Author Biographies

Dennis J. Cummings

Dennis J. Cummings
Co-founded a video production company in 1987 after a career in law enforcement and has produced four documentaries on the Navy SEALs. These include Navy SEALs: America’s Secret Warriors and The Stoner Machine Gun: A Navy SEAL Remembers. His first book The Men Behind the Trident: SEAL Team One in Vietnam was published in 1997. He is a contributing editor of Behind the Lines magazine and lives in St. Louis, Missouri. In October 2000 he helped create realwarstories.com.

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Raymond Harris

Raymond Harris
Raymond D. Harris entered the United States Army on September 22, 1967, enlisting for Airborne training. At the end of Basic Training and AIT he decided to join Special Forces and went on to complete the Special Forces Demolitions/Engineering Course in 1968. On February 4, 1969, Ray arrived in Vietnam and volunteered for MACV-SOG, Command and Control Central. While at CCC he was assigned to Recon Team Iowa and eventually became the team’s „one-zero“, or team leader. In February 1970, at the end of his tour with CCC, Ray extended his time in Vietnam for another three months and trained Earth Angel teams for MACV-SOG’s Operation 36 Alpha. His novel, Break Contact, Continue Mission, gives readers a first-hand look into the Top Secret world of MACV-SOG, the American Special Forces unit that he served with, which ran long range recon missions into Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam war.

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Thomas P. Nicholson

Thomas P. Nicholson
Tom Nickolson was born in Springfield, Missouri, and grew up in southwest Missouri and northern Arkansas. He graduated from the University of Missouri School of Mines in Rolla with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and attended OCS and Airborne training at Ft. Benning, Georgia. After an initial assignment to the mountain brigade at Ft. Carson, Colorado, he joined Special Forces and trained at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Assigned to 5th Special Forces Group in South Vietnam, he served as the executive officer of A-224, Phu Tuc, in II Corps Tactical Zone. He served a second tour in Vietnam assigned to CCN, MACV-SOG, first as the S-1, and later as the commander of Company B (Hatchet Force). After his discharge from active duty, he joined the 12th Special Forces (Reserve) and served until his retirement in 1996 as a full colonel with over 33 years service. He worked as a professional engineer in his civilian status, obtaining his MBA . He lives with his wife, Sandra, a public school speech pathologist, in St. Charles, Illinois. He has written several novels; Ride the Red Sun Down, Rebel Doctor, War Stories, Ransom of Paris, Her Majesty’s Yankee, Ride with Custer, Pinkerton’s Gold, Revenge of the Stolen Dove, and his latest work, a biography, 15 months in SOG, A Warrior’s Tour.

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Jim Morris

Jim Morris
Jim Morris served three tours with Special Forces in Vietnam, emerging with four Bronze Stars and four Purple Hearts. His story Operation Barroom was made into a Disney film, Operation Dumbo Drop. After his discharge he became a war correspondent. He is the author of three volumes of nonfiction and four novels and has edited more than 250 books on military themes. Jim is now a writer/producer in Los Angeles.

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Ches Schneider
Ches Schneider is the author of FROM CLASSROOMS TO CLAYMORES: A Teacher at War in Vietnam (Random House/Ivy Press). The book describes the life of the average soldier in Vietnam. Ches served in two combat units, the First Infantry Division and the First Air Cavalry during his tour of duty in Southeast Asia. While no one is ready to laugh at what happened in Vietnam, Ches does bring out some of the lighter moments shared by the men and women who served 8000 miles away from home. Upon his return to the United States he taught English and history for thirty-four years. Ches used the letters he wrote to family as the framework for his Vietnam writing. After completion of FROM CLASSROOMS TO CLAYMORES, he turned his attention to his mother’s unpublished manuscript. Drawing on her already engaging writing style and his own memories of life outside the POW camp (Ches is the „Chessie“ in the book), he polished Lorraine’s work to publication status. He is pleased to give others the opportunity to read about this little known aspect of World War II. Ches is one of the originators of the Reading Across Disciplines (RAD) program. The RAD reading and study strategies process has helped hundreds of school districts provide better reading instruction to their students. Ches also provides leadership workshops for corporate leaders in the business environment. As a presenter and a speaker, he has talked with numerous groups about his experiences in Vietnam as well as the history of German POWs in the United States. Ches encourages comments and questions and can be contacted at CHES1943@ aol.com.

