Running Recon

A Photo Journey with SOG Special Ops Along the Ho Chi Minh Trail

by Frank Greco


448 pages, 8.5" x 11"
700+photos, color maps

  • Description
  • Author Bio
  • Chapter List
Running Recon reflects both the author's experiences in the top-secret Studies and Observation Group (SOG) from April 1969 to April 1970 and the collective experiences of SOG veterans in general. What sets it apart from other Vietnam books is its wealth of more than 700 photographs, many never before published, from the author's personal collection and those of his fellow SOG veterans.

Frank Greco had these photos because after running recon with Command and Control Central (CCC) for eight months, he was put in charge of CCC's photo lab at Kontum. His duties included developing photos taken by the teams on their cross-border missions and taking photos on aerial reconnaissance missions. When a fire destroyed the lab during his last days in Vietnam, he rescued hundreds of photos, and when he returned to the States in 1970 he brought them home. If he had not, they would have been destroyed by government order in 1972 when SOG was disbanded, and an irreplaceable historic resource would have been lost forever.

Through these photos, firsthand accounts by SOG veterans and now declassified top-secret documents, Greco shows what it was like to run highly classified, extremely dangerous cross-border recon missions along the Ho Chi Minh Trail into Laos and Cambodia. Color maps marked with operations and locations help readers follow the action of the CCC recon teams and the larger Hatchet Forces. New details and photos of SOG's best-known mission, Operation Tailwind, are also included.

Running Recon is sure to appeal to anyone with an interest in SOG, the Vietnam War, special operations or military history in general
Frank Greco served in SOG from 1969–1970 in Command and Control Central as part of Recon Team Colorado. He and his wife live in a coastal community, where he pursues a number of different activities and interests. This is his first book. For more information, check out his web site.
1) Going to Vietnam
2) The Genesis of SOG and OP-35
3) The Ho Chi Minh Trail
4) Command and Control Central
5) Across the Fence
6) Recon Team Colorado
7) The Photo Lab
8) Documented Missions
9) Bright Light Duty at Dak To
10) Hatchet Force
11) The Greatest Air Support in the World
12) Life on the Compound
13) Snapper Attack, April 1, 1970
14) Back in the World… and Years Later
15) The Presidential Unit Citation
16) The Wall
17) Sampling of Declassified Weekly SOG Reports
18) Reminiscences of Sgt. Joe Parnar, CCC Medic
19) Notebook Pages from Huey Pilot Capt. Vaughn "Bobby" Ross
20) FAC and the Green Beret