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An Accurate Portrayal of Jerry Daniel's Life

by Chuck Sheley |

The following is a review by Ken Hessel (MYC-58) of Gayle Morrison's recently-released book (Hog's Exit) on Jerry Daniels:

I worked with Jerry both as a Smokejumper and as a covert operative in Laos for five years. What Gayle Morrison writes in her book is true in all respects and relates an untold story about the Laotian a portion of the Vietnam War.

Essentially, a small cadre covert operatives, many of whom were former Smokejumpers, organized and fought with General Vang Pao's Hmong army in Laos. This action, which lasted almost 20 years, resulted in permanently tying up a division of NVA troops in Laos thereby preventing their participation in Vietnam.

Eight former jumpers lost their lives or went MIA in Laos during this time. Jerry died in Bangkok in the aftermath. The overall result was a !0% casualty rate for the Laotian Smokejumper contingent.

Ken Sisler (NCSB-57), another Smokejumper who died in Laos while participating in a covert "military" operation, won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions. Jerry Daniels and nine former Smokejumpers paid dearly in a losing effort over there.