Luminous Base by Bruce Williams-Burden | Books in Review

Bruce Williams-Burden, a Navy Corpsman who volunteered to fly Medevacs in the Vietnam War, has written a tribute to his fellow Corpsmen, Luminous Base: Stories About Corpsmen and Helicopters, Courage, and Sacrifice (CreateSpace, 313 pp., $17.95, paper). The bulk of the book is made up of the stories of fifty-seven Medevac Corpsmen who were killed between 1962 and 2007 in Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Most lost their lives in Vietnam. The author also includes a history of the Navy’s medical evacuation system and descriptions of helicopters used from 1962-2007.

Williams-Burden enlisted in the U.S. Navy in November 1966 and volunteered for Vietnam. He served a 1969-70 tour at the Danang Airbase in a dispensary and with a Rapid Response Security Platoon, and then flew Medevac helicopters with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadrons 364 and 263. Since 1986, he has been the Chief Physician Assistant in the Neurosurgical Service at the Seattle VA Medical Center.

—Marc Leepson

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