Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
FREE Admission & Parking

Helicopter Aerial Refueling

Helicopter aerial refueling allowed for improved range and capacity, and was the first major breakthrough for the rapid response and deployment of rescue forces in Southeast Asia.

Following successful tests at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the Air Rescue Service requested modified C-130s and H-3s configured for aerial refueling. Designated the HC-130P and HH-3E, their first operational test took place in Southeast Asia on June 21, 1967.

Around the same time as air-to-air refueling was being tested, the 3rd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group began working with the US Navy to refuel from Navy ships. In OPERATION HIGH DRINK, helicopters would be able refuel from any US naval vessel with a hose and specialized nozzle by either hoovering beside it or landing on deck.

Click here to return to Search and Rescue in Southeast Asia(SAR in SEA)

Click here to the Southeast Asia War Gallery