Author Archives : Andre le Gallo

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In Laos with the CIA

When the mountain top village of Boum Long came into view, I looked for the signal telling us that it was safe to land, that H’mong forces had not been overrun by North Vietnamese troops. Black-clad villagers had now reached the short dirt… Read more

Forgotten Heroes: The Secret War

The Ravens lost pilots in Laos, the majority of whom based out of Long Tieng. Air America carried out most of the air rescue ops and often intercepted mayday radio calls in real time. They usually immediately vectored the coordinates of a distress… Read more

Forgotten Heroes: Flight of the Ravens

I first saw Long Tieng when I walked the first Special Guerrilla Unit, forty strong, carrying M-1 rifles, 3.5 rocket launchers, and ammunition to what was then a small village. It was the start of a process that transformed Long Tieng into the Hmong… Read more

Forgotten Heroes: Going to The Action

When the director of the CIA read off the list of over one hundred officers killed in the line of duty and honored by a star on the Wall of Honor in back of him at the CIA’s Langley headquarters, the name of a friend and classmate spiked my… Read more

Behind the Iron Curtain with Woody Allen

To prepare for a tour in Bucharest, where unauthorized contact with a foreigner breached the country’s espionage laws, the text of which was posted on public buildings, my wife and I took a post graduate course in counter surveillance.  We learned… Read more

What Me Worry? The Creed of Laos

Vientiane in the sixties was an Asian Wild West dominated by the American presence.  In the day Americans ran the airport and spent their TDY money in the gold shops.  Gold was $35 an ounce! Unfortunately, I was never a shopper.  At night the… Read more