A Rumor of War is Philip Caputo’s 1977 memoir focused on his experiences during the Vietnam War. Caputo serves as a Marine Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a member of the “first ground combat unit deployed to Vietnam.” His unit reached Da Nang in March of 1965, and Caputo returned home sixteen months later on April 29, 1975, the day before the end of the fall of Saigon to North Vietnamese troops.
Published just two years after the end of the Vietnam War, Caputo’s memoir strove to present a realistic image of a soldier’s wartime experience. It has been credited with helping to change the American perception of the war as well as with exposing Americans to the reality of combat and military service.
A Rumor of War received outstanding reviews from critics as well as praise from the American public. In 1980, the memoir was adapted into a TV miniseries. Filmed in Camp Pendleton in southern California and in Churubusco Studios in Mexico, the series stars Brad Davis as Lieutenant Philip Caputo. The series was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award; however, it enjoyed a lower degree of critical acclaim and public enjoyment than the memoir from which it was adapted.