During the eight-year secret war in Vietnam, when Green Beret-led reconnaissance teams and company-sized elements ran top secret missions across the fence into Cambodia, Laos and N. Vietnam, many of those missions were compromised before the Military Assistance Command Vietnam-Studies and Observations Group units landed on the ground, Soldier of Fortune magazine has learned.

Exactly how many missions were compromised, how many Green Berets and their courageous indigenous counterparts were killed or wounded in action, as a result of these heinous actions, will never be known, due to the highly classified nature of SOG, its tightly compartmentalized command structure and extremely narrow channels of intelligence and counterintelligence reporting.

Thus, one of the hidden horrors of running highly classified missions where intelligence reports were delivered promptly to the White House is: there are few paper trails to follow and the truth about the degree of compromise, if ever documented, will likely never be known.

More than 20 years ago Soldier of Fortune magazine was the first publication in the country to print stories about the highly classified and deadly SOG missions. Recently gathered information from four separate sources confirmed the long-held fears of many SOG Green Berets who ran what many believe were the deadliest missions during that war where casualties exceeded 100 percent among SOG soldiers.

And it’s important for yesterday’s warriors to know about the compromises, and with the hope that tomorrow’s warriors and command structures will be more diligent to guard against possible compromises in future covert operations.

Russians on the ground

Evidence of Russians and their commie pals in Laos, North Vietnam and the DMZ was reported early.

SOG recon man Charles Berg said that when he flew visual reconnaissances in that area of Laos and the DMZ in 1967, he observed Russian aircraft on more than one occasion. During one flight, “I told my pilot to get close to it because I wanted to shoot it down with my CAR-15,” Berg said The pilot didn’t oblige, “but, we knew those bastards were there.”

During an operation in Laos in November 1968, run out of FOB 1, Phu Bai, (Recon Team) RT Idaho, heard Russian pilots on their radio conducting aerial resupplies to their men and their NVA allies in Laos.