The soldiers in 1st Cav fought some of Vietnam’s fiercest battles—
and Chaplain Newby was there right beside them.
For grunts in Vietnam, the war was a jungle hell of sudden death, endless suffering, and supreme courage. For Chaplain Newby, it was an honor to be chosen to share it with them. In enemy-held highlands and fetid jungles, Newby regularly accompanied patrols, company-sized missions, chopper strikes, and air rescues—sharing the men’s dreams, their fears, and their dying moments.
Searing, brutally accurate, and dedicated to the truth, Claude Newby’s account of brave men fighting a tragic war captures that time in all its horror and heroism. Newby doesn’t shrink from exposing the war’s darker side; his quiet description of the murderous events that came to be known as “the Mao incident” proves that justice can prevail. Ultimately, Newby’s riveting stories reveal the tremendous valor and sacrifices of ordinary Americans facing constant danger, shattering losses, and an increasingly indifferent nation. His book is a shining tribute to those who fought, those who died, and those who came home to a country determined to forget them.
About the Author
Newby, a native of East Tennessee, enlisted in the Army in 1952. He fought his way into the infantry, only to be made a combat medic upon his arrival in Berlin, Germany--his first assignment. Nine months later he became a horse-mounted Military Policeman. He separated from the Army in 1958 and moved with his family to California, where he served for a while as a correctional officer at Alcatraz. From 1960 to 1964 he served as a police officer for the City of Ogden, Utah while attending college. In 1965, after teaching high school-level religious classes full-time for a year he was commissioned a first lieutenant, then returned to the active Army as a chaplain in January 1966. In 1993, Chaplain Newby retired, having served 33 years on active duty, including two tours with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam. The first tour, Sept. 1966 to Sept. 1967, he served with the medics (3 months) and 2-8 Cavalry (9 months). The second tour, Mar. 1969 to Mar. 1970, he served with the 1-5 Cavalry Battalion (while concurrently suporting the 2-12 Cavalry Battalion) and the 1-9 Cavalry Squadron, which included H Company 75th Rangers, the 62nd Infantry Platoon (Tracker-dog team) and various aircraft maintenance unites. Between his enlisted and commissioned years he squeezed in a year as an A-Team medic with the 19th Special Forces, Utah National Guard. He received a bachelor of science from Weber State in Ogden, Utah. He earned two master of arts degrees, the first in the field of sociology in 1974 from Long Island University, and the second in journalism from Brigham Young University in 1981. He married Helga M.A. (Raasch) in Berlin, Germany. The have seven children, six of whom are living, twenty-nine grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.