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Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by G19Tony, Jun 30, 2020.
Good stuff. Those guys had some big brass ones.
I'll never forget listening to 1/2 of an attempted rescue that didn't work out, at least that evening. I still remember like it happened yesterday. It was just about like shown in this video.
We had just came in country on a bombing mission from Guam. The rescue was already in progress on UHF Guard frequency 243.0. UHF radio range from an aircraft in the air is about 200 miles. Of course the survival radios the pilots carried, only had a short range. So we couldn't hear the pilot on the ground, just the rescue aircraft.
A fighter guy had already been shot down some where up near the DMZ. He was surrounded by VC.
As we picked up the half of the radio traffic that we could hear in our aircraft; they had just tried to rescue the guy and had been receiving too much ground fire. They called in attack aircraft to suppress the VC fire. And it was getting dark. Rescue guys didn't fly after dark in Vietnam. They told the guy, 'We're going to make one more try to get you."
Then they announced they were getting to much ground fire and had to pullout. The last words they told the guy was "Dig in, we'll be back at first daylight to try again."
Of course we had no way to follow up on what happened that night or the next day. But in our hearts we were thinking, here's this poor guy in the ground, surrounded by VC, with his AF 38 and 18 rounds of ammo, if he hadn't already used up his ammo. Now it's night and he's alone down there.
It's getting misty for me right now.
The Air Force rescue exhibit at the USAF museum in Dayton is incredible. HH
The absolute personification of bad assedness.
My dear friend Leo, a Vietnam era F4 Pilot, told me anyone wearing the “That others may live” badge never bought a drink or bought a meal while a pilot was in the room.
If anyone missed the series Inside Combat Rescue, please watch it.
Yup, that was true.
Guy in my pilot training class volunteered for choppers.
IIRC, Col. Bernie Fisher's A-1E is also in that exhibit. One of the few MOH aircraft there. In 1966, Fisher landed his after his wingman was shot down and rescue was to far away. Landed and picked up the guy all while getting fired on. They both survived.
Fisher won a MOH for his heroics and was the first living AF member to get one out of the VN War.
To all who go in harms way to save lives.
Great stuff - thanks for posting
Air Force Now films were many times the highlight at Commander's Call.
I was honored to meet PJ CMSgt Wayne Fisk back in the 1980s while on Instructor staff of USAF Leadership School at 14 FTW, Columbus AFB. He was the graduation speaker for one of the classes and was one Sierra Hotel Chief. The number of medals on his Mess Dress at the banquet was absolutely incredible. Even the Wing King was in awe.
The PJs are born again hard and have saved many lives.
Fisk was on both the Son Tay and the Mayaquez missions.
He was also an Instructor at the Senior NCO Academy and Director of the Enlisted Heritage Hall at Gunter AFB.
Those that can, do.
Those that can't, teach.
Lol, many of my fellow instructors could do and teach.
I think that's one career field, where you want the ones that do, to teach.
I was an AF comdoc photog stationed at NKP, Thailand 9/68-3/70. We flew in anything with two or more seats. Our primary mission was FAC, but I was requested by some A-1 pilots to fly with them to document CAS and SAR.
We lived in aircrew quarters. Next door to our room were the PJs. Great guys, dedicated, big brass balls kind of people.
Here's one of my neighbors after a rescue. This pilot went down in Laos just off the Trail. His helmet visor broke as he came down in the trees injuring his eyes.
Lots of guys came down in trees. And wound up hanging there, way up above the ground.
They did a mod on the parachute to solve the problem.
The traditional parachute had a back-pad in it. So they replaced the regular back-pad with one that had 150 feet of nylon webbing in it, with sort of a small rappel device.
The idea was to hook the end of the nylon webbing to your entangled parachute and then use the rappel device to lower yourself to the ground. We all had to go through training at life support on how to use the device.
I was fortunate to have met an A-1E Skyhawk pilot at the local VA whom I struck up a convo with when I saw his "Vietnam Veteran" ball cap. He was surprised to hear me ask if he flew "Sandy" missions after he told me what he did and he said he flew many of those missions. We didn't have much time to talk, but it was still a memorable moment.
If you're interested in learning about some of the operations PJ's were a part of during the early years of the GWOT, read None Braver: U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism. There are several other books written specifically about PJ's on Amazon you'll see listed if you go to the link for the book listed above, but None Braver is the only one of them I've read so far.