4:56 | During his second tour in Korea, the goal was to take a prisoner for intelligence gathering. Jake Jacobson recalls that they didn't get a single one. He did encounter a Pathfinder unit and they encouraged him to transfer in. This he did, but, unfortunately, he got in some trouble and General Westmoreland made sure he was left with only one stripe.
Keywords : Jake Jacobson paratrooper Korea William Westmoreland Hill 1052 peace talks Francis Hammond Pathfinders Japan Sam Spence Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Chinese
Jake Jacobson had been to Korea three times and then spent a year in Japan with his airborne Pathfinder unit. After that tour and a short stint at the 82nd Airborne, he transferred to Special Forces. He was made a communications chief and assigned to Okinawa.
After his Vietnam tours, Jake Jacobson served in Thailand and the Philippines, among other places, with different Special Forces teams. After almost thirty years of service, he retired, but was soon in Saudi Arabia training Bedouins. He didn't care for that job. (Caution: coarse language.)
Retired Green Beret Jake Jacobson tells how he came to boycott San Francisco and then acknowledges a couple of inspiring leaders he had in the Army. He also encountered what he considered very bad leadership.
Born in the Bronx but raised in Rhode Island, Jake Jacobson enlisted in the late forties to get money for college. When he saw some guys from the 82nd Airborne, he knew he had to get into that outfit. He hadn't even been to basic training, yet, so they let him go. When he did get to Fort Dix, he was disgusted. Hang in there, his platoon sergeant told him. It gets better in Airborne.
Jake Jacobson was just getting discharged when war broke out in Korea. His paratrooper buddies shamed him into returning to the fold, even though he would have to come back in as a private. When he got to Korea, peace talks had stalled the fighting and he was sent to Japan, where he attended intelligence school. He did get some action quelling a riot at a POW camp.
At first, it was a mission to Laos, then the 1st Special Forces Group out of Okinawa was ordered to send two A-Teams to Vietnam, the first to be committed there. Jake Jacobson was on a team that was training Vietnamese Special Forces. He also went out on patrols looking for the hard to find Viet Cong.
It was 1961 and two American Special Forces teams had come to Vietnam to train South Vietnamese forces. Jake Jacobson didn't think much of some of them, but he did encounter some who earned his respect. He put in three tours during those early years of the war, working with the Montagnards on the last one.
Jake Jacobson remembers and pays tribute to some of the good friends he knew over his many years in Special Forces. He also describes the unusual way he learned of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.