Books on Agent Orange Dioxin and the Vietnam War
Herbicidal Warfare: The RANCH HAND Project in Vietnam
By: Paul Frederick Cecil
Publisher: New York : Praeger, 1986.
Pages: 302 pages
Publication: Hardback / 3/18/1986
ISBN: 0-275-92007-0 | 9780275920074
Operation Ranch Hand.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 — Chemical warfare.
Herbicides — War use.
Operation Ranch Hand, 1962-1971.
Vietnam War, Chemical warfare, United States, History, Operation Ranch Hand
Herbicidal Warfare is an organizational history of the 12th Air Commando Squadron that flew the airplanes that dropped chemical defoliants on South Vietnam. Cecil, a retired USAF officer, not only flew on the missions, but was able to gain access to official papers and to interview more than 1,200 veterans for his work.
The book describes the operations of `Ranch Hand,’i.e., how chemicals were loaded, stored, and used during the war. Concluding chapters discount reports that the herbicides, particularly Agent Orange, might have caused permanent damage to the Vietnamese environment or to the American personnel who handled it.
Cecil asserts that the herbicide program worked, and that many American lives were saved by reducing the area available to the enemy in which to hide…. A handy reference to one narrow aspect of the Vietnam War; no other work covers this disputatious policy so completely or objectively. College, university, and public libraries.
A carefully done, technologically oriented account of America’s `environmental war’ in Vietnam in its two basic forms: defoliation for security reasons and crop destruction for food denial purposes. This is likely to be a definitive work.
Cecil flew 1,000 missions in the Ranch Hand Project and probably knows more than anyone about actual herbicidal air operations during the Vietnam War. Extensive appendix on sources and bibliography.
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