Korat Air Base, Thailand    1964-1966


The following review is edited from stories and mission reports published in “Kaman Rotor Tips”, bi-monthly magazine of the Kaman Corporation, as well as from information gained from the many documents made availabe by the USAF archive, the AF Historical Research Agency (AFHRA), Maxwell AFB, AL. The archive also is a great source for the many Rescue Mission Reports, often written by the pilots involved. In the past I was able to do research at the AFHRA myself. I have to thank Mr. Randy Asherbranner for his recent research efforts undertaken at the AFHRA. I would like to especially thank Mr. Jim Burns (USAF Rotorheads) and former Captain Robert Suhrheinrich (pilot during the 1964 TDY to Korat AB).         

Johan D. Ragay

USAF Rotorheads and Pedro Rescue Helicopter Association H-43 Historian  

For organization of HH-43 units in SEA, please visit my website page: https://www.ragay.nl/hh-43-sea/h-43-usaf-units-pacaf

update 14-11-2022    chapter 03.01  (Det.Co.)


01.        Kaman HH-43B Huskie -  based at  -  Korat Air Base, Thailand    1964-1966        


01.01    Organization  1964-1975 

UNIT       HH-43B




14 Aug 1964

01 Sep 1964

DET.Prov.4, PARC

01 Sep 1964

01 Jul 1965



DET.4, 38 ARRS, 3 ARRG,  41 ARRW

DET.4, 3 ARRG, 41 ARRW

56 ARRS, 41 ARRW

01 Jul 1965

08 Jan 1966

08 Feb 1969

01 Jul 1971

08 Jul 1972

08 Jan 1966

08 Feb 1969

01 Jul 1971

08 Jul 1972

deactivated     Feb 1975 


01.02   Aircraft assigned  



from Maxwell AFB   14 Aug 1964  - 14 Mar 1966    to Phan Rang AB



from Maxwell AFB   14 Aug 1964  - 09 Jul 1967    to Da Nang AB

camouflage painting applied during overhaul Don Muang AB 24Aug-05Sep66



from Udorn AB          29 Nov 1965  -  08 Jul 1967 to Phu Cat  AB

camouflage painting applied during overhaul Don Muang AB 05Sep-19Sep66



from Sheppard AFB  04 Jul 1967  -  13 Sep 1974  to Clark AB / reclamation

 -  modified to HH-43F  Aug 1971



from Sheppard AFB  06 Jul 1967  -  28 Feb 1975  to U Tapao AB

-   modified to HH-43F  Aug 1971



from U Tapao AB  07 Sep 1974  -  28 Feb 1975  to U Tapao AB
                                                     Note: HH-43B 59-1574 was delivered to Korat AB from Randolph AFB on 28 Dec 1967, but was then transferred to Takhli AB on 31 Dec 1967


01.03    Overview of  RESCUE  MISSIONS      1964-1966 

                               Mission date                          mission number                                             objective 

xx xxx 1964


critically injured U.S. soldier

1 save

24 Oct 1964


two U.S. State officials

2 saves

xx xxx 1964


U.S. Army soldier


xx xxx 1964


RThaiAF Chipmunk aircraft






01 Jan 1965


pilot T-6 aircraft RThaiAF

1 save

02 Mar 1965


pilot F-105D

1 save

10 Oct 1965


crew overturned truck

2 saves

20 Oct 1965


injured USArmy personnel

2 saves

04 Nov 1965


injured  Thai National

1 save

10 Nov 1965


Four missing UN personnel


08 Dec 1965


pilot F-105D, engine failure

1 save





22 Feb 1966


injured Thai National

1 save

11 Apr 1966


med evac US Miitary

1 save

02 Jun 1966


pilot F-105D

1 save

18 Jul 1966



1 save

05 Oct 1966



2 saves

10 Oct 1966


pilot F-105D, crashed on t/o


10 Nov 1966


pilot F-105D


22 Nov 1966


pilot F-105D


28 Dec 1966


crew U-6A

2 saves




 02.         1964 - the buildup,  with two HH-43B aircraft       

At first, the RESCUE elements in Vietnam and Thailand became known as “Rescue One” at Da Nang AB , “Rescue Two” at Nakhon Phanom AB and “Rescue Four” at Korat AB.  Officially as of 01 September 1964, TDY Det.10, EARC became Det.Provisional 4, PARC.

As can be seen in the below photo, the title “RESCUE IV”  was still in use during October 1964.   


Rescue Ops caOct64 byWendt


Rescue Ops caOct64 byWendt sign

HU-16B  TDY elements from 33rd ARS, 48th ARS and 41st ARS  and HH-43B  TDY from  DET.10  EARC
Korat AB   RESCUE  OPS building  “RESCUE IV” ,  ca. Oct 1964 photos by HU-16B pilot Capt. David Wendt

591586 USAFphoto viaTvGeffen

591586 Ausies byGreg Bland

DET.Prov.4  Huskie 59-1586  at Ubon AB - USAF photo in AFHRA file K-GP-35-HI V.2, Jan-Dec65,  IRIS00435560 ; photo at right, same day, “1586” with Ausies, taken early Jan65 by Greg Bland (RAAF, firefighter, TDY at Ubon Jul64-Jan65).  The pilots seen in the left photo are: 1Lt. Ronald Fitch (at left) and Capt. Philip Prince (at right).


