The true story about this picture I just learned. This picture of Lt. Flaherty with his Recon unit (Echo Platoon) 1968 & was given to me by Recon Platoons Jerry Austin (3rd left). Standing next to then Lt. Flaherty is Al Dove. I had and posted this picture for years and never noticed anything different until on Memorial Day I received a call from Al Dove.
We were talking about many things and then Al brought up the unique belts he and Flaherty are wearing in the picture. Two nights earlier they were on a patrol in a rice paddy that flooded during a typhoon and the first significant incident occurred when a marker round barely sailed over the platoon almost killing them. Right after that Al spotted movement and shot one man with his rifle and took out his fleeing comrade with an M-79 round.
When Flaherty and the unit searched the dead men they learned the first man was an NVA Captain and the man fleeing was his attache. On both men they found highly detailed maps of American bases (I believe Al said they called it LZ Sandy or Firebase Mongoose) showing up to date positions of the American forces in high detail. Flaherty was so happy with Al which he believed prevented a large scale attack against the US base that he allowed Al to wear the NVA Captain’s belt while Flaherty wore the Attache’s. – Author of The Giant Killer David Yuzuk
At 4′ 9″ 97lb Richard Flaherty is believed to be the smallest combat soldier to ever serve in the US military. To learn more about Captain Flaherty please check out the book (Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook) and documentary, The Giant Killer Finding Flaherty. Available on Amazon, Youtube, iTunes, Tubi, Google Play, Roku, Hoopla, VUDU and Xumo.
Green Beret Captain Richard J. Flaherty
The Silver Star, Bronze Star W/Valor, Bronze Star (3OLC), Purple Heart (1OLC), & 2 Purple Hearts.
In December of 1967, he was sent to Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division. One of his first tests as a Platoon Leader was during the “Tet Offensive.” He served as a Platoon Leader with companies B, C, and D and as a Recon Platoon Leader with Echo company.
In January of 1969, he returned to CONUS and attended the Special Forces School at Fort Bragg and was assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group. Later that year he returned to South East Asia with the 46th Special Forces Company in Camp Pawai, Lopburi Thailand.