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Watch This Downed Thud Flight Leader Get Rescued By The Jolly Green Giant

These Dedicated Rescuers Bored In And Rescued Downed Crews Again and Again In Vietnam

Official US Air Force photograph

The United States Air Force (USAF) produced the film “Faces of Rescue” in 1967 to portray the exploits of the USAF Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service. The Sikorsky HH-53C Jolly Green Giant crews are featured during their efforts to pull Republic F-105D Thunderchief pilot and Flight Lead Lieutenant James DeVoss from enemy-held jungle in North Vietnam. DeVoss, who was injured during ejection from his stricken Thunderchief, narrates his side of the rescue story. The film, which includes footage of the actual rescue and radio calls from the event, was uploaded to YouTube by ZenosWarbirds.

Official US Air Force photograph

Along with the HH-53C Jolly Greens the film also stars the USAF HC-130P Combat King airborne rescue controller/tanker aircraft and the A-1 Skyraider combat search and rescue (CSAR) Sandys who provide close air support for the downed pilot and the Jolly Greens. The ARRS executed 2,780 successful personnel rescues during the Vietnam War. The rescue of Lieutenant DeVoss was not routine but a successful save is a successful save. The ARRS lives on as the Air Rescue Service (ARS), its assets divided between Air Combat Command (ACC), Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) and Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) including Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) and Air National Guard (ANG) rescue units.

Official US Air Force photograph

 

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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