02.01       FIRST GROUP  of  personnel  (TDY)  13 August 1964 - 14 January 1965

                  Source:  “End-of-Tour” Report, by Detachment Commander Capt. Philip S. Prince, dated 18 Jan 1965  - file number K526-131, IRIS 00508987, in USAF Collection, AFHRA 

Capt. Philip S. Prince               (P)    Det.Co.
Capt. Gayl D. Bernhardt           (P)  *
Capt. Robert S. Suhrheinrich  (P)
1st Lt. Ronald G. Fitch             (P)
1st Lt. Theron J. May               (P)
1st Lt. Zigmand W. Zalewski  (P)
MSgt. Henry L. Williams        (Line Chief)
TSgt. James R. Wilson         (EngineMech)
SSgt. William L. Corn             (HM)
SSgt. William H. Sands          (HM)
SSgt. Joseph D. Grubbs         (HM)  *
SSgt. Allan N. Bantle               (FF)
SSgt. Clyde R. Patterson        (FF)
SSgt. Erving W. Cox                 (FF)
SSgt. Bobby G. Williams         (FF)
A1C  Frank M. Chesonis      (HM)
A1C  Gerald R. Dunham       (MT)
A2C  Billy W. Sanders           (HM)
A2C  Don M. Havens         (Admin)
A3C  Daniel E. Albright        (HM) *
A3C Arthur A. Ros                (MT)
A3C  Wallace B. McCombs (Adm)
crew members not mentioned in the End-of-Tour Report :
SSgt. James W. Watson       (PJ)
A2C Leroy W. Kelsay             (PJ)
(supposed to have been PJ’s assigned to the HU-16B elements)
* Capt. Bernhardt returned to CONUS on 1 Sep64 - he was replaced by Lt. Fitch
* SSgt Grubbs returned to CONUS on 21 Sep64  and A3C Albright returned to CONUS on 6 Nov64


02.02      Detachment Commander Capt. Philip S. Prince

                 From document: “End-of-Tour” Report, written by Detachment Commander Capt. Philip S. Prince, dated 18 Jan 1965  - file number K526-131, IRIS 00508987, in USAF Collection, AFHRA 

Notification and Pre-deployment

Detachment 10 EARC was first advised to prepare for inmediate deployment during the late afternoon hours of 6 August 1964. Firm word that we would definitely deploy was given later in the evening and preparations to deploy two helicopters and all detachment personnel to an unknown overseas destination were entered into in earnest.

Two HH-43B helicopters were disassembled in preparation for airlift. One helicopter, 59-1586, was flown from Detachment 11, EARC (Craig AFB) to Maxwell AFB, Alabama for transshipment and the other helicopter, 58-1845, assigned to Detachment 10, EARC, was the first to undergo disassembly.

The tear-down on the aircraft was initiated at approximately 2100L and crating was completed at approximately 0300L the next morning (7Aug64). The Director of Operations and Maintenance, 3800th Air Base Wing (AU), Colonel Harry G. Sanders, provided a crew of maintenance personnel who were able to help to a considerable degree in providing the necessary man-power to tear down and crate the helicopters.

At the same time the tear-down was being accomplished, one maintenance NCO and one fire protection specialist were reviewing the detachment maintenance operating instructions which guided them in selecting, marking and packing those spare items required for an operation of this nature. A large number of small bags and cardboard boxes had been prepositioned against just such an eventuality and all bench stock items, special tools and spare parts as called for were identified, packaged and ultimately packed in several wooden boxes which had been constructed several months previously. As the master containers were filled, inventory listings were prepared and sealed inside. General contents were listed on the outside to provide ready identifications on arrival.

Concurrent with the above maintenance and supply actions, the administrative section selected the regulations, manuals, technical orders, forms and equipment felt most advisable to bring. The entire aircraft T. O. library was brought; however, only certain of the many other publications were packed. At the time we deployed we thought we were to be gone 30 days instead of the actual five months we were TDY. If we had known we were to operate under field conditions for this long a period, we would have brought every item we owned. We had reason to refer many times to publications we had left behind. This handicapped us to a large degree.

Lt Colonel Harry Z. Moore, Director of Supply, 3800th Air Base Wing (AU), made his warehouse available during this period and we were able to obtain test equipment and various supply items. The Director of Personnel, 3800th Air Base Wing (AU), made arrangements for firefighters, medical technicians and maintenance specialists to accompany us. The maintenance specialist requirement was cancelled early on the morning of 7 August 1964 however, and they did not leave with us. The Director of Personnel also made arrangements to have orders cut for the deploying personnel. 


By approximately 0535L (7Aug64) the aircraft were ready, the spares all packed and the MSK and special equipment provided by EARC placed on the ramp awaiting airlift. All personnel were released to pursue their personal desires until 0900L when the first airlift aircraft was due to arrive and be on-loaded. We made one mistake at this time and one several hours earlier. The early mistake was in asking for one C-124 in stead of two C-130's. We had been told that one C-124 would handle two HH-43B helicopters, support equipment and personnel. It will not. When this became apparent a second C-124 was requested. The later mistake we made was in not weighing the equipment we had on the ramp. When it came time to load we were unable to provide the loadmaster with the information he needed. We did obtain this information, but lost time in doing so.

