Book Review: On Full Automatic: Surviving 13 Months in Vietnam

Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into a tree line to cover the advance of South Vietnamese ground troops in an attack on a Viet-Cong camp 18 miles north of Tay Ninh, near the Cambodian border, March 1965. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

On Full Automatic: Surviving 13 Months in Vietnam, William V. Taylor Jr. ISBN: 978-1-7366216-0-8 (Paperback), Deep Water Press.

Bill Taylor has written a novel about his time spent in Vietnam during the War/Conflict over 50 years ago.  This body of knowledge, about personal experience and the experiences of those who served with him,  took Bill three years to write.

The Vietnam War would be the last one to take place without Internet, cell and SAT phones, or SKYPE calls. Any news to and from home was in letters, you know, the communication that is now called “Snail-Mail.” The last war where the enemy could be seen in front of your face and not on a computer screen as you might send in bombs or explosives to kill In the impersonal ways that wars have been fought since this time in history.

When you read Bill’s accounts you can feel like you are also there, which may not end up being a good feeling for you…but remember so many of our young people were there and so many did not return and those who did come home would be changed forever. Thankfully, Bill Taylor survived to tell his story…..Carol

Vietnam, 1967—68.

Eighteen-year-old Marine recruit William V. Taylor, Jr. and his brother Marines are assembled into a new reaction force that is immediately tested in the fire of a bloody conflict known as Operation Beaver Cage. After a traumatic first fight, they push through back-to-back operations with little time to rest or reflect. Those who survive will return home ensnared by everlasting memories of a real but entirely surreal nightmare.

Now, after more than 50 years of holding everything in, Taylor shares his experience in explicit—and often horrific—detail and with a reverent honor for those Marines who did not live to tell the tale. Taylor reveals what it truly means to walk the path of a warrior, to sacrifice, and to live a lifetime with the memories of war—seeking answers to the question, “Was it worth it?”

About the Author: While Bill Taylor’s friends were at home going to school and dating, he was fighting for his life. At eighteen years old, Bill served in the First Battalion, Third Marine Regiment in Vietnam-a journey that seemed impossible to survive. For the battles they fought, Bill was awarded three Purple Hearts and his battalion earned two Presidential Unit Citations. World War II battles of that magnitude at Tarawa and Iwo Jima are well-known, yet few know of the hard-fought battles of the Vietnam War. Bill’s battalion participated in twenty-five combat operations.

In On Full Automatic, he brings to light the bravery and sacrifices of so many. His platoon was wiped out several times, once leaving only seven of the fifty men standing. Every platoon lieutenant and squad leader was killed, wounded, or relieved of command. Staying alive became Bill’s full-time job.


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  1. In the western world, only the agressor is able of spreading he´s version of History, the victims don´t have the same chance!!!!!

  2. By 1970, the U.S. Army had 65,643 deserters, roughly the equivalent of four infantry divisions.

    “By every conceivable indicator, our army that remains in Vietnam is in a state approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers and non-commissioned officers…Sedition, coupled with disaffection from within the ranks, and externally fomented with an audacity and intensity previously inconceivable, infest the Armed Services…” – Marine Colonel Robert D. Heinl Jr.

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