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Tap Code: The Epic Survival Tale of a Vietnam POW and the Secret Code That Changed Everything

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  162 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Tap Code shares never-before-told details of underground operations during the Vietnam War while weaving in an inspiring story of true love, honor, and courage as husband and wife endured the hardest circumstances they had ever faced.

When Air Force pilot Captain Carlyle "Smitty" Harris was shot down over Vietnam on April 4, 1965, he had no idea what horrors awaited him in
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Zondervan
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Average rating 4.51  · 
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Sara Berry
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In full disclosure, I am the co-author of this book. This also means I know first-hand the powerful true story of Col. Smitty Harris' 8 years as a POW in Vietnam. It is a beautiful story of resilience, love, and the power of the human spirit.
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my parents story.... our family lived it. Sara W Berry, did an amazing job weaving this story together. It’s a heart -tugging, page turner.... full of messages of struggle, perseverance, faith, and family and love for our Country!!! May God use this book in mighty ways... as an instrument of healing in our broken world.
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Good reads for this advance readers' copy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and what a tremendous testimony of courage by Col. Carlyle Smith "Smitty" Harris and for his military service in the Air Force and in Vietnam. I have seen documentaries of Vietnam POW's and the use of the Tap Code and reading about it in this book was very interesting. Despite the beatings and cruel treatment, I admire and respect the courage these men faced. One fascinating fact I forgot to add and didn't ...more
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, maps, non-fiction
“I am convinced that there is a reason for all of this. Whatever the reason, I am sure we can use this time to become emotionally and spiritually stronger.” Excerpted from Smitty’s first letter to reach Louise, Sep 1965.

Ruminations on the nature of integrity and struggle. Starting with the moment “Smitty" Harris was shot down on April 5, 1965, he and his wife Louise take the reader moment by moment through eight years of combat of a different sort than either imagines they would fight. Treated
Oct 29, 2019 marked it as to-read
Trump should read this, oh wait can Trump even read? Mr. Bone Spur.
Nov 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: History Buffs
Shelves: non-fiction
I received a free advanced readers copy of this novel as a part of a goodreads giveaway!

I have mixed feelings about this book. While I love the story, I do not think it was very well written and the organization at points was a little confusing. To be honest, I found it hard to get through.