Between 0900L and 1030L on 7 August, finance arrangements were made for indorsed travel orders and the like and the first C-124 was loaded with one HH-43B and support equipment. We split our forces so as to be able to start operations as soon as possible after the first helicopter‘s arrival overseas, regardless of which arrived first. The first C-124 departed Maxwell AFB at 1100L on 7 August, the second at 1730L.

The flight across the Pacific was uneventful though tiring. We received an over-view briefing from Colonel Derck at PARC and the two C-124’s pressed on to Thailand, arriving at Korat AB at 1530L, 13 August and 0630L, 14 August, respectively. 

Arrival and Early Operations

After the first helicopter, equipment, and personnel were deposited on the ramp the first order of business was food and rest. The detachment personnel were housed variously at Korat AB and Camp Friendship, a nearby Army installation. At daylight on 14 August 1964, reassembly of 58-1845 was started. Work was hampered by the lack of proper work stands, strong winds, and the lack of personnel. The second half of the LBR contingent which had arrived early that morning (14Aug64) was physically unable to work. They had, for various reasons beyond their control, been required to remain awake for more than 48 hours and rather than use them and invite an accident I told them to eat and sleep and report for duty the following morning (15Aug64).

After two maintenance stands had been located and one repaired to make it safe to work from, the helicopter reassembly was completed. The blades were installed by the men standing on wooden crates containing aircraft missiles and by sunset 4 maintenance men, MSgt Williams, SSgt Sands, A1C Chesonis and A3C Albright (assisted by A3C McCombs, LBR Clerk) had completed the reassembly and the helicopter was ready for test  (14Aug64)The first fighters were scheduled to fly missions at mid-morning 15 August 1964 and the helicopter was test flown and mission-ready at 0900L that day. At 0900L 15 August 1964, Detachment Provisional Fourth became HH-43B mission-ready and continued so until 13 January 1965 at which time replacement personnel assumed the alert commitment and Detachment 10, EARC personnel departed Korat AB to return to their home station.

Once the aircraft were operational, we could turn to the other parts of our responsibitity at Korat AB. A flight of HU-16B aircraft was in place at Korat and attached to our unit, thereby forming Detachment Provisional Fourth. The mission of the HU-16B flight and that of the LBR did not coincide in any degree, however, to enable them to discharge their duties we were given the responsibility of providing them all the support we could so that the rescue mission in Thailand could proceed unhampered. Since the HU-16B crews came from the 33d ARSq, the 31st ARSq, and the 48th ARSq and they rotated with higher frequency than the LBR personnel it was apparent that Det.10 would shoulder the majority of the burden of administrative and housekeeping responsibilities. Captain Dale N. Weeden, HU-16B  RCC from the 33rd ARSq was instrumental in establishing the initial facilities and should be commended. Other personnel who were of tremendous assistance were Captain John Holm, 41st ARSq and Captain Calvin Heptinstall, 33d ARSq. They, their crews and maintenance personnel really jacked up the operation. They and many other people helped forge the driving spirit of cooperation so necessary for mission accomplishment.

When finally established, the construction of Detachment Provisional Fourth was that of a normal LBR with the LBR Commander as Detachment Provisional Fourth Commander and coordination lines running between the Detachment Commander and the HU-16B Flight Commander for such areas as needed coordination and mutual assistance. Maintenance personnel worked on both aircraft as needs dictated and the spirit of cooperation was as fine as could be asked. For the most part, specialist support for the helicopters was obtained from the HU-I6B flight and when required, certain specialists were requested from the Tactical Fighter Squadron who responded readily. Inter-unit cooperation between Rescue and the Tactical Squadrons was excellent. 

Flight Operations

The fighter aircraft were flying upwards of 12 sorties every day during the initial part of our TDY. As well, the RTAF flying school was operating from about 0700 to 1400 Monday through Friday and both groups flew scheduled night flights. We felt that though our primary mission was to support fighter operations we would be remiss to ignore the RTAF aircraft. Therefore, we established our alert schedule to conform to the fighter schedule and then expanded it to take in the RTAF operations. The total additional time spent was relatively small and helped produce much goodwill between the RTAF and USAF at Korat AB.

Orbit Flights

During the first week of operations it became apparent that we could do more for the fighters than pull three minute alert when they flew. We decided that if it would not impose too heavy a workload on our maintenance personnel we would orbit with the FSK on all fighter take-offs and landings. The first day we did this we consumed about twice our scheduled time. This was due mainly to the fact that the fighters often landed after their scheduled landing time by as much as 30 minutes and we discontinued this practice. We did continue orbiting for departing fighters. This was the most critical phase, from our point of view, of their flight and we could be on a distressed aircraft almost immediately if it developed an emergency during take-off. The fighter pilots several times expressed their appreciation for this particular support. We orbited for day and night take-offs for the rest of our TDY at Korat AB and only when we were on "emergency only" flying status did we suspend this operation.


