Jump to content

37th ARRS, Da Nang 1968


nguoi tien su
 Share

Recommended Posts

nguoi tien su

Hi all !

 

Here are some photos we took two years ago in the north of France.

 

The first USAF rescue units are deployed to Vietnam in 1964, as the aircrew losses increase. Until then, the civilian crews of the CIA-run Air America airline were in charge of rescue operations, especially over Laos. The first aircraft used in this role are HH-43B & F helicopters, as well as HU-16B seaplanes, with support from SC-54 aircraft for command & control.

 

HH-3E and CH-3C helicopters are introduced in 1965, along with HC-130 C&C and refueling aircraft. The last detachments in Southeast Asia are deactivated in 1974, after having rescued 3883 allied personnel.

 

Helicopters generally carry one pilot, one copilot, one flight engineer and one or two PJs (these initials came from the old Para Jumper name, replaced later by Pararescue) who go on the ground when pilots cannot be hoisted from the jungle.

 

This photo series was inspired by the rescue of a USMC pilot performed by Capt Marty Richert in 1969; his flight suit is worn by one of the models. We decided to place this scene in early 1968, so we could show older flight gear for the USMC pilot, especially his tiger stripe flight suit.

 

rescue10.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

rescue13.jpg

 

What is the guy with the cross-draw holster supposed to be? Is he playing a fighter pilot?.

 

He has a G-suit on which was not worn by helo crews. Wearing his revolver cross-draw style would be odd for a fighter guy. It would likely get fouled in his parachute lines in the event he had to deploy it. It would also likely fly up and knock teeth out during a fighter speed ejection. His harness has Koch fittings which limits the type of aircraft at the time of the Vietnam War to one with an integral chute/ejection seat such as the F-4. Aircraft that had backpack chutes (where the pilot checked the chute out of life support and carried it to the aircraft, such as the F-100 (and the 105, I believe) used a different kind of disconnect fitting (MC-1, I believe). Rotary wing aircraft used those same MC-1 release fittings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the guy with the cross-draw holster supposed to be? Is he playing a fighter pilot?.

 

I think he played rescued pilot not sure if fighter USAF or Navy pilot

Link to comment
Share on other sites

nguoi tien su

Bill,

 

The guy with the G-suit is a fighter pilot indeed (the one rescued) as written in the description of the photo session.

 

US Navy and USMC harnesses are much more complicated that USAF ones.

 

At the beginning of the war, the pilots had MA-2 hanesses with rockets jets fittings top and bottom. Then from 1966 to 1969 you see rocket jets on the bottom and koch on the top. Then you have koch fittings top and bottom. Another change is that the harnesses were modified during the war due to the heat. The material part were cut/modified from as early as 1965 and this became systematic around 1968.

 

And that was also true for the F-4 pilots, as illustrated here with the VF-114 (USN F-4) in 1965 (rocket jets top/bottom)

 

vf-11410.jpg

 

On the 24 april 1967, Denny Wisely shot down a Mig with his F-4: Koch on top (should have rocket jet on the bottom part of his harness)

 

vf-11411.jpg

 

Look at his flashlight, which is really lighter than a .38 !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

nguoi tien su

And then, this pilot from the VMF-235 (F-8) in DNG 1967 has his gun straped the same way we did. (see also the first photo).

 

vmf-2310.jpg

 

The pilots had two solutions : that one, or a rigger modified harness.

 

And remember that the pilot is meant to have been rescued. He has been on the ground and his gun doesn't need to be stuck in the harness.

 

NTS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome pics guys! I know he isn't wearing it backwards, but is there a cut in the beret in the front? Might just be my eyes. Nice tigers! ;)

Joe

post-5137-1252537693.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a cut !

 

Berets suffer a lot in Vietnam. I have several berets either US or VN made with the same problem. :huh:

It is not unfrequent to see photos of vietnamese troops with several cuts on the berets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another fine contribution from our French contingent.

 

NTS, i am trying very hard to stay away from aviation related items, but you are making it very difficult not to become interested!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IT IS NOT INTERESTING PATRICK !!!! STAY AWAY FROM ANYTHING FLYING !!! HAHAHAHAHA !!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

Aviation stuff is awesome my friend !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a better shot of the PJ.

 

arrs10.jpg

 

US ranks and local tapes / wings.

 

 

Hate to say it but, shouldn't the beret badge be a pair of jump wings in 1968?

I always thought the Pararecue badge came in to use in the 1970s, same time as the Combat Control badge.

 

T-Bone

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi T-Bone,

 

I always thought the Pararecue badge came in to use in the 1970s, same time as the Combat Control badge.

 

Actually nope !

The beret was first authorised on the 28th Feb. 1966. The 1st orders for the Pararescue badges were made immediately. But due to the difficulties in providing the new badges you are right, jump wings remained largely in use in 1968. But not exclusively.

 

PJ LaPointe, in "PJs in Nam", provinding the document allowing the beret, says on page 191 : "Until the new emblem could be manufactured, the PJs wore jump wings on their berets. This situation was corrected a few months later when the famous PJ badge was released from the manufacturer".

 

So it is vague from this source... But for sure it is not 4 years later.

 

From other sources, images speak from themselves :

 

PJ K.O. Kelly, 1967-1968, det 1, Det 2, 37th ARRS :

 

ko_kel10.jpg

 

J. E. Talley : Air Force cross for his action on 2nd July 1968 (37th ARRS) :

 

talley10.jpg

 

Charles King KIA 25th Dec 1968, Air Force cross, 40th ARRS :

 

king10.jpg

 

We could have used jump wings, that would have been fine. But the badges are already legit for that time ! :thumbsup: ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.