Ron Zaczek Interview – Rescue of Recon Team Breaker
Ron Zaczek and I [ Robert Skinder] had a conversation regarding his struggle with PTSD which resulted from his service as a UH-1E crew chief in VMO-3. His condition and the therapy resulted in his classic book of the Vietnam Helicopter war, Farewell darkness. In the book, Ron revealed that among other events, the PTSD resulted from the rescue of a 3rd Recon Team named “Breaker,” attempted in a Huey slick. Early in the interview Ron stated, “We got three Marines out alive. We left the bodies of three Marines and a Corpsman behind. I’ve never forgiven myself for leaving them behind, even in death. Every Marine knows what I mean.” He also made it apparent in the book that the three Marines that they got out would most likely not survive. I suggested to Ron that we do this follow up interview based on recent developments.
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