The man, the myths and the legend.
By all accounts, Jerry M. Shriver — also known not-so-affectionately by the Vietcong as “Mad Dog” — was a man who had quite a bounty on his head during the Vietnam War. Shriver’s reputation as a fierce fighting, Green Beret amongst military men and many others during his three tours in Vietnam garnered him quite a lot of attention. And as noted by Taskforceomegainc.org, Shriver was responsible for killing more than 100 of the enemy; in addition, the knowledge that he procured was also responsible for thousands more Vietcong deaths.
Because of his notoriety for being such an asset to U.S. Forces, the well known North Vietnamese propaganda broadcaster called Radio Hanoi had given him the nickname, “Mad Dog.” Shriver was so vilified by the North Vietnamese, that they offered a public reward of $10,000.00 for “Mad Dog’s” capture or death.
Regarding this Green Beret’s background, Jerry Michael Shriver was born on September 24, 1941, in De Funiak Springs, Florida. He also had accrued a large number of medals because of his valor and bravery. “Mad Dog” Shriver earned five different categories of medals. This list includes two Silver Stars, three Army Commendation Medals for Valor, one Soldier’s medal, one 1 Air Medal, seven Bronze Stars for Valor, and one Purple Heart.
Indeed, “Mad Dog” Shriver was known as a platoon leader at Command and Control South, MACVSOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation Group), according to the information noted on Ladyeclectric.faithweb.com. Moreover, MACVSOG was known as a task force that was involved in many classified operations throughout Cambodia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
The 5th Special Forces that “Mad Dog” Shriver was involved with moving personnel into MACVSOG or Special Operations Augmentation (SOA). And as Ladyeclectric.faithweb.com states about these missions, SOA provided a “cover” while under classified orders to the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies, and Observation Group. These teams of Green Berets and other assets were on missions that went names like, “Prairie Fire” and “Shining Brass.” Shriver and many of his special recon groups performed deep missions involving strategic reconnaissance, which were given different names depending on the time period during the war.
It was also mentioned by Ladyeclectric.faithweb.com that with even though “Mad Dog” Shriver’s last mission had run into difficulty and was thwarted, there were many of other “special SOG teams” that had success getting past the enemy lines to hit many different targets and collect important intelligence.
These missions that were conducted by Special Forces reconnaissance teams behind the lines of Cambodia and Laos in 1969 came to a total count of 452. These special recon teams that “Mad Dog” Shriver was once part had earned a worldwide reputation as being the most productive, deep-infiltration campaigns ever hatched in the history of war. And when it comes to firsts for U.S. military history topics, these campaigns of sabotage, raids, and information-gathering that Mad Dog Shriver and other men had waged on foreign soil were the some of the most effective, ever.
The missions that Mad Dog Shriver and others had been assigned to carry out were also very dangerous, but very important to the American cause during Vietnam. The specially trained men who were put into harrowing situations knew that the chances of safe recovery if captured by the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) were very low.
Indeed, there had been only a few who have been able to talk about their
Lt. Dengler and many other Americans attempted an escape from the grips of their enemy, but everyone else in the group were either recaptured, killed, or disappeared into Lao’s jungle during these SOG (Studies and Observations Group) missions. While a slew of American soldiers’ freedoms in captivity would come by the end of the Vietnam War — 591 to be exact — 2,500 have never come back, according to Ladyeclectric.faithweb.com
Since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, the U.S. government has received nearly 10 thousand reports concerning missing Americans in Southeast Asia. These important reports have convinced many authorities that hundreds of American soldiers are still alive but in captivity. Some of Jerry Shriver’s friends claim they heard broadcasts from the NVA’s propaganda broadcasts, termed, “Hanoi Hannah” that Shriver had indeed been captured by the NVA. They wonder if he is among the hundreds said to still be alive today.
And many describe this legend of the Green Berets as having looked a bit like Rambo. In fact, one of the 1st. Sgts. who was familiar with Shriver had thought so.
Sgt. Shriver was noted as had been a tall, blond haired and thin man. And that Shriver’s face had a chiseled look, with blue eyes that were piercing. One of his fellow soldiers even noted that there was no soul in his eyes. And that there was no emotion in Shriver’s eyes.
But, the Mad Dog did have a dog of his own as a favorite pet. His favorite pooch was called Klaus. And he had acquired the dog while he had been in Taiwan at one point.
From all accounts, there was no soldier at CCS (Command and Control South) who was like Mad Dog Shriver. Jim Fleming, who piloted many Hueys for SOG missions and was a Medal of Honor Recipient, noted that Shriver was a “warrior-loner,” and “anti-social.” Fleming went on to say that Shriver was possessed when it concerned his activities; always learning; always constantly training. Fleming also noted that Shriver hardly spoke and would roam around camp for multiple days.
Sgt. Shriver was known for speaking fluent Vietnamese and Russian, and by all accounts had been known for dropping in behind enemy lines, dressed up as a Russian officer. Shriver was known to have boldly walked into an NVA encampment, both scolding and berating many North Vietnamese soldiers. During this ensuing confusion he would cause, SGT Shriver would note the enemy’s numbers, defenses, and other information, then get out, quickly. This, according to website posts about SGT Shriver on OneSixWarriors.com.
On April 24, 1969, on a SOG mission called “Hatchet Force,” SGT Shriver went MIA; three of the other men with him took severe gunfire, as the enemy was well dug in when they were dropped into NVA territory. However, some suspect that he was wounded by multiple shots; others believe he is still alive as a captive, today.
Of those 18 soldiers who were inserted into that original mission — along with the six that later would be inserted in support of the “Hatchet Force” only those key members of the recon team would be recovered, uninjured.
And of those original 18 members of the “Hatchet Force,” 10 had been wounded, but safely evacuated out of the war zone. Greg Harrigan’s remains, who had been with Shriver at the time of this mission, were recovered. Ernest Jamison had been reported as Killed in Action (KIA), Body Not Recovered. As for “Mad Dog,” Jerry M. Shriver, he, along with his five fellow Montagnards, were reported as MIA.