Pacific Stars and Stripes information
for 20 HELO SQDN

For date 680220

20 HELO SQDN was a US Air Force unit
Primary service involved, US Air Force
Khanh Hoa Province, II Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Nha Trang
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "Copters Rescue F-100 Pilot From Enemy Jungle." Nha Trang (OI) - Minutes after bailing out, Air Force Capt. James E. Pollack, 27, McKeesport, Pa., was plucked from a heavily infested Viet Cong marsh by Air Force UH-1F Iroquois helicopters from the 20th Helicopter Sq., headquartered at Nha Trang AB. The incident occurred over hostile jungle near Ban Me Thout while the four Iroquois were on a combat mission in close proximity to an air strike by F-100 Supersabre pilots from the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Tuy Hoa AB. Pollack was on that F-100 air strike. Capt. John E. Fiser, 31, Montpelier, Ohio, pilot of the rescue ship, described the scene. "The F-100s were on their second pass over their target when heavy automatic weapons fire opened up. Moments later, we got a 'May Day' distress signal. One of the Super-Sabre pilots was down! Operating only a few miles from then, we were over the rescue area immediately. We spotted Pollack in a grassy swamp area. Before picking him up, we first of all had to secure the area around him. He virtually landed in the Viet Cong's backyard. Mini-guns from our choppers took care of that job-and fast. I lowered my chopper over him and the crew pulled him aboard. He was soaked but unhurt." "The rescue took about two minutes," noted Fiser. Fiser's crew included Capt. William A. King, 29, Memphis; T.Sgt. Robert L. Andrews, 30, Brockton, Mass; and T.Sgt. Willard S. Richards, 32, Americus, Ga. Some of the crew members on the other helicopters which took part in the rescue were Capt. George Candelori, 27, Hightstown, N.J.; Capt. James E. Tankersley, 32, Chatsworth, Ga.; Capt. Harlan C. Nupen, 31, Lake Norden, S.D.; and S.Sgt. Thomas B. Bennett.
Comments: CPT Fiser, John E.; 20th Helicopter Sqdn pilot; ; CPT King, William A.; 20th Helicopter Sqdn pilot; ; TSG Andrews, Robert L.; 20th Helicopter Sqdn CM; ; TSG Richards, Willard S.; 20th Helicopter Sqdn CM; ; CPT Candelori, George; 20th Helicopter Sqdn pilot; ; CPT Tankersley, James E.; 20th Helicopter Sqdn pilot; ; CPT Nupen, Harlan C.; 20th Helicopter Sqdn pilot; ; SSG Bennett, Thomas B.; 20th Helicopter Sqdn CM; ;

The source for this information was 6802pss.avn supplied by Les Hines

Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

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Last updated 02/21/2000

Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021