Vermont writer is winner of 2013 Colby Award
On March 7, 2013, Norwich named Thomas P. McKenna, of Stowe, Vt., the 2013 William E. Colby Award winner for his book, Kontum: The Battle to Save South Vietnam.
Retired Army Lt. Col. McKenna has served as a military adviser to the South Vietnamese Army of the Republic of Vietnam and has published articles on military history in magazines such as “Vietnam,” “Military Officer” and “Military Heritage.”
During 22 years of service, McKenna served more than 12 years overseas in Germany, Italy, Korea and Vietnam. Kontum (The University Press of Kentucky, 2011), is a military history based on his second tour in Vietnam.
Assigned as a military adviser to the 23rd Division, McKenna participated in the battle of Kontum. His book combines personal experiences with years of interviews and research from primary sources to describe events leading up to the invasion and battle.
“Thomas P. McKenna was one of a handful of American advisors in Kontum in 1972. His firsthand knowledge, personal valor and superb research has resulted in a landmark account of one the most desperate and little known battles of the Vietnam War,” said Carlo D’Este, executive director of The William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium. “Described by a former commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division as ‘a soldier’s soldier,’ Thomas McKenna joins an eminent group of authors as the newest winner of the Colby Award.”
Previous recipients of the Colby Award include James Bradley, Nathanial Fick, Col. Jack Jacobs, Dexter Filkins, Marcus Lutrell, John Glusman and Karl Marlantes.