Lone Star Festival
The Event for Texas Creatives

Raúl Herrera is an eyewitness to the Vietnam War. He and the Swift Boat crew he served with on PCF-79 were personally congratulated and awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Medal by Premier Nguyễn Cao Kỳ and Chief of State Nguyễn Văn Thiệu for the capture of a North Vietnamese resupply trawler on July 15, 1967. His articles have been published in VIETNAM Magazine, Sea Classics Magazine, and in the New York Times. The 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Campaign; United States Navy Memorial Washington, D.C.; Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument Veteran Stories; and, Voces Oral History Project, and The University of Texas have documented his oral history. Le Huong Giang of Hanoi Vietnam VTV3 Television Network interviewed Raúl on October 21, 2021 for their 50th Anniversary nationwide celebration of the Ho Chi Minh Trail at Sea.

Born on November 11, 1946 and raised in a west side barrio of San Antonio, Texas, Raúl spent twelve years of Catholic school education. In 1965, college was financially beyond his family’s means. Two years into a four-year voluntary commitment to the Navy, he received orders to PCF Crew Training in Coronado, California. PCF stood for Patrol Craft Fast – a Swift Boat. He was designated the crew’s radar / radioman. Combat boat duty was his next duty assignment in the Republic of Vietnam.

Four months after arriving, PCF-79 and her crew of one junior grade officer and five enlisted men, led a daring four-vessel seaborne intercept mission off the Quang Ngai Province coast. On July 15, 1967, a 120-foot steel-hulled resupply North Vietnamese trawler was attacked by PCF-79’s crew and forced aground at the mouth of the Sa Ky river, on the tip of the Batangan Peninsula. More than 90-tons of ammunition and supplies were kept from awaiting Viet Cong hands. The crew and other players involved in the mission were decorated at an awards ceremony held in Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam.

Raúl began his freelance writer journey publishing in the former Houston Post and as a contributing writer for Nuestras Vidas Magazine, an English-written monthly featuring stories of successful Hispanics in Houston.

Driven by the haunting memory of PCF-79’s lead petty officer, Boatswain’s Mate First Class, Bobby Don Carver, Raúl began piecing together his recollections of Swift Boat duty. Carver fired the 81mm mortar round into the trawler’s pilot house. CAPTURING SKUNK ALPHA, is the saga of Swift Boat PCF-79 and her crew during Operation Market Time, the U.S. Navy’s coastal surveillance force. The work in progress was selected as one of the top ten national finalists in the Books for Life Foundation, New Voices in Literature Awards competition (2003). He also contributed historical research for Medal of Honor—A Vietnam Warrior’s Story (M. Sgt. Roy P. Benavidez, SF, Ret.).

Mr. Herrera retired from Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation, Houston, Texas in 2010. He served as a board director and president of the Swift Boat Sailors Association. He is a member of VFW Post 8790, Houston, Texas. He is married and currently calls Richmond, Texas, home.

Amazon page


Book trailer link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py6JZLNwQx8