The later parts of the book got better, but at first I felt like I was reading a bullet point list of Smitty's life and it got monotonous fast. I am a big fan of the show don't tell writing style, and the
Mary Reagan Richardson (mary_reagans_books)
This is my #1 nonfiction novel of the year! This book tells the amazing story of Captain Smitty Harris's 8 year long imprisonment in a variety of POW camps in North Vietnam. This book is breathtaking because you would think it is fiction. The story reads as if there is no way it is possible, yet it happened. These men endured starvation, mental and physical torture, solitary confinement, and so much more. The strength and resolve of these soldiers is amazing. The Tap Code is the way that these ...more
Paul Wilson
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love personal survival stories - UNBROKEN was one of my favs, and this book did not disappoint! Smitty Harris is a true American hero - what he survived while a POW for 8 years is unbelievable. Writer Sara Berry did an amazing job of capturing all of the emotions - before, during and after his imprisonment. I honestly did not know much about the Vietnam War - I was just a young kid unaware of what was going on - I do remember the POW MIA bracelets and it was cool to see how that is a part of ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book and much more than a story of survival, this is a story of enduring commitment to fellow soldiers not only survive but thrive in the worst of circumstances. The real story is told from 2 points of view, from Smiitty’s as a POW and from his wife Louise back home she made life normal for her family. Sara Berry does a fabulous job of weaving together 2 storylines, one of endurance and survival and one of a couple who never lost hope and love for one another. Must read this!
Joy Kellum
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read and beautifully written story of two amazing Americans. I knew something about the torture our POWs endured but learned so much more about the importance of communication between our soldiers. Also loved reading about the strength of Smitty’s wife back home raising three children. I highly recommend this book!
Patricia Wright
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: the-proving
Great book! Very detailed. I recommend it to everyone. Unbelievable torture, patriotism, friendship, love ,hope and faith.
Joy Neal
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible chapter in the lives of a couple separated for nearly eight years because the husband was a POW of the North Vietnamese. Smitty Harris captured when his F-105 Thunderchief was shot down over North Vietnam. Louise Harris was pregnant with their third child, so endured those years as a single parent. Their stories are told chapter by chapter, with the most remarkable episodes endured by the POWs themselves. Even though shuttled from camp to camp, being ill-treated and subjected ...more
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
This book is a realistic picture of a TRUE American hero and the family who daily endured knowing their loved one was a POW during the Vietnam war. Yes, HERO! I don't see how anyone can read the story of the daily torture (mentally and physically) of a POW and not feel like these people are a perfect example of the most perfect reflection of what being an honorable hero means. I have read many first-hand accounts of life endured in a POW camp and found this one to be one of the most beautifully ...more
Stan Skrabut
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tap Code: The Epic Survival Tale of a Vietnam POW and the Secret Code That Changed Everything is an amazing story about survival in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. I am truly fascinated by what man can endure. Tap Code is about Colonel Carlyle “Smitty” Harris and his wife, Louise during his eight years in captivity in Vietnam. I cannot even imagine the pain and suffering he went through. This book provides a glimpse into that experience. Read moRead more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
US Air Force Pilot, Smitty Harris was shot down in enemy territory during the Vietnam War/Conflict. He endured almost 8 years of torture and starvation. His wife was 8 months pregnant at the time of his capture. This book is about how Smitty taught the other POW's tap code so they could communicate, stay united and adhere to the military Code of Conduct. It also talks about what his wife dealt with during those 8 long years.
At the end of the book, he lists the names of the POW's he spent time
Sallie Belle Howell
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This true story of American hero, Smitty Harris, and his life as a POW is captivating. Harris and wife, Louise, exemplify strength, commitment and hope in unknown circumstances. The faith and hope these two share throughout this journey and life is the key to overcoming the challenges they faced. This book recounts vivid detail of Harris and his time as a POW. The code that helped encourage he and other POWs was taught Harris prior to his mission. Sara Berry, co-author, helps the Harris family ...more
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a page turner and I read it on flight from Atlanta to Portland. Incredible true story of faith, love and human perseverance! It’s hard to even imagine being tortured and held captive for 8 years while a young wife raises three small children and retains hope that one day they’ll all be reunited again! Sara Berry writes from the heart and you’ll feel the tug of emotions as Smitty Harris inspires the other POW’s and waits to meet his newborn son for the first time. It’s refreshing to read ...more
Jason Mussett
Nov 05, 2019 marked it as to-read
I would like to read this. I've always had an interest in the VIETNAM conflict. The plight of U.S. POWs isn't touched upon very often. How do people survive in these conditions? What must their families be going through? Not knowing wether their loved ones are alive or not? If anybody reads this one I would love to know what you think of it.
Robert B. Carlsen

Tap Code is an outstanding book! It is very well written, informative, and inspirational. As a Vietnam veteran pilot I highly recommend it to all, veteran or non-veteran. Smitty 's story is proof of the capability of strong willed and faith based people to survive extraordinary challenges and conditions, and the critical importance of communication.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While this book is very personal to me and I grew up hearing the stories, reading it made it so much more real almost. The book bounces between what Smitty went through as a POW of the Vietnam War and also touches on what his wife, Louise, went through back home. This is clearly a memoir that is well written and allows the reader to experience like Louise, Smitty, their children, and other POW's did.
This book is very rich in details so I recommend not zooming through it (as I did the first
Angela Roberts
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this book! Wow! An amazing story!
Emilee Mirante
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful and redemptive story of the power of God, family, and patriotism. I am so thankful Smitty and Louise’s story could be captured and shared!
Hernan Hernandez
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The reader would understand the monumental lack of respect of those saying that the Vietnam POW did not suffer or were captured because of their lack of skills.
Kathy Webb
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
Thank you to everyone involved.
A heart touching story - beautifully written.
Jack Harris
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Must READ! This book grabs you from the first chapter to the last! Col Harris’ perseverance will inspire and encourage you! Faith, family, Love of Country... it has it all!
Katie Thompson
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such an awesome story! Highly recommend!
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
Thanks to the publisher for an ARC of Tap Code. This is such an amazing story that everyone needs to read. So much respect due!!
Csimplot Simplot
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book!!!
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, I loved this book. It was like listening to people I know talking about their experiences.
Dec 11, 2019 marked it as to-read
I am looking forward to reading this book!

Thank you Goodreads for this opportunity to read something in a new genre! I will post a proper review when I have completed this book.
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