St Albans ex-military man launches book of memoirs of the Vietnam war

Ray Hill, St Albans author of Toy Sampans.

Ray Hill, St Albans author of Toy Sampans. - Credit: Archant

A St Albans man who served in the Vietnam war has had a book about his experiences published.

Ray Hill, 74, of Birch Way, launched his autobiographical 'Toy Sampans' at a military exhibition in Kentucky where it was a sell-out.

Ray said: "It was a fantastic experience and went better than I could ever have imagined."

The book took 18 months to write and three years to find a publisher.

As assistant team leader of Lone Range Reconnaissance Patrol, Ray wanted to portray a touching and personal account of what it was like to fight in the Vietnamese war.

He describes the book as a poignant memoir and says that despite the challenges of a war zone, there was humour to be found, which he has also tried to bring to the book. The photography used gives a powerful insight into what his military experiences entailed in LRRP 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Toy Sampans is published by Jay Bird Publishing. For more information visit