We conducted normal LBR mission during our entire stay. They consisted of search, search/rescue and host base support. We were asked to perform a large number of host base support missions and complied when neither flight safety nor mission capabitity were adversely affected. These missions ranged from flying the Base Security Patrol on aerial inspections during periods of high VC activity in Vietnam (the Base Commander felt that subversive elements in this area might attempt sabotage), to flying the United States Air Force Chief of Civil Engineering to a nearby radar installation on an inspection visit. Other missions were flown where injured personnel were air evacuated; a T-6 crew recovered after crashing; aircraft parts, and in one case an entire airplane recovered from areas where no roads existed; and several scrambles for both USAF and RTAF aircraft declaring emergencies.

Mission Recapitulation   (15 Aug 64 - 14 Jan 65) 

Orbit Missions

Intercept Missions

Support Missions

Rescue Missions

Search Missions

False Missions







Flying Hours

Flying Hours

Flying Hours

Flying Hours

Flying Hours

Flying Hours







                      total :





Maintenance and Supply

Together with those items we brought from our home station, those provided by EARC, and those requisitioned from and provided by Detachment 3, PARC, our helicopter maintenance was accomplished in a highly satisfactory manner.

Rotor Blades

The climate at this base works against the rotor blades. High temperatures and heavy rain contribute materially to rotor blade deterioration, but we found that an aggressive preventive maintenance program stopped minor problems from developing into major ones and that judicious use of all materials at hand such as wax, balloon cloth and dope, and plain soap and water allowed us to lick the problem.


From Source: Kaman RotorTips, issue  Apr-May 1965 - pages 3,4,5            "Southeast Asia"

KamanRTips Apr65



02.03    1964  Rescue Missions , unknown date

                  Source: Kaman RotorTips, issue  Apr-May 1965 - pages 3,4,5       "Southeast Asia"

Missions presented here in order of entry in the Kaman Rotor Tips article: While on their tour of duty in Thailand, members of Det.10, EARC were engaged in several missions of mercy.


Rescue Mission     3-PARC-number unknown-1964                                                 DET.Prov.4, PARC

HH-43B   unkn serial no.  

Flown by  RCC  1Lt  Theron J. May (pilot); 1Lt  Zigmund W. Zalewski (copilot); A2C Billy W. Sanders


SAR Objective :  critically injured U. S. soldier from a re­mote country village 90 miles east of Bangkok


The attending Army physician had requested helicopter evacuation because, he said, the patient would die unless an emer­gency operation was performed and once operated on, he would not be able to withstand the shock of ex­tended ground transportation.

The roads were, in many cases, cow paths at best and, at worst, virtu­ally impassable save by tracked, not wheeled, vehicles.

Manning the HUSKIE were 1stLt Theron J. May, RCC; 1stLt Zigmund W. Zalewski, copilot; and A2C Bill W. Sanders, crewman. Taking off despite extremely high winds and turbulence, they made their way over high peaks and jungle. Pos­sible landing sites along the route were often impossible to find be­cause of the extensive rice paddies punctuated by tall trees where the villages are sited.

One of the big­gest concerns of the crew was that they might not be able to pinpoint the location of the injured soldier because of the tremendous number of "look-alike" villages in the area.

However, in spite of the fact that the last part of the flight was made at night and over unfamiliar terri­tory, the right village was located. Selecting a landing spot was difficult and several approaches were made before the ultimate landing spot was chosen and a landing accomplished.

The patient had been operated on and now needed large quantities of AB negative blood, a commodity not available. Airman Sanders quickly prepared the helicopter to on-load the patient. The patient was now in desperate need of blood and no time could be wasted. Patient se­cure, the doctor briefed and in place and crew ready, Lieutenant May took off on the last leg of the haz­ardous journey.

When Bangkok International Air­port became visible, fuel was well below minimums and when the HH­43B was later refueled, 184 gallons of JP-4 were required.

The patient was evacuated the rest of the dis­tance in an Army fixed-wing air­craft where 40 minutes later he was being given the blood he so urgently needed. He is alive today and on his way to recovery.


02.04    1964  Rescue Mission ,  unknown date


Rescue Mission     3-PARC-number unknown-1964                                                          DET.Prov.4, PARC

HH-43B   unkn. serial no.  

Flown by  RCC  Capt. Philip S. Prince (pilot); 1Lt  Theron J. May (copilot); Capt. Gerald J. Broock (US Army flight surgeon);  SSgt. William H. Sands (crew chief)


SAR Objective :  two U.S. State Department officials critically injured in an automobile crash


In another Thailand mission, an HH-43B crew from Det 10 evacuated two U.S. State Department officials critically injured in an automobile crash. They were taken from Sara Buri to Don Muang AB, Bangkok for medical treatment. The fast action by the ARS detachment was credited with saving the lives of the officials. Crew of the HUSKIE con­sisted of Capt Philip S. Prince, pilot; Lieutenant May, copilot; Capt Gerald J. Broock, U. S. Army flight surgeon; and SSgt William H. Sands, crew chief. 

