Cold War Navy SEAL: My Story of Che Guevara, War in the Congo, and the Communist Threat in Africa

Cold War Navy SEAL: My Story of Che Guevara, War in the Congo, and the Communist Threat in Africa

by James M. Hawes, Mary Ann Koenig

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Overview

For the first time, a Navy SEAL tells the story of the US's clandestine operations in North Vietnam and the Congo during the Cold War.

Sometime in 1965, James Hawes landed in the Congo with cash stuffed in his socks, morphine in his bag, and a basic understanding of his mission: recruit a mercenary navy and suppress the Soviet- and Chinese-backed rebels engaged in guerilla movements against a pro-Western government. He knew the United States must preserve deniability, so he would be abandoned in any life-threatening situation; he did not know that Che Guevara attempting to export his revolution a few miles away.

Cold War Navy SEAL gives unprecedented insight into a clandestine chapter in US history through the experiences of Hawes, a distinguished Navy frogman and later a CIA contractor. His journey began as an officer in the newly-formed SEAL Team 2, which then led him to Vietnam in 1964 to train hit-and-run boat teams who ran clandestine raids into North Vietnam. Those raids directly instigated the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. The CIA tapped Hawes to deploy to the Congo, where he would be tasked with creating and leading a paramilitary navy on Lake Tanganyika to disrupt guerilla action in the country. According to the US government, he did not, and could not, exist; he was on his own, 1400 miles from his closest allies, with only periodic letters via air-drop as communication. Hawes recalls recruiting and managing some of the most dangerous mercenaries in Africa, battling rebels with a crew of anti-Castro Cuban exiles, and learning what the rest of the intelligence world was dying to know: the location of Che Guevara.

In vivid detail that rivals any action movie, Hawes describes how he and his team discovered Guevara leading the communist rebels on the other side and eventually forced him from the country, accomplishing a seemingly impossible mission. Complete with never-before-seen photographs and interviews with fellow operatives in the Congo, Cold War Navy SEAL is an unblinking look at a portion of Cold War history never before told.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510734197
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 32,933
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Mary Ann Koenig is a writer and filmmaker with experience across a variety of media platforms. She's directed, written and produced the documentary, A Bond Unbroken The 'Why' of Minh, the story of Vietnam War-era Navy SEALs and a reunion with their combat interpreter 45 years later. She has written for the Los Angeles Times and KOST Radio in Los Angeles, and currently works as a journalist and correspondent for TCPalm Newsweekly (a regional USA Today publication) covering veterans stories, from Iwo Jima Marines and USS Intrepid sailors in the Pacific during WWII, to Iraq and Afghanistan ground troops. She has done numerous oral histories with veterans at the VA hospital in Bronx, New York, where she has served as a volunteer for over eight years, and has written for VAnguard Magazine, the VA's national publication.
James M. Hawes completed BUD/S in 1963 and received orders to the newly formed SEAL Team 2. Hawes subsequently volunteered for duty in Vietnam and became one of the first SEAL officers permanently assigned there as part of CIA's OpPlan 34-A, governing covert operations into North Vietnam. That led to his clandestine CIA mission to build and command a mercenary navy in the Congo in 1965-66. After several years working for the Agency, he attended Harvard, receiving his MBA in 1971. He finally settled in Asia, living there for 34 years and pioneering a variety of business enterprises, including specialized shipping and commercial real estate. Hawes currently lives near San Antonio, Texas, and is a consultant for a variety of new venture companies.
Mary Ann Koenig is a writer and filmmaker with experience across a variety of media platforms. She's directed, written and produced the documentary, A Bond Unbroken The 'Why' of Minh, the story of Vietnam War-era Navy SEALs and a reunion with their combat interpreter 45 years later. She has written for the Los Angeles Times and KOST Radio in Los Angeles, and currently works as a journalist and correspondent for TCPalm Newsweekly (a regional USA Today publication) covering veterans stories, from Iwo Jima Marines and USS Intrepid sailors in the Pacific during WWII, to Iraq and Afghanistan ground troops. She has done numerous oral histories with veterans at the VA hospital in Bronx, New York, where she has served as a volunteer for over eight years, and has written for VAnguard Magazine, the VA's national publication.

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