David Donovan arrived in the Mekong Delta in April 1969, a raw and idealistic first lieutenant fresh from Special Warfare School. He was assigned to an isolated four-man team operating alone in a remote rural area of the Delta which was sent there to co-operate with village chiefs and local militia against the Vietcong. As chief commanding officer of his unit Donovan led patrol and combat missions, and he vividly re-creates the suspense of night ambushes and the high-pitched emotion of surprise attacks and man-to-man warfare in the swamps and jungles of the Delta. But Donovan was also involved with the lives of the local people in a role beyond that of military advisor, and ultimately he was inducted into a Vietnamese brotherhood - the honorary 'warrior kings'.
David Donovan is the pen name of a former captain in the United States Army. He is now an associate professor at the University of Virginia.