SAR report information

For date 651106

Primary service involved, US Air Force
Incident reference: 65110690.BAT This information is available on CD-ROM.
North Vietnam
Description: The USN Combat SAR Study dated 20 Mar 1967 includes the events of this day as one of its illustrative SAR incidents and includes the following narrative: An USAF F-105 was downed in Route Package IV. The area was well protected by AAA; particularly automatic weapons and 37mm guns. As events proved, the rescue helicopter was exposed to terrific AAA fire to the extent that two helicopters (one Navy and one Air Force Jolly Green) and one RESCAP aircraft (A-1E) were shot down during the multiple rescue attempts. In retrospect, the F-105 pilots' chances were virtually nil at the outset, and the decision to attempt the rescue should not have been made. When one of the RESCAP was downed, it should have been clear that the helicopter would have little change. As the incident progressed, the first helicopter fwas downed, and the SAR effort shifted to rescuing that crew of four. The net result was that nine additional crewmen were down in enemy territory. Five were rescued. This incident illustrates the difficulty of using hard and fast criteria as the basis for attempting a rescue. At the time, events governed the decision. A rescue helicopter was down, and additional forces were committed to effect the crew's rescue. When the second helicopter was downed, still more resources were committed. In retrospect, it is easy to decide that the attempt should have been terminated earlier or not made at all. However, in this case, the SAR scene was not one of the obvious 'No Go' areas (heavy AAA defenses and dense population); therefore, the effort continued, and it was not terminated until some of the personnel were rescued.

The source for this information was Combat SAR Study Chief of Naval Opns 20 Mar 67

Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

Please send additions or corrections to: Gary Roush Email address:

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Date posted on this site: 05/13/2023