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From Out of The Fire: Captain Gerald Young

In the pre-dawn hours on November 8, 1967, two Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giants from the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron were mobilized to rescue the survivors of a US Army reconnaissance team trapped inside Laos. Two helicopters had already been shot down while trying to recover the soldiers.

The lead HH-3 was able to recover several team members, but the aircraft was severely damaged in the process. As it headed back to base, Captain Gerald Young, piloting the second HH-3, running low on fuel and ammunition, and facing intense enemy fire, decided to attempt to rescue the remaining soldiers.

Captain Young and his crew hovered over the team’s location as the soldiers climbed aboard. As they began to exit, enemy fire destroyed the helicopter’s engine. The aircraft exploded, flipped over, and crashed in a ravine.

Severely burned, Capt Young escaped the wreckage, located and treated a wounded survivor, and hid both of them from the enemy.

As US rescue forces neared the area, Capt Young, fearful of an enemy trap, led the enemy away from the crash site so the other survivors could be saved.

Evading capture for another seventeen hours, Young was finally rescued by another US helicopter. For his actions, Capt Young was awarded the Medal of Honor.

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