                         POSSIBLY this is : Mission number Det10, EARC-137-24Oct64           2 saves

(AFHRA file “Evaluation SEA Save Tabulation 1964 - Oct65,  AFHRA REEL 31113 frame 827-838  ; Letter 38 ARS , Subject : Evaluation…..  as of 1 Oct65 - from ARS Form 32)


02.05    1964  Rescue Mission , unknown date


Rescue Mission      3-PARC-number unknown-1964                                                    DET.Prov.4, PARC

HH-43B   unkn. serial no.  

Flown by  RCC  1Lt  Theron J. May (pilot); Capt. Robert J. Suhrheinrich  (copilot); A1C Frank M. Chesonis (crew chief); SSgt. James W. Watson (PJ); A2C Leroy W. Kelsay (PJ)


SAR Objective :  a drowning accident,  waterfall near Nakhon Nayok


An HH-43B from the detachment was deployed to Nakhon Nayok, the scene of a drowning accident. The victim, a U.S. Army soldier, was missing at the base of a water­fall deep in the mountains of South­ern Thailand. The HUSKIE, piloted by Lieutenant May, located the site and two pararescuemen, SSgt James W. Watson and A2C Leroy W. Kelsay (48th ARS), were dispatched. They recovered the body within fifteen minutes. The fast recovery was due to the fact that Sergeant Watson relaxed in the water and let the currents take him away and under the surface. This resulted in his ending up right be­side the deceased soldier. The re­mainder of the crew consisted of Capt Robert J. Suhrheinrich, co­pilot, and A1C Frank M. Chesonis, crew chief.


02.06    1964  Rescue Mission , unknown date


Rescue Mission       3-PARC-number unknown-1964                                                         DET.Prov.4, PARC

HH-43B   unkn serial no.  

Flown by  RCC  Capt. Robert J. Suhrheinrich  (pilot); A1C Frank M. Chesonis (crew chief); SSgt. William H. Sands (hookup man); SSgt. Allan N. Bantle (rescueman); SSgt. Erving W. Cox (rescueman)


SAR Objective :  crashed T-6  RThaiAF, near Korat AB


The crew of a Det 10 HUSKIE scrambled after a "Mayday" call was received from a Royal Thai Air Force T-6 trainer near Korat, Thailand. Moments later the air­craft crashed. Within eight minutes the crash scene was located and as the HH-43B hovered with one gear touching a small dry mound of earth, the crewmen exited and aided the downed pilots in returning to the helicopter. Neither was injured. Captain Suhrheinrich was HH-43B pilot; Airman Chesonis, crew chief; Sergeant Sands, hookup man; SSgt Allan N. Bantle and SSgt Erving W. Cox, rescuemen.

                          POSSIBLY this is: Mission number  Det10, EARC-1-1Jan65               1 save

(AFHRA file “Evaluation SEA Save Tabulation 1964 - Oct65,  AFHRA REEL 31113 frame 827-838  ; Letter 38 ARS , Subject : Evaluation…..  as of 1 Oct65 - from ARS Form 32)


02.07    1964   Mission ,  unknown date

               Source: “Crash Rescue - Air Rescue Web Site”  by webmaster Bill Junkins (1999)  http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/8505/d10earc.html        (no longer existing)

The following anecdote was provided to the “Pedro” Page by Phil Prince :

“Read with interest Jay’s story (Capt. Jay Strayer, NKP) of slinging the T-28. Reminded me of an event at Korat RTAFB in 1964. We’d been deployed from Maxwell AFB, AL to Korat immediately after the Tonkin Gulf incident. Not a lot of excitement initially, but some interesting flying. We were asked by the Thai base commander if we’d help recover an RTAFB “Chipmonk” trainer that had gone down about ten miles from the base. We said, “sure”, though, like Jay, had never slung load an aerodynamic object.

The trainer was quite light, somthing on the order of 1,500 pounds and we attached lifting straps around the fuselage. Picking it up was not a problem and we started moving toward a large open area about three miles away. The game plan was to fly at 25-30 knots the entire distance at an altitude of 500’. Unfortunately, the young pilot flying the 43 decided to move out a bit more smartly than that and as we neared 45 knots and 500’AGL the Chipmonk began oscillating below us. At first the oscillations were modest but they grew and grew and grew with each passing second. As the IP, I was in the left seat and got a little (no, make that a lot) concerned as the load moved below the Pedro from left to right in an ever increasing arc. Finally, as the load swung high to the right and I could see it across the cockpit (sort of flying formation with us) I decided enough was about to become enough. One more oscillation convinced me it was time to bow the the reality of the situation. With the load now high above me on the left side of the 43 and with me looking nearly straight up and with the 43 in just about a 90 degree right bank, I released the load and as we rolled back to the left, watched the trainer spin to the ground. Made quite a nice impact in the rice paddy below. Thankfull there were no farmers in the vicinity. We did not made another attempt to recover the airplane. We did, however, make a concerted effort to recover our composure before we landed and tried to explain what had happened to our RTAFB host. Oh, well.                Cheers, Phil “ 




03.            Replacement TDY personnel January 1965


03.01        SECOND  GROUP  of  TDY personnel           first week  Jan 1965  -  Oct 1965           DET.Prov.4, PARC / DET.4, 38ARS 


