Here's what i see:
1. Ingenuity at work trying to rectify a problem
2. Extreme trust between ground and flight crew
3. Attitude of mission, unencumbered by BS regulations, supported by a sense of camaraderie
4. Very dangerous situation (possibly deadly) in war time, mission urgency, men willing to risk it all to make it happen
I have to say, someone had to grab their ba!!$ to make this happen, both in the AC and on the ground. I bet they were near the end of their fuel supply in a time urgent situation. Being it was an SOS, there was a high potential that they needed that helo fixed NOW so they could go back out to pick up a downed airman or something like that. One has to conclude they weren't messing around.
In today's environment, they would have been grounded for "pulling that stunt".
In my opinion, sometimes you have to do extreme things in extreme situation. I hope all involved at least got some sort of commendable mention.
Do you know what the story behind the photo is? Did the Flight Engineers/Gunners exit the AC to do the work? Judging by their flight suits and helmets, I would say they hopped out and went to work.
Was this prior to April '75 when most combat ops ended?