By Louise A. Barile
Updated March 22, 2002 12:00 PM

How much is Mel Gibson’s face worth? Well, if you’re in the paperback book business, quite a lot. A new version of the popular Vietnam book, “We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young,” featuring a photo of the 46-year-old Oscar winner as he appears in the film “We Were Soldiers,” has reached the number one spot on the New York Times paperback best-seller’s list, reports the Associated Press. Both the HarperCollins paperback by retired Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore and journalist Joseph Galloway and the film tell the story of the battle of the Ia Drang Valley in 1965, the first major clash between American and North Vietnamese forces. Gibson portrays Moore, who led the U.S. 7th Calvary into the fray. The original hardcover tome was published in 1992 by Random House and contained a cover photo of Cyril “Rick” Rescorla, a valiant soldier at Ia Drang. Recently, Rescorla, who was the chief of security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, became a hero again on Sept. 11 when he died helping hundreds of people escape from the World Trade Center.