Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

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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, they rode aboard the rescue helicopters and were trained to descend into jungles, swamps, mountains, and forests on a jungle penetrator to treat and recover downed personnel.

On the ground, they stabilized and directed the extraction of the injured to safety, often under fire. All volunteers, the PJs earned more decorations per person than any other USAF group in the SEA War.

The maroon beret, symbolizing the blood sacrificed by fellow PJs, has been the pararescueman’s mark of distinction since early 1966.

Code of the Air Rescue Man

It is my duty, as a member of the Air Rescue Service, to save life and aid the injured. I will be prepared at all times to perform my assigned duties quickly and efficiently, placing these duties before personal desires and comforts. These things I do, THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE.

Brig Gen Richard T. Knight
Commander, Air Rescue Service
1 December 1946—8 July 1952

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