In 1957, Captain Harry Cramer led the first team of Special Forces (“Green Beret”) advisers to Vietnam to assist the development of the Vietnamese Army. This mission was highly classified at the time. The situation in Vietnam in the 1950’s was much different from that of the 1960’s, and Dwight Eisenhower’s strategy for dealing with it differed sharply from that of John Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson. Captain Cramer was killed in Vietnam in October 1957, becoming the first US Army soldier to die in that war. His son, folksinger and historian Hank Cramer, will share the story of this mission, and its once-secret details. Hank has a unique perspective on this story, as he is not only Captain Cramer’s son, but he himself later served with his father’s Special Forces unit in Asia, three decades later.
This is a Humanities WA event sponsored by the Three Rivers Folklife Society