Capt. Thomas C. Seebo                (P)  Det.Co. *

Capt. Harold D. Salem                   (P)  Det.Co. *

Capt.  Donald D. Metzinger           (P)       **

Capt. Joseph W. Kelly                    (P)

1st Lt. Larry N. Young                    (P) 

A1C  Harold L. Morgan                FF

A1C  John P. Gibeau                    MT




* Capt. Seebo was Det.Co. during the Rescue Mission of 02 March 1965  ;  Capt. Salem was Det.Co. during Jul-Sep65, and was replaced by Capt. Luttinger in Oct65 (AFHRA file K318-2-1965-Vol.11-Support Documents, page 09 and 56)   new
** Capt. Metzinger was assigned to Det.Prov.4 from mid January up to mid March 1965 (End-of-Tour Report Capt. Metzinger, AFHRA file K318-2131, IRIS00492009)


03.02         Rescue Mission on 02-03 March 1965

                    Source 1  Book : LaPointe, Robert L. (SMSgt USAF, Ret.) “PJ’s in Vietnam”Northern PJ Press (2000) , pages 88-89 and 96-97

                    Source 2: Rescue Mission Report  3-PARC-187-2Mar65 , IRIS No. 01009286, in USAF Collection, AFHRA

On 02 March 1965  “Operation Rolling Thunder“ began.Source 1 This was a systematic bombing campaign, starting a the DMZ and gradually moving northward. It initially targeted NVN fuel and supply depots. Rescue mission planners developed a SAR plan. On the day of attack, two HH-43F’s assigned to Da Nang AB, Vietnam forward deployed to Quang Tri, approximately 17 miles south of the DMZ. Two HU-16B’s out of Da Nang AB set up SAR orbits. “Adman 63” over “Tiger Island” (a small island) and “Adman 66” . A third HU-16B “Adman 44” from Korat AB took off on 0513Z to establish a SAR orbit over NKP. And a fourth HU-16B was scrambled from Korat AB at 0940Z in connection with the below mentioned Rescue Mission near Ubon AB. 

Rescue Mission number 3-PARC-187-2Mar65                                                                     DET.Prov.4, PARC

HH-43B   xx-xxxx

Flown by RCC Capt. Joseph W. Kelly ; 1st Lt. Larry N. Young (copilot); A1C Harold L. Morgan (FF); A1C John P. Gibeau (MT)


SAR Objective : pilot  F-105D  62-4235  Capt. Kenneth L. Spagnola  - 67 TFS, 18 TFW Korat AB

                           Aircraft damaged over NVN , crashed in Thailand on it's return to Korat AB


Under the same Mission Number 187-2Mar65, two HH-43Bs from Det.Prov.2 at Nakhon Phanom AB were scrambled for a Rescue Mission in Laos (another F-105D of 67TFS in troubles). That day the third NKP Huskie was sent to Ubon AB for standby alert in connection with “Rolling Thunder”. There were no Huskies assigned to Ubon AB yet. The NKP Huskie returned home in the evening, while the below mentioned Korat Huskie had arrived to perform his part of Rescue Mission number 3-PARC-187-2Mar65. 

Rescue Mission Det.3, PARC 187 - 2 Mar 65 as reported by Det.Prov.4  Commander Capt. Seebo

Two helicopter crews were on alert at Det.Prov.4 to cover the F-105 participation in a strike mission. One helicopter was configured for LBR, one for ACR. Both Detachment helicopters were participating. Captain Seebo was RCC on the LBR helicopter, intercepting numerous F-105s in emergency conditions when Captain Seebo heard the F-105 pilot requesting assistance from Ubon. Fuel state near empty. Captain Seebo requested the tower operator to scramble the other helicopter to Ubon. At approximately 0853Z, 2 Mar 65, the F-105 pilot stated he had flamed out at 12,000 feet. Someone instructed him to get out by 5000 feet. His last transmission was at 7000 feet. The second HH-43B was getting airborne at this time.

At 0852Z, 2 Mar 65, Korat AB Tower advised Det.Prov.4 of an F-105 flameout and impending bailout in the vicinity of Ubon, Thailand. The HH-43B was scrambled at 0854Z with Capt. Joseph W. Kelly, RCC; 1st Lt. Larry N. Young, Copilot; A1C Harold L. Morgan, Firefighter; and A1C John P. Gibeau, Medical Technician as the crew. Capt. Seebo on aircraft radio advised that the pilot had just bailed out near Ubon and to proceed to Ubon. Korat Tower advised that Korat Radar had a fix on the crash and to go Radar Frequency for a steer. Radar gave the heading as 056° and the estimated distance to be 135 miles. Distance-fuel calculations were made. Since the range of the helicopter was insufficient to proceed to the crash site and then to Ubon, the helicopter proceeded direct to Ubon, arriving at 1100Z, 2 Mar 65.

