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Wherever, Whenever: The Jolly Greens Never Left A Man Behind

“All For One” Tells The Story of Jolly Greens, Sandys, and Nail FACs Working Toward An Actual Rescue

Official US Air Force Photograph

The Air Force-produced film “All For One- Air Force Rescue in Vietnam” portrays the rescue of USAF Captain Gerald Lawrence. On August 20th 1972, Lawrence was flying a single engine Beech QU-22B Pave Eagle reconnaissance aircraft near the Ho Chi Minh Trail when he was shot down. The 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS) based at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base (RTAFB) immediately went to work to retrieve Lawrence from the jungle terrain in which he was evading the enemy.

Lawrence was assigned to the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing (later the 554th Reconnaissance Squadron) Vampires. His mission was to orbit near the Ho Chi Minh Trail receiving signals from Igloo White acoustic and vibration sensors on the ground and relaying those signals to the Information Surveillance Center (ISC or Task Force Alpha) at Nakhon Phanom RTAFB. Not long after Lawrence was shot down the Air Force cancelled the QU-22 program.

Official US Air Force Photograph

The film includes footage of interviews with the 40th ARRS HH-53 Jolly Green rescue helicopter pilots and crews as well as A-1 Sandy and OV-10 Bronco “Nail” forward air control (FAC) pilots. There is plenty of live-action footage of the Jolly Greens, Sandys, and Broncos in action as well as radio calls between the aircraft during the actual rescue of Lawrence by an Air Force Jolly Green pararescueman (PJ). After his harrowing experience on August 20th 1972, Captain Lawrence remained in the service until his retirement as Major Lawrence in 1986. Sadly he passed away on July 28th 2012. Thanks to YouTuber PeriscopeFilm for uploading this informative film.

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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