James E. Livingston received the Medal of Honor for his extreme courage and daring leadership under fire in late April of 1968 during a vicious three-day battle that raged in and around the village of Dai Do outside Dong Ha between the 320th NVA Division and two 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division battalions. Livingston, a 28-year-old Captain commanding Company E of the 2nd Battalion—along with G Co.’s CPT Jay Vargas—fearlessly led his men through long hours of constant action, including an assault on the NVA positions, despite being wounded three times. Vargas also received the MOH for his actions that day.
Livingston (above) recovered from his wounds, came back to Vietnam in 1975 to help plan and carry out Operation Frequent Wind (the final evacuation of Saigon), and retired from the Marine Crops as a Major General.
The bulk of Livingston’s book, Noble Warrior: The Story of Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, USMC (Ret.), Medal of Honor (Zenith, 272 pp., $28), is a first-person account of the general’s life and war times. The book also contains his reflections on military service, war, and national security. There also are first-person, sidebar-like inserts from Marines who served with Livingston and Forewords from Marine Gens. Al Gray, Paul X. Kelley, and William Weise.
Livingston wrote the book with the help of former Marine Colin D. Heaton (a military historian who served under Livingston) and Anne-Marie Lewis.