Captain Seebo landed at 0913Z and requested the C.Q. to notify Captain Brown, HU-16B RCC, to report to Fighter Operations immediately. At 0918Z ASOC was contacted. ASOC, Major Barnee, advised to scramble the HU-16B to 090° radial of Lion, coordination had been made with the Rescue Control Center at Det.3, PARC (TanSonNhut AB). ASOC was advised that the HH-43B was on the way to Ubon. Captain Brown was advised to attempt contact with the HH-43B on radar frequency enroute to Ubon. The HU-16B was airborne at approximately 0940Z.

On arrival at Ubon at 1100Z, Captain Kelly checked for information from the tower and radar. Nothing positive. Captain Seebo at Det.Prov.4 was notified. Captain Seebo instructed Captain Kelly that the HU-16B was in the search area and to contact Det.3, PARC as soon as possible, if  unable then to get airborne and contact the HU-16B. Captain Kelly conatcted Det.3, PARC and was advised to contact ASOC at Udorn, Thailand. ASOC advised the HH-43B to remain on the ground at Ubon and await further instructions as the pilot had not been located. At 1615Z, ASOC advised Captain Kelly that the survivor had been located near Ban-Thanat-Buri, Thailand, and would be transported to Roi-Et, Thailand for recovery at 0200Z, 3 Mar 65. Captain Kelly and crew were airborne from Ubon at 0030Z, 3 Mar 65 and arrived Roi-Et at 0130Z and the survivor arrived approximately 5 minutes later. The survivor pickup was completed and the takeoff was effected at 0255Z and the survivor was off-loaded into an awaiting HU-16B for transport to Korat AB, Thailand. After refueling at Ubon, the HH-43B departed for Korat. Shortly after takeoff the helicopter was instructed to return to Ubon. After returning and finding negative requirement, the helicopter departed for Korat, arriving at 0720Z. Total sorties: 5 ; total flying time: 7:25  


 04.     1 July 1965 : Activation of 38th ARS , with DET.4, 38ARS at Korat AB 

A major reorganization took place on 01 July 1965 with the activation of the 38th ARS  -  based at Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam.   Lt.Col. Edward Krafka became the first commander.

The 38th ARS acted as a headquarters for all ARS helicopter detatchments which as of then became PCS units. All HH-43 aircraft were assigned to the 38th ARS as Detachments:  DET.1 to eventually DET.14. All aircraft which were flown in from CONUS as of Aug 1964, became permanently stationed in the region.


04.01    Replacement TDY personnel by PCS personnel      October 1965     (Third Group)    Oct 1965  -  Sep 1966           DET.4, 38th ARS 

                   Source : file K318-2-1965-Vol.11-Support Documents, IRIS 00491713, in USAF Collection, AFHRA - Hist. 1Oct-31Dec65, Pages 56 thru 59: History Det.4, 38th ARS 

Capt. Jerome R. Luttinger               (P)   Det.Co. *

Capt. Donald J. Couture                  (P)  Det.Co. **

Capt. John S. Lapman                     (P)

Capt. Ellis E. Wallace                       (P)

Capt. Lew E. Phillips                        (P)

1st Lt. Gary N. Beson                      (P)

SMSgt. Joseph J. Jezioro

SSgt.  Arthur L. Foster 

SSgt.  Nolan P. Pearson

SSgt.  Vernon R. Kolander

SSgt.  Allan N. Bantle                   (RS)

A2C  Roger R. Shell                      (HM)

* Capt. Luttinger was Det.Co. from Oct65 - Jun66 ; he received the Kaman “1000-Hour Pilot Award” during late 1965 or early 1966 (Kaman Rotor Tips, issue Feb-Mar66, page 5)

** Capt. Couture arrived 27Dec65 ; was Det.Co. Jul66-Sep66


04.02    Quarterly History      Det.4, 38 ARS     October - December 1965

Source: AFHRA file K318-2-1965-Vol.11-Support Documents, IRIS 00491713, in USAF Collection, AFHRA  - Hist. 1Oct-31Dec65, Pages 56 thru 59: History Det.4, 38th ARS

Operational control was provided through the 6234th TFW Command Center at Korat Air Base. Commander DET.4: Capt Jerome R. Luttinger. He was assigned PCS Commander of the detachment as of 20 Oct 1965, in replacement of Capt. Harold D. Salem who was TDY Commander. During the month of October the TDY personnel assigned to this detachment were replaced by the first PCS personnel. One of the most persistant problems encountered by this Detachment during this quarter has been in the area of supply. Base supply on Korat AB has just recently, December, been established. Training during this period has been less than normal due to lack of fire pit equipment and flyable aircraft. With the exception of fire suppression training, all training requirements will be met. Necessary ground training for upgrading non-rated personnel from un-qualified to qualified is now being accomplished. On the 29th of November 1965, Detachment 4 received a third HH-43B, 60-0280, from Det.5, 38ARS at Udorn AB. 