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Lorraine Margaret Stolze-Schneider
February 10, 1921- September 8, 1973

Lorraine Margaret Stolze-Schneider was born in St. Louis, Missouri just after WW I and died toward the end of America’s involvement in Vietnam. She lived during a period of history when mankind was on the continuous and ever apparent threshold of one war or another. Her upbringing, family, religious values, gentle humorous observations, and genuine love in her heart were her remarkable strengths. Lorraine used her ability to adapt to unfamiliar and unknown situations as the basis for her non-fiction work Not Warriors, Just People. In this book she depicts the perils and pleasures of living outside a camp located in Tennessee where captured German prisoners-of-war brought to the United States from Europe were held. This first hand account describes how, like other families of the 1940’s, her young family was affected by the disruption of their peaceful world. This story is a time capsule that has been opened enabling the reader to experience the variety of emotions and situations that existed in that unique period of time. Lorraine was Chester (Chet) Schneider’s wife and mother to Ches (Chessie), Ronald, Larry and Donald. She was the typical homemaker of the 50’s and 60’s. Eventually when her boys were able to help with housework, she worked as a secretary in the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center. Despite her Secret security clearance she hinted that this was where some of the major mapping of the moon was taking place. After helping to place men on the moon and suffering two heart attacks she retired to live a peaceful life. She died knowing that she had helped play a very small part in winning both WW II and the Space Race. She wasn’t a warrior, just a person.

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David A. Maurer
David A. Maurer was born May 16, 1946, in St. Cloud, Minn. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 17, 1963. After a tour in Korea he went to Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division, in August 1965. Maurer participated in several battles including the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley in November 1965, and Operation Masher/White Wing near Bong Son in 1966. In 1967 Maurer went through U.S. Army parachute training at Ft. Benning, Ga., and was then accepted into U.S. Army Special Forces training at Ft. Bragg, N.C. He graduated from S.F. school in the spring of 1968 and after a brief period with the Sixth Special Forces Group was assigned to the Fifth Special Forces Group in Vietnam. During the next year and a half Maurer was assigned to MACV-SOG and served as a reconnaissance team leader at Command and Control North outside Da Nang. His job was to lead a team of Chinese Nung and Vietnamese mercenaries on missions into Laos and North Vietnam. Among the decorations earned were two Bronze Stars, Army Commendation Medal with V, a Purple Heart, two air medals and Combat Infantry Badge. Maurer left the Army in 1973 and attended Monterey Peninsula College. After graduation he attended Divers Institute of Technology in Seattle. After graduating in 1977 he went to work as a hard-hat diver doing mostly salvage work. In 1980 Maurer went to work as a carpenter in Carmel, California. During this period he wrote the book „The Dying Place,“ which was first published by Dell in 1986. Currently, Maurer is working on a non-fiction book.

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M. Wilson McReady
By the time Mariah Wilson McReady was 10 years old, everyone called her Willie. She never answered to Mariah, not even when her mother was yelling. In her family you had to make your own definitions and stick to them. Until she was 15, Willie thought her father was in the Navy. She remembered asking him once what he did, and he answered he was sort of like an admiral. Willie was young. She never thought to inquire where his ship was, or why he didn’t wear a uniform. After the Bay of Pigs, when the Agency fired a few and her family came back to the States, it became clear to Willie what he did. There was even a sign on the Parkway where her father turned off to go to work that said „CIA.“ They were a wandering family, and Willie got it in her blood. After Europe, the Far East, and then Europe again, she topped it all off with three colleges. Even after all that, she walked out the academic door basically unemployable, and just kept wandering. Somewhere along the line Willie got married an unwise number of times, proving that practice does not make perfect in all things. Willie’s first low intensity conflict (other than her marriages) was Mozambique. She was a small time „action journalist“ and walked 350 miles through the bush to visit with the guerilla forces. She was really hungry, and the blisters were memorable. She even went back a second time. Willie actually joined the army in Bosnia. Of course, there were lots of armies and lunatics running around blowing things up and stealing cars. The International Brigade designated her their English teacher. In Willie’s opinion, even the Brits could have used English lessons. Most were AWOL from the Foreign Legion, and their French was even worse. War, Willie thought, surely was hell. After a while, Africa’s abundant small wars lured Willie back. „Once bitten, twice shy“ doesn’t seem to have stuck on her. Then for five years, Willie was crew on a sailboat. Being Captain would undoubtedly have been better. After one too many „heave me hearties,“ she moved to a mountaintop. There she sits, chasing her thoughts around the shallows, listening to the gypsy moths munch through the trees. Almost heaven.

