• Saving Bravo

  • The Greatest Rescue Mission in Navy SEAL History
  • By: Stephan Talty
  • Narrated by: Henry Strozier
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,440 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The untold story of the most important rescue mission not just of the Vietnam War, but the entire Cold War: one American aviator who knew our most important secrets crashed behind enemy lines and was sought by the entire North Vietnamese and Russian military machines. One Navy SEAL and his Vietnamese partner had to sneak past them all to save him.  

At the height of the Vietnam War, few American airmen are more valuable than Lt. Colonel Gene Hambleton. His memory is filled with highly classified information, and he knows secrets about cutting-edge missile technology the Soviets and North Vietnamese badly want. When Hambleton is shot down behind enemy lines in the midst of North Vietnam's Easter Offensive, US forces place the entire war on hold to save a single man hiding among 30,000 enemy troops and tanks. Airborne rescue missions fail, killing 11 Americans. 

Finally, Navy SEAL Thomas Norris and his Vietnamese guide, Nguyen Van Kiet, volunteer to go after him on foot. Gliding past hundreds of enemy soldiers, it takes them days to reach a starving Hambleton, who, guided toward his rescuers via improvised radio code, is barely alive, starved, and hallucinating after 11 days on the run.  

In this deeply researched untold story, award-winning author Stephan Talty describes the extraordinary mission that led Hambleton to safety. Drawing from dozens of interviews and access to unpublished papers, Saving Bravo is the riveting story of one of the greatest rescue missions in the history of the Special Forces.  

©2018 Stephan Talty (P)2018 Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Saving Bravo

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

What a story!

Hollywood didn’t do this story justice! Once you hear this story and how it went down you will never watch Hollywood screw up another story again. This story is full of what is at the heart of the American fighting man. Dedication & service to each other to the point of making the ultimate sacrifice! When the whole world has gone crazy it’s up to the individual person to finish the job. Whatever the people thought of this mission they did it to the best of their ability and out of the insane mission a legend was born. These are people that make me proud of my country. It’s a good reminder on why I stand and feel pride when I see the American Flag.

86 people found this helpful

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Harrowing story and heroic people!

If you have read the book Lone Survivor or know about it than this book Saving Bravo reminded me of that in so many ways expect in this book we have Airmen down behind enemy lines and at times more than one in Vietnam.

This is a captavating read one you will not want to put down it's one of those you lose sleep over. The only strange thing is throughout the book the authors occasionally use of the word "dudes" I didn't care for that it took me out of the story I suggest authors not use it the way it was used here in a military history novel but was a small thing over all. The narrator was new to me but he fit the tone of the book and flowed well so narration was great. Highly recommend

56 people found this helpful

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Great story

this book is a must-read. I'm glad I listened to this book instead of only watching the Hollywood movie bat 21. The movie I personally believe that the desgrace to the men and women who risk their lives to rescue Gene hambleton.

31 people found this helpful

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Great Navy SEAL story

This true story is about the rescue of a US aviator behind enemy lines late in the Vietnam war. It is a must listen. Henry Strozier is an ideal narrator for this book.

13 people found this helpful

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Can’t put it down

To a Vietnam era vet this story is hard to put down. If it wasn’t documented I would have thought it was fiction. This story about the bravery our service members showed for a fellow service member and their dedication to bringing him home was very inspiring. It was an excellent reminder to the honor and valor of all those who choose to serve. Thanks for writing this book!

8 people found this helpful

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Excellent account of the rescue!

The book started slow and midway through the book I contemplated 'quiting' but based on reviews, I stuck it out and glad that I did. The last 25% of the book is well worth the slower first part of the book.

It is a book that makes you think for many reasons - all of the lives impacted to save 'one' man but more important - why they wouldn't quit!

Additionally, the book dives into the lives of the rescue team after the rescue and what happened to them and their families.

As a man who 'missed' the draft by a few short years, this brought a different side of the story I heard as a college student attending school with Vietnam vets - A few who were seriously impacted by what is now a known ailment of war and similar situations.

I highly recommend this book if you want to hear a different side of the Vietnam war - especially if you grew up during or slightly after it.

5 people found this helpful

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A must read

Amazing story, characters, and narration. What a journey. Not a fan of war stories, but I am so glad I picked this book up.

3 people found this helpful

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Read as an indictment of the air force

The story of the rescue of an airman shot down in the middle of a major enemy offensive who, because of his knowledge of classified material, never should have been on a mission to begin with, and how 11 other airmen, hundreds of US and allied soldiers and who knows how many civilians are killed as a result. This is a story of abject stupidity and gross indifference to human life where (spoiler alert) the rescued guy goes home to play golf and thank Jesus for still being alive. I have to wonder if everybody he and the air force brass got killed are also thanking Jesus. Whoever enabled that fiasco should have been sent to prison for life, including the jerk navigator. "Thank Jesus" indeed. F'ing disgusting.

3 people found this helpful

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All the blanks filled in!

Amazing detail and a fantastic story that fills in the blanks that Hollywood glossed over.

3 people found this helpful

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All soldiers needs to hear this story.

Norris is the ideal of a US soldier, and Gene is the epitome of heart and will to survive.

3 people found this helpful