I recently found this photo circulating some forums, on its face it’s pretty cool looking – in fact it’s said to have been on the cover of Navy Times during the Vietnam War. Pictured is Lieutenant Commander Donald D. Sheppard, USN, who went on to write several books after the war.
One such book, which is now standard reading for naval officers, was Riverine: Brown Water Sailor in the Delta 1967.
Interestingly, one of the Amazon.com reviewers (Thomas P. Stiller) implies to have known Sheppard and said, “The history surrounding Don Sheppard is incorrect. Don was actually the Commander of RIVRON 5, Section 51, part of Task Force 116.1, the most decorated unit in Viet Nam. Don did not usually participate in patrols. Every time he was on my boat PBR-39 was for a photo op. One time he was on the cover of the Navy Times with a flaming arrow starting hutches on fire with this primitive device…bull…the guy not in the picture was behind me using a flame thrower, starting the fires. This is one of several instances for photo ops, the rest I will not indicate.”
Despite the apparent controversy surrounding the images – it’s still pretty cool.