591586 photo 094884

591586 photo 096008

59-1586  at Korat AB during Oct65 , still with old MATS emblem - USAF photos 094884 (at left) and  096008 (the F-4C, 64-0739 seen in the second photo, was assigned to 68 TFS, 8 TFW and was delivered to Korat ca27Aug65)


04.03               Rescue Mission on 10 October 1965

                           Source: file K318-2-1965-Vol.11-Support Documents, IRIS 00491713, in USAF Collection, AFHRA - Hist. 1Oct-31Dec65, Pages 56 thru 59: History Det.4, 38th ARS 

Rescue Mission      4-38-872-10Oct65                                           DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   59-1586   call sign “Rescue 93”  

Flown by  RCC  unknown


SAR Objective :  work crew out of an overturned truck, 50 NM from Korat AB  - two patients


On the 10th October 1965, the 6234th TFW Command Post notified the Detachment of an accident at a GCI Site approximately 50 NM from this station. A truck with a work crew had overturned near the base of a hill on which the site was located and 22 persons had received injuries. At 1215 “Rescue 93” departed Korat AB with one Flight Surgeon on board. “Rescue 93” arrived on the scene at 1300 and proceeded to pick up one litter patient and one ambulatory patient. These two more seriously injured personnel were transported to the 31st Field Hospital, arriving in Korat at 1415. 


04.04               Rescue Mission on 20 October 1965

                          Source: file K318-2-1965-Vol.11-Support Documents, IRIS 00491713, in USAF Collection, AFHRA - Hist. 1Oct-31Dec65, Pages 56 thru 59: History Det.4, 38th ARS 

Rescue Mission      4-38-873-20Oct65                                          DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   58-1845  call sign “Rescue 44”

Flown by  RCC  unknown


SAR Objective :  two injured USArmy personnel at GCI site 50 NM from Korat AB


On the 20th October 1965 the Detachment received a call from the Wing Command Post, at 1912 of a medical evacuation mission from a GCI Site. Once again a ground accident had injured two American Army personnel. At 1958 hours, “Rescue 44” departed Korat AB for the GCI Site and arrived at the site approximately 50 minutes later. “Rescue 44” was directed to the site via the Korat GCA and landed on a helo pad approximately 3 miles north of the site. The pad was illuminated by the lights of a number of trucks surrounding the pad. By 2110 hours,  Rescue 44” had departed the Site for Korat where the two patients were transferred to the 31st Field Hospital.


04.05               Rescue Mission on 04 Nov 1965

                          Source1: file K318-2-1965-Vol.11-Support Documents, IRIS 00491713, in USAF Collection, AFHRA - Hist. 1Oct-31Dec65, Pages 56 thru 59: History Det.4, 38th ARS

                           Source2: Rescue Mission Report  4-38-874-4Nov65, in USAF Collection, AFHRA (on microfilm REEL31113, frame 1171-73)

Rescue Mission      4-38-874-4Nov65                                             DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   58-1845  call sign “Rescue 44”

Flown by  RCC  Capt. Ellis E. Wallace


SAR Objective :  one injured  Thai National from an Army Camp, 27 NM south of Korat AB


At 1500 hours on the 4th November 1965, Wing Command Post notified this Detachment of a medical evacuation from an Army Engineer Camp located 27 NM  south of Korat. Since only one aircraft was in commission at the time, the Command Post did not release an aircraft for the evacuation until the tactical flying at Korat had terminated. At 1635 hours, “Rescue 44” was released and was enroute to the camp. Two Tailand Nationals had received severe injuries while attempting to clear an area of large trees when a tree fell on a grader which  they were operating. One man had been evacuated by ambulance earlier and we were later informed of his death shortly after his arrival at the 31st Field Hospital. “Rescue 44” picked up the other litter patient and returned with him to the 31st Field Hospital, Korat AB, at 1730 hours. We were subsequently informed by Army Medical personnel that the patient who had been evacuated by helicopter had survived possibly due to his rapid evacuation.


04.06               Rescue Mission on 10 Nov 1965

                          Source1: file K318-2-1965-Vol.11-Support Documents, IRIS 00491713, in USAF Collection, AFHRA - Hist. 1Oct-31Dec65, Pages 56 thru 59: History Det.4, 38th ARS

                           Source2: Rescue Mission Report  4-38-875-10Nov65, in USAF Collection, AFHRA (on microfilm REEL31113, frame 1215) 

Rescue Mission      4-38-875-10Nov65                                               DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   58-1845  call sign “Rescue 44”

Flown by  RCC  Capt. John S. Lapham; Capt. Lew E. Phillips (co-pilot);  SSgt. Allan N. Bantle (RS); A2C Roger R. Shell (HM)


SAR Objective :  Four missing UN personnel, approx 45 NM west of Korat AB


On 9 November 1965 at 1630 hours, Detachment 4 was notified of a pending search mission. Four ECAFE members (a United Nations organization) had  been missing since 7 November near the Kheo Yai National Park. Due to impending darkness it was agreed through Wing Command Post to postpone the search until the following morning. At 0525 hours on the 10th Nov “Rescue 44” was airborne.

The rescue commitment at Korat AB was maintained by an HH-43B from Detachment 5, 38th ARS, which arrived early on the morning of the 10th, since this Detachment had only one helicopter in commission. The search site was approximately 45 NM to the West of Korat. “Rescue 44” arrived on scene at 0620 hours. At 0650 hours, “Rescue 44” spotted smoke coming from an area near the bottom of a deep tree lined gorge. After making several passes over the area one of the survivors was spotted. Due to the rugged terrain there were no