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Fact Sheet Alphabetical List

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  • Chariots of the Rescue Service

    In the early 1960s the standard USAF rescue helicopter was the light-lift Kaman HH-43B Huskie, used mainly for local base rescue. As hostilities increased in SEA in June 1964, two HH-43Bs deployed to Thailand for rescue support. However, early missions demonstrated that the current helicopters were

  • Rescue Specialist Pararescue in Southeast Asia

    Pararescuemen or “PJs” (for Para Jumpers), served a unique mission in SEA. As highly trained medical technicians combined with advanced tactical skills, they proved invaluable during evacuation and rescue missions.Assigned to the ARS / ARRS detachments and later, squadrons assigned to the theater,

  • A Call for Unification

    In September 1963, Det 3 PARC commander Major Alan Saunders submitted a comprehensive study outlining the need for a professional rescue service in SEA.Saunders also requested that the US Air Force be the responsible service for conducting all SAR missions during the war.Agreeing with Saunders’

  • ARS Enters Southeast Asia

    In the early 1960s all USAF rescue forces world-wide were assigned to the ARS. Air Rescue Centers held command and control of these assets. In December 1961, Pacific Air Rescue Center sent its first crew of three officers and three enlisted men to coordinate SAR operations at the Air Operations

  • Global Peacetime Transition

    Following the Korean and First Indochina Wars, the Air Rescue Service (ARS) switched from a wartime posture to a global search and rescue (SAR) service.Maintaining their primary objective of saving lives and Air Crew Recovery (ACR), the first National SAR Plan of March 1956 added the responsibility

  • Alice King Chatham - Art to R&D

    After completing her fine arts degree at the Dayton Art Institute in the 1930s, the military recruited Alice King Chatham to work on high-altitude protective gear. As a personal equipment design engineer/scientist in advanced biotechnology at the Aero Medical Laboratory her knowledge of the human

  • Eddie Rickenbacker Lost at Sea

    As a nonmilitary observer, WWI Ace Eddie Rickenbacker had a mission to evaluate and report the status of U.S. Army Air Forces in the Pacific theatre during WWII. Unsuccessfully searching for Canton Island and low on fuel, their B-17 went down in the Pacific Ocean. Rickenbacker and the crew were

  • Protectors: Cold War Air Police

    Enlisted Air Police contributed to peacekeeping during the Cold War by keenly guarding critical combat assets.In 1948, shortly after becoming an independent service, the US Air Force renamed its military police “Air Police.” In the decades that followed, they shaped a new identity specific to the

  • Sgt William Ocker

    The “Father of Blind Flight”Captivated by flight after witnessing early tests by the Wright brothers, Sgt William Ocker became a highly proficient aircraft mechanic and the Army’s third enlisted pilot. His ability to rapidly master aviation principles, combined with a passion for improving flying

  • Douglas A-1H Skyraider The Proud American

    United States Air Force Skyraiders in Southeast Asia are often remembered for their support of search and rescue (SAR) missions. Operating under the call sign Sandy, the A-1's extended loiter time and massive firepower offered pilots the ability to protect downed Airmen for extended periods. Whereas