Guest Writer – Raul Herrera; Capturing Skunk Alpha



Raul Herrera is a U.S. Navy Vietnam War veteran. Raul served time on Swift Boats and has written an intriguing book about his experience.  Raul has provided us some details about his book, which is available on Amazon and other on-line book sellers.






∼Raul Herrera


Descriptive Copy

Capturing SKUNK ALPHA is quite significant in that it tells of the courage, enthusiasm, and professionalism of those fortunate enough to be known as SWIFT Boat sailors, and the very important role they played in successful operations by the Navy’s Brown Water forces during the Vietnam war.” William L. Schachte, Jr. (Rear Admiral, JAGC, USN Ret.)

On the evening of July 11, 1967, a Navy surveillance aircraft spotted a suspicious trawler in international waters heading toward the Quang Ngai coast of South Vietnam. While the ship tried to appear innocuous on its deck, Saigon quickly identified it as an enemy gunrunner, codenamed Skunk Alpha.

A four-seaborne intercept task force was established and formed a barrier inside South Vietnam’s 12-mile territorial boundary. Ignoring all orders to surrender and as the enemy ship neared the Sa Ky River at the tip of the Bantangan Peninsula, Swift Boat PCF-79 was ordered to take the trawler under fire. What followed was ship-to-ship combat action not seen since World War II.


Capturing SKUNK ALPHA tells the story.


Two years earlier, Raúl Herrera was growing up on the west side of San Antonio, Texas when he answered the call to duty and joined the Navy. This is his story, a deck-level eyewitness account of brave sailors who sailed into harm’s way in war-torn Vietnam.

Raúl is assigned to PCF Crew Training and joins a ragtag six-man Swift Boat crew. Their mission – prevent the infiltration of resupply ships from North Vietnam. More than 90-tons of ammunition and supplies were kept from the Viet Cong and NVA forces. Premier Nguyễn Cao Kỳ and Chief of State Nguyễn Văn Thiệu congratulated and decorated the crew for their heroism. The Viet Cong posted a bounty on PCF-79 and her crew.

Capturing SKUNK ALPHA chronicles this unlikely journey from barrio adolescence to perilous combat action on the high seas.



Raúl Herrera is a decorated Vietnam War Veteran. He volunteered for the Navy in September 1965 and received an Honorable Discharge after four years of service. He has written for VIETNAM magazine, Sea Classics magazine and the New York Times. He served as a board director and president of the Swift Boat Sailors Association.




Raul’s website:




Purchase Capturing Skunk Alpha on Amazon:





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About the Author

Joe Campolo Jr.

Joe Campolo, Jr. is an award winning author, poet and public speaker. A Vietnam War Veteran, Joe writes and speaks about the war, and is a Veteran's advocate. Some of Joe's stories are gripping, some humorous. Joe also writes about other experiences, many of which are also humorous. Joe enjoys fishing, traveling, writing and spending time with his family. Joe loves to hear from his readers, please send him a note on this page or the contact page! Joe's books continue to receive excellent reviews and accolades, links to Joe's Amazon author page are in the "author page" and "contact page" of this website. The movie project for The Kansas NCO is still active and it may hit the big screen at some point in the future. Joe's blogs have been identified as being one of the top five Vietnam War website blogs on the internet, to include blogs of all categories. Joe has published many articles from guest writers, and they also continue to be very popular. Visit often, for new blogs in all categories. Thanks to all who support my writing and website. Joe

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