Saturday, August 15, 2015

MAD DOG: The Legend and Truth of Jerry Shriver

Via comment by Anonymous on Symposium on the Green Berets and the Montagnards

"It's that ambush-like reception despite a B-52 strike that opens the disturbing possibility of treachery and, it turns out, it was more than a mere possibility. One year after the COSVN raid, the NSA twice intercepted enemy messages warning of imminent SOG operations which could only have come from a mole or moles in SOG headquarters. It would only be long after the war that it became clear Hanoi s Trinh Sat had penetrated SOG, inserting at least one high ranking South Vietnamese officer in SOG whose treachery killed untold Americans, including, most likely, the COSVN raiders.

I wonder what was being said by Mad Dog on the radio after his death or capture.

No one has ever said so I guess it is 'classified.'

One article stated the attack by the VC was an ambush and the enemy was very prepared.

They walked right into a trap."

 I stand humbled, every-time I post on the man.

If you read much fiction about Vietnam, or even watch movies about it, chances are you’ll frequently bump into a character who has become a stereotype of the subgenre. This stereotype was rarely, if ever, seen in film or fiction before Vietnam.

The character is eccentric on his good days; psychotic the rest of the time. He is almost oblivious to regulations, protocol, rank and military traditions. He wouldn’t last a day in a professional military force…if he wasn’t such an effective killing machine in the bush.

He is almost a super-soldier when in the field. He’s got the hearing and smell of a dog, the vision of an eagle and the lives of a cat. His instincts are far beyond Sgt. Rock’s “combat antenna.” He’s fearless in battle, probably because there’s nobody as scary as him on the battlefield. He’s rarely seen in garrison, but when he is, he’s a peacetime/rear echelon sergeant-major’s nightmare.

In short, he’s not so much a soldier as a warrior. And he’s probably as insane as the Vietnam War itself. At least he seems so to your average civilian.

Turns out this stereotype had an archetype…or prototype, if you will.

This recurring character is strikingly similar to (or perhaps a caricature of) the real-life special operators on the SOG teams and various reconnaissance projects in Vietnam. And the most legendary (and archetypal) of those operators was Jerry “Mad Dog” Shriver.

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  1. What a Guy! I've posted on him so much I'm blue in the face and still ain't got
    no satisfaction. So many unanswered questions. I wonder if he knew his last
    mission was a trap.

    1. I wouldn't think so, but he's near the top in Valhalla now.

  2. Actually I think he did know this would be the last mission.and he would not return. Somehow or another he suspected something amiss. He adored his dog and wanted
    to make sure he was taken care of in his permanent absence. Responsible, he was.
    First time he ever did this. The dog was the key.
    Like a person who plans to commit suicide will often times give away their most
    important and valued possessions.
    Some men were teasing his dog out near the woods. He approached the scene and
    did to the men the same teasing that was being dished out to the dog. He was pissed.

    1. A giant of a man, that's for sure. Certainly would be a good book/movie if they would just stick to the facts.

  3. Agreed and dig deeper for the missing links.

    1. Yes and there must be more somewhere in document or memory form.

  4. Privately, I have wondered if Mad Dog was set-up. I pondered
    the fact there was a mole; the Colonel ordered Mad Dog to
    go on leave since he had not gone on leave for, I think, two yrs.;
    the Colonel was outranked and was told Mad Dog was to stay,
    as he was needed. Did Mad Dog know too much? The massacre
    was definitely a trap and I think Mad Dog knew what was
    coming. The men watched the woods for Mad Dog's return.
    "If Mad Dog is going, I know I will come back alive."

    1. What I understand, yes. All kinds of regular citizens
      use it, some never getting a response. But I know
      by law the information requested has to be submitted;
      some have time limits.
      It had been three yrs. since Mad Dog had gone on

    2. You mean he went on leave and didn't come back to Vietnam for 3 years??

    3. No, Mad Dog had not been on any leave for three yrs.
      He was ordered to go on leave but his leave was
      rescinded and told they needed him there in Vietnam.
      And then he, probably, gets killed. All that was
      left behind where he had been standing was his rifle.
      He was captured and most likely tortured to death.
      There was a big reward for Mad Dog. A sad ending
      for a hero to all that he served with. He was
      bigger then life.

    4. I refuse to believe he was captured, but fought to the death.

  5. Off topic, sort of. Teddy Roosevelt never was suppose to
    have a MOH - he didn't deserve it - he said, “I Am Entitled to the Medal of Honor and I Want It” The War Dept. denied him
    the MOH but he had friends in high places.
    A man like Mad Dog did deserve it - he saved so many people.


    1. Thanks and at least we had Confederate General Joseph Wheeler! :)