About “To the Sound of the Guns” – January 31, 1968, the “Year of the Monkey” in Vietnam began with traditional family celebrations called “Tet,” honoring the incoming Lunar New Year. Suddenly, in the early morning hours confusion elevated throughout South Vietnam. That festive mood quickly deteriorated into chaos, deadly street fighting, and mortal combat in key cities… Little did the Marines and Corpsmen of 1st Battalion, 27th Marines training in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii know they would soon be engaged in fighting an enemy determined to kill them.
Compiled and authored by one of them, this book documents the historic journey of an undermanned maneuver Battalion that was thrust into combat from the reserve and their participation in the Hue City area during the Tet Offensive and its later deployment to Operation Allen Brook, which was one of the larger multi-battalion operations in 1968. As a result of countless combat engagements, the Marines of 1/27 lost one hundred and twelve men (KIA). Awarded almost 700 Purple Hearts (WIA), these Marines and Corpsmen rallied to their WWII battle cry, “To the Sound of the Guns” during their seven months temporary assignment in-country. These fine men, both living, and the dead came from the heartland of America… Sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands, called upon to serve as had their fathers and unselfishly gave their all, in obedience to duty, as they understood it…
~ by Grady T. Birdsong, Corporal USMC
Reviews: “…book is a combination of well-researched operational history and a moving and deeply personal account… A highly recommended addition to the record of the U.S. Marines in the Vietnam War.” ~ Col Len Blasiol, USMC (Ret), USMC Historian, Coauthor, U.S. Marines in Vietnam: The Defining Year 1968, Published by, The History and Museums Division, HQ, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington D. C.
“Well-researched, well-organized, and interesting to read, “To the Sound of the Guns,” may well become one of the definitive narratives of the Marine involvement in the Vietnam War.” ~ Bob Loring, Reviewer in Leatherneck: Magazine of the Marines – October 2018, Books Reviewed section, Volume 101, Issue 10.
“By combining multiple points of view from participants, Birdsong creates a clearly defined picture of the role of the unit for its seven months in the war.” ~ Henry Zeybel, Reviewer in The VVA Veteran, Vietnam Veterans of America Magazine, Books in Review, June 7, 2018
Leatherneck Magazine: excellent military history volume…well-conceived and well-executed…contains many previously unpublished photos of the 1/27 Marines from their combat tour. Studded with well-conceived and reliable maps…a treasure trove of Vietnam War statics. Includes an exceptionally helpful glossary of military terms, acronyms and an Honor Roll of the battalion’s war fighting casualties
…may well become one of the definitive narratives of the Marine involvement in the Vietnam War.
The VVA Veteran: crammed with personalities and actions of all ranks…Birdsong’s Marine training persists, and he continues to fulfill needs of the Corps fifty years after the fact…I admire him and his books. ~ Henry Zeybel
About Grady Birdsong: A retired Telecom & Data professional lives with his wife, Pamela in the Denver area where they enjoy their grandchildren and is a multiple award-winning author of two other works: “A Fortunate Passage: Two Families’ Journey into the Heartland and The Miracle Workers of South Boulder Road: Healing the Signature Wounds of War. Read and listen to Grady talk about The Miracle Workers of South Boulder Road: Healing the Signature Wounds of War.
Accepted into the Archives at The History and Museums Division, HQ USMC, Quantico, VA.
Available on the shelf at the Colfax, LoDo, and Aspen Grove Tattered Cover bookstores