“Backtracking in Brown Water”

Retracing Life on Mekong Delta River Patrols
By Rolland E. Kidder


Rolly Kidder, a PBR sailor, has just published a marvelous book in which he revisits Vietnam and then interviews the families of three friends who were lost in Vietnam in 1969. The three include a Chief Petty Officer from River Division 535, Eldon Tozer, an Army Captain, Robert Olson and a Lieutenant (j.g.) from River Assault Division 132, Jim Rost. This book is a must read for anybody who was on the rivers in any capacity or who wants to know more about what we really did.

Rolly draws from his journal that he kept while in-country and recreates the frustrations, the fear, the pride, and the lighter moments of SERE training, the rivers and the whole Vietnam experience. His PBR division was assigned with the River Assault boats at Vinh Gia and in conversations with me has nothing but compliments about the “rag boats.”

The following portion is a review of the book, which is on the back cover:

“Rolly Kidder has delivered a brilliant chronicle of the Vietnam conflict in the Mekong Delta with which many may not be familiar. Forty years later, he revisited Vietnam and began to track down the families of three men who had been killed, and evaluate the impact of the loss on those families. . . Kidder’s recounting of his visits with the families of the three servicemen is a poignant reminder of the continuing grief, as well as pride, extant amongst many and is a fitting memorial to the Army and Riverine heroes and an honor to those who mourn them.”

The book, Backtracking in Brown Water by Rolland Kidder
is available at: Amazon.com in hardcover, paperback and ebook editions.