New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1985. First Edition. Hardcover. Octavo, 6.5 x 9.25 in., pp. vii +  + 323. Illustrated with frontispiece map. Cream-colored boards with black cloth spine. Gold title to spine. Author inscription and signature to front free endpaper. Dust jacket in archival plastic. Fine/Fine. Item #85472
Once a Warrior King vividly portrays the Vietnam experience of an officer and a gentleman. It is the story of a man with a sense of honor and responsibility that extended beyond his immediate command and encompassed the people of the rural Vietnamese village he was sent to defend.
It is a portrait of a compassionate man, a humane soldier and a soldierly humanist, and the precarious mental and physical balance he maintained through the horrors of wax.In April 1969, David Donovan arrived in the Mekong Delta. A raw and idealistic first lieutenant fresh from the Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Donovan joined an isolated four-man American team operating alone in a remote rural area of the Delta, sent off by the army to cooperate with village chiefs and local militia-and to win the war.
As chief commanding officer of his unit, Donovan led patrol and combat missions and, in Once a Warrior King, vividly recreates the suspense of night ambushes and the high-pitched emotions of surprise attacks and manto-man warfare in the swamps and jungles of the Delta. But Donovan also became involved with the lives of the civilians of Tram Chim in a role beyond that of military adviser. He was caught up in the Vietnamese culture, its local and national politics, in friendships and families tom apart by the tragic war. Eventually he was inducted into a Vietnamese brotherhood-a sect of honorary "warrior kings."
On his return to the United States, Donovan found that Vietnam had become a part of him, separating him from his wife and children, his family and friends. Donovan's chilling account of "coming home;" of his enormous internal battle, is as dramatic as his tales of combat in the Delta.