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Kent White
Upon graduating from high school in Pacific Grove, California, Kent White attended college in Monterey, California for a year. It was during college that he first became interested in writing and took several creative writing classes. When his father, a career U.S. Army officer, was assigned to a new duty station in Tokyo, Japan, he accompanied his family to Japan. He studied at Sophia University, an English language school in Tokyo, once again enrolling in a writing class. After a semester at Sophia University, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1966. During Basic Training in California, he volunteered for the Army’s Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon completion of the three-week course, he volunteered for the Special Forces school at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, becoming a specialist in domestic and foreign weapons. In the spring of 1968, after six months with the 3rd Special Forces Group, he was sent to the Republic of Vietnam. He was assigned to the covert Studies and Observations Group, a top secret reconnaissance unit that infiltrated small teams of American Special Forces personnel and indigenous mercenaries across the border into enemy denied territory in Cambodia, Laos, and North Vietnam. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. After he was discharged in 1969, he returned to college, again enrolling in creative writing courses. Shortly afterward, he took film courses at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, and went on to work for an independent film company. He worked as an Associate Producer on the PBS special, Beyond Barbed Wire, a feature length documentary film that tells of the World War II experiences of American soldiers of Japanese descent. His debut novel, Prairie Fire, first published in 1983, was the first work of fiction to chronicle the top secret SOG missions into Laos. Longshadows, his second novel, continues the story of Special Forces reconnaissance teams in Laos. He writes from his experiences and those of his comrades in SOG. He is now self-employed as a General Contractor in California, and is currently working on a third novel, The Golden Triangle.

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Dr. LEONG Chee Woh
Dr. LEONG Chee Woh, JMN, JBS, KMN, AMN, AMP, ABS, PPB, KPK, TTP, was born on 11th November 1929. He hailed from Taiping, a small town in the state of Perak, located in the northwest of the Malaya Peninsula. He was educated in one of the English premier schools in his hometown during the British colonial period and completed his Senior Cambridge Examinations in 1949 although his studies were affected for four and a half years during the Japanese occupation.
After a stint as a clerk with the Town Council as well as the District Police Headquarters in Taiping and Selama, Perak, he was selected for police officer training as a probationary Asian police inspector. His first posting after his training was to one of the most communist infested areas in the country. He survived both the First (1948-1960) and Second (1970-1991) Emergencies, as the communist insurgency was called, and for the duration of a third of a century was posted to various parts of the country where he actively engaged the communists in the jungles as well as in the urban areas with outstanding success.
It was with the Special Branch, the principal intelligence-collecting agency of the country, that he proved himself as a brilliant operational strategist, rising through the ranks to that of Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police of the Royal Malaysian Police Force and retiring as the Deputy Director (Operations) of the Malaysian Special Branch on 10th November 1984. Mr. LEONG was one of the most highly decorated officers in the Royal Malaysian Police with not less then nine decorations including one for gallantry. In addition, he also received fourteen Departmental Citations or Letters of Commendation and Appreciation for his outstanding services to the Nation. These included one from the late Malaysian Prime Minster, The Commander of the 1st American Special Forces, The Commander of the 28th Commonwealth Brigade and the Commander of the 4th Division of the Malaysian Army.

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John Stryker Meyer

John Styrker Meyer
Born 1 January 1946, John Stryker Meyer entered the Army on 1 December 1966. He completed basic training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, advanced infantry training at Ft. Gordon, Georgia, jump school at Ft. Benning, Georgia, and graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in December 1967. After a 12-week training session in Ft. Gordon, on radio teletype, Meyer landed in South Vietnam in April 1968, and arrived at FOB 1 in Phu Bai in May 1968, where he joined Spike Team Idaho. When FOB 1 was closed in January 1969, ST Idaho was helicoptered to FOB 4 in Da Nang, which became designated Command and Control North, CCN. He remained on ST Idaho through the end of his tour of duty in late April. Returned to the U.S. and was assigned to E Company in the 10th Special Forces Group at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts until October 1969, when he rejoined ST Idaho at CCN. That tour of duty ended suddenly in April 1970 after the CCN commander refused Meyer’s first request to pull his four-man team from an A Shau Valley target. He returned to the States, completed his college education at Trenton State College, where he was editor of the school newspaper, The Signal, for two years, worked at the Trenton Times for 10 years, eight years at the San Diego Union and has been an editor at the North County Times for 10 years in Oceanside, California, where he also writes occasional columns. Meyer received his 20-year membership pin from the Special Operations Association in 2002. He and his wife Anna have five children and live in Oceanside, Ca.

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Richard �Nick� Brokhausen
Born: March 20, 1948
Graduated: Glenwood, Minnesota, public school system
Entered Active service: June 1966
Korea: line infantry, DMZ
Special Forces: 6th Group, 5th Group, 10th Group
Detachment A BBde
Vietnam: MACV-SOG; CCN, TF1AE, as 1-1 on RT Habu and 1-0 RT Crusader
Awards: 2 Bronze Stars, Purple Heart, MSM, CIB, VN Cross of Gallantry
Vocation: Actively pursuing a career as a human being, with all its faults, woes, and joy.
Avocations: The study of small minds, complex sugar compounds such as alcohol, combat origami, humor in the assault, tactical use of the pen, and living as an alternative.

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