PJs in Vietnam
This page dedicated to Senior
Airman Jason C. Kutscher who was killed in the line of duty
On October 22, 1973 SSgt Robert P. Koecher, a PJ assigned to Detachment 13, 41 Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing Osan Air Base, Korea was killed when his HH-3E helicopter crashed at night into a mountain near Osan. Also on this helicopter were the pilot LtCol Joseph Mudd, co-pilot 2nd Lt. Larry Thorson, and FE SSgt Jerry Sorentino. The crew was conducting a routine night training sortie. The entire crew were decorated Vietnam War combat veterans.
Photo of Robert
Koecher from PJ Association Memorial
A copy of the memorial service program is available by clicking the below thumbnails
Let each of us remember these men who died in the line of duty and their families who sacrificed much so “That Others May Live”
Below is an excerpt from the book “Pararescue – 50 Years” page 142
9 Nov 68
Udorn RTAFB, Thailand. 40th ARRS pararescueman Robert Koecher aids the successful recovery of an injured fighter pilot by manning an automatic rifle in the exposed helicopter door and supplying suppressive fire at enemy gun positions. His defensive instincts are so keen he is able to anticipate nearly every enemy move. His actions bring a successful conclusion to the mission, and he is awarded the DFC. Three months later, he earns the first OLC to his DFC for again providing uncanny suppressive fire power from an exposed gun position during the rescue of an airman deep in hostile territory. He receives an Air Medal for participating in sustained combat missions from 24 August 1968 to 25 November 1968.
9 November 1968 Photo of Robert Koecher following the combat rescue of an F-4 crewman call sign “Ringo 04B.”
This was an F-4 was shot down in Laos. The person on the litter is 1Lt. James Gough (04B) who was
rescued by Koecher and his Jolly crew assigned to 40th ARRS, Udorn RTAFB.
Photo obtained from the USAF PJ Association Digital History Archive