Hosted by PJs in
Last Update: Monday, July 20, 2009
Site Mission: Provide Pararescue and Air Rescue History
This page will link you to
miscellaneous reports and documents about air rescue in the Vietnam War.
Files on this page are pdf files and require Adobe Acrobat reader. Download a free copy from the link to the right
CH-3E and HH-3E Flight Manual T.O. 1H-3(C)E-1
HH-53B Flight Manual T.O. 1H-53(B) and T.O. 1H-53(C)
Air Medal Criteria used during the Vietnam War
3rd ARRGp Receives 1st Presidential Unit Citation from President Lyndon B Johnson on 19 January 1966 (pdf file) Page 1 Page 2
7th AF OPLAN 481-68 (pdf file) - A now declassified ex-top secret document that describes the mines and sensors used on the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the DMZ in an attempt to stop infiltration of men and supplies into SVN. This barrier was also known as McNamara's fence. Most interesting is a description of area denial ordnance that was also used by SAR forces.
7th AFR 64-2 (pdf
file) - Joint Search and Rescue, Southeast Asia
1972 ROE Controversy That Led to the Firing of the 7AF Commander - When General John Lavelle assumed command of 7th Air Force in Saigon, South Vietnam, on 1 August 1971, he inherited rules of engagement (ROE). The ROE maintained the basic restrictions of a 1968 agreement by the Johnson administration and consisted of directives defining the conditions under which US aircraft could attack enemy forces in North Vietnam (NVN). Essentially, aircrews could not fire unless they were threatened.
In late 1971 and early1972, the North Vietnamese began massing forces just north of the DMZ in preparation for an invasion of South Vietnam. Gen. Lavelle was pressured by his superior officers to use the authority in the ROE to attack these forces. Lavelle took a liberal view of the ROE and launched several pre-planned protective reaction air strikes into NVN.
This paper shows explains how the mission reports of these strikes came to be falsified, and how and why individuals in the chain of command became involved in the ROE controversy. The end result of the falsified reports was the firing of Gen. Lavelle and his subsequent early retirement from the USAF. To this day, military ethicists argue if what Lavelle did was ethical or not. This paper does not draw any conclusions. It only presents the facts. After reading the information, it is up to you to decide if these attacks into NVN violated the ROE or if Lavelle’s “liberal” interpretation of the ROE was correct and morally justified.
1967 CHECO - SAR Lessons Learned (pdf file) Cover Sheet Report
8 TFW (F-4's) SAR RESCAP Doctrine 1967 (pdf file)
PACAF Tactics Bulletin, 10 May 1967 - Ideas on Personal Survival Items
Medical Aspects ARRS in SEA 1964-1968 (pdf file) Report
Pages 1-6 Pages 7-11
56 Special Operations Wing History, Oct thru Dec 1969 - A very detailed history of the Sandy's in action in Laos and Vietnam. Many SAR's are described and they include who flew them. 43 pages in pdf format only.
|Part One||Part Two||Part Three|
Boxer 22 SAR Documents - Click the blue link to read about one of the most famous SARs of the Vietnam War
The Fall of Lima Site 85 - This was the largest loss of USAF troops in a ground attack in the Vietnam war. PJ James J Rogers was involved in a rescue effort and became the last American at LS-85. An extensive CHECO after action report was compiled on this disaster. Because it happened in Laos, it was classified TOP SECRET and no one learned of it for decades. The complete story of this incredible operation can be read in the book titled "One Day Too Long by Dr. Timothy Castle. A a few paragraphs about the SAR effort have been excerpted from the book and included here. To get the whole story read the book. The hyperlink limasite85 will take you to the best website with detailed on line information.
|CHECO REPORT||ARRS Mission Report||Book Excerpts|
MACV Lessons Learned #72: SAR in Southeast Asia. Pdf file in two parts
3rd ARRGp CONOPS 1969 - Read how the 3rd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group was organized in 1969 and how they intended to conduct air rescue missions
ARRS in Southeast Asia - A special report written in 1969 that outlines how ARRS got into the combat SAR business and how they had done from 1964 until April 1969.
3rd ARRGp Intelligence Estimate at the end of 1969 - Read the actual intelligence information available to SAR planners at the end of 1969
Operation Tailwind - In 1998, CNN telecast allegations that the US had used sarin nerve gas during the Vietnam War. They later retracted this erroneous report. Their retraction was based in large part of an official US government investigation of the allegations. While the CNN news report was false, the resulting investigation resulted in the declassification of many documents regarding the use of other chemical weapons that were used during the war. In the search and rescue business we called them incapacitating agents (CBU-19 and CBU-30) and they were frequently used during contested SAR's. Now you can read how these weapons were used in SARs to rescue downed pilots.
Organization Chart - December 1972
DaNang RVN Yearbook 1972
CHECO The F-111 in SEA
Sept 1972 thru January 1973 (pdf file)
Summary of USAF Aircraft Lost in the Vietnam War - This once classified document discusses how many aircraft were shot down and why why we lost these planes and crews. The complete document was over 90 pages long. I collected the sections that might interest SAR personnel. The online document is over 30 pages in length and has been broken down into two parts to speed loading. This document is not available at any other site. pdf file
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3rd ARRGp History 1 July 1975 thru 31 January 1976 This was the last historical report written by 3rg Group upon its deactivation concurrent with the withdrawal of the last ARRS assets from Southeast Asia. It was appropriately titled "The End of an Era"