PROJECT OMEGA: EYE OF THE BEAST
James E. Acre
Book Review by Robert L. Noe
PROJECT OMEGA, EYE OF THE BEAST
Mr. Acre writes about his tour of duty as a elite member
of America's Heroic Secret Commando?s. Because of the strict requirements not
to write or maintain diaries, the book is written from his uncanny memory some
30 years after the fact. The names of some of the individuals have been long
forgotten, but not the events.
For anyone with a desire to know what it was like, the book is required reading. As I read the book, it took me back in time and place as if it were yesterday.
The book begins with his first day as a young Special Forces Soldier in Nha Trang, Vietnam. The author relates in vivid detail of how he was selected to be a member of a Top Secret organization that operated deep behind enemy lines, of the daily activities of these exceptional soldiers lives, living on the edge, their development of friendships, interaction with the civilian population, sexual exploits, their perspectives on relationships and interactions with superior NCO and Officers. He is able to share his inner feelings of loneliness, fear,
Gentlemen and Ernie,
I am specifically referring to the portion of the book relating to a BDA on an Arclight strike and the assault on our radio relay O1‑E by VNAF Skyraiders. You have two incidents confused together. In particular, you stated in the book that "the Major in charge of the operation was relieved". That is not true. I was the Major in charge of that operation, both when
the Sky raiders attacked and all BDA's on Arclights in
that AO. I was the Quan Loi launch site commander at the time. Far from
being relieved , I was commended by Chief MAC‑SOG for my actions.
I know that we were not supposed to keep logs or diaries,
and that can explain some of the misrepresentations in your book. I have no
objection to the rest of the book, those are your recollections. Those were
your values at the time.
However, when talking about other people it is usually
smart to get your facts straight before opening your mouth, let alone
publishing a book. It would not have been difficult to contact the people
involved for the true story.
Hardcore & SOANet:
It is a terrible thing to feel that one has been wrongfully
accused I am sorry that you feel this way. Note that the text says the major
was given a reprimand, not relieved. There is quite a difference. But that
probably doesn't help you much.
After we were extracted I was angry because FAC had been
pulled off us for another insertion. We had been promised constant FAC during
the entire operation. You know how long those BDAs were expected to last. We
were hit and had a man wounded, apparently in the middle of an aborted ambush,
and I couldn't raise the FAC. Then we ran for our lives and still no FAC. When
When I expressed my anger about no FAC, I was told that the
major in charge was given a reprimand. Maybe they were just trying to placate
me. Maybe a reprimand was given that you didn't know about. I never thought it
was the Launch Site Commander because he would have known better. I always
figured the Launch Site Commander had been superceded by some desk jockey from
Saigon or somewhere. That is why I used the words "in charge of the operation".
I know what I was told. If it wasn't true they shouldn't have told me that just
to pacify me. I don't expect you to sympathize, but publishing this book was no
small burden of conscience, to tell the truth as I saw it. I wish you'd have
talked to me about it at SOAR. I hope that someone else remembers this incident
and can help get to the bottom of it. The only people that matter are other SOG
personnel and since you feel that you have been smeared, perhaps someone else
can help clear it up. Or, perhaps this forum will clear it up and folks will
know that the person
Hey Bruce and Ernie,
While you two haggle out the intra SOG particulars, please
tell the rest of us about how/why VNAF fighters attacked the O1E.