combat Veteran
Secretary Special Forces Association Chap. LX

"The best military history is written by those who were there and those who humped a rucksack and stood shoulder to shoulder in the mud and the blood. John "Tilt" Meyer and John E. Peters are two such authors who were Special Forces."

-- Jim Donahue Special Forces Combat Veteran
Former Marine Highly Decorated in the Vietnam War
Author of Mobile Guerrilla Force, Blackjack-33, and Blackjack-34.

Black Ops told with the terrifying clarity that only one who was there can tell it.
--W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV

For eight years, far beyond the battlefields of Vietnam and the glare of media distortions, American Green Berets fought a deadly secret war in Laos and Cambodia under the aegis of the top secret Military Assistance Command Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group, or SOG.

Go deep into the jungle with five SOG warriors surrounded by 10,000 enemy troops as they stack up the dead to build a human buttress for protection. Witness a Green Beret, shot in the back four times and left for dead, who survives to fight savagely against incredible odds to complete his missions.

Shudder as an enemy soldier touches a Green Beret's boot in the dark of night. Cringe as a Sergeant on SOG Spike Team Louisiana calls in an air strike on his team to break an enemy's wave attack. A team member dies instantly, and a Green Beret has an out-of-body experience as he watches his leg get blown off.

As the commander of SOG, I can say that "Across the Fence" accurately reflects why the secret war was hazardous for our troops and so deadly for the enemy.
--Major General John K. Singlaub (U. S. Army Ret.)

Born 19 January 1946, John Stryker Meyer entered the Army on 1 December 1966.

He completed basic training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, advanced infantry training at Ft. Gordon, Georgia, jump school at Ft. Benning, Georgia, and graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in December 1967.

After a 12-week training session in Ft. Gordon, on radio teletype, Meyer landed in South Vietnam in April 1968, and arrived at FOB 1 in Phu Bai in May 1968, where he joined Spike Team Idaho.

When FOB 1 was closed in January 1969, ST Idaho was helicoptered to FOB 4 in Da Nang, which became designated Command and Control North, CCN.

He remained on ST Idaho through the end of his tour of duty in late April.

Returned to the U.S. and was assigned to E Company in the 10th Special Forces Group at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts until October 1969, when he rejoined ST Idaho at CCN.

That tour of duty ended suddenly in April 1970 after the CCN commander refused Meyer s first request to pull his four-man team from an A Shau Valley target.

He returned to the States, completed his college education at Trenton State College, where he was editor of the school newspaper, The Signal, for two years, worked at the Trenton Times for 10 years, eight years at the San Diego Union and has been an editor at the North County Times for 10 years in Oceanside, California, where he also writes occasional columns. Meyer received his 20-year membership pin from the Special Operations Association in 2002. He and his wife Anna have five children and live in Oceanside, Ca.