In the Company of Marines by James O. Finnegan

Jim Finnegan was a married father of five and a newly minted medical doctor in 1967 when he joined the Navy. “My only thought was that I had acquired medical and surgical skills that could help those who were wounded in combat,” Finnegan says in his short, readable Vietnam War memoir, In the Company of Marines: A Surgeon Remembers Vietnam (, 181 pp., $11.08, paper).

Finnegan spent one year in Vietnam. For the last four months of 1967 he worked at the Dong Ha combat base “caring for Marine casualties and ducking fairly regular but light incoming artillery fire.” From January through April of 1968, during Tet, he was the commanding officer of a surgical team looking after some 2,500 Marines at Khe Sanh during the infamous siege.

Dr. Finnegan’s website is

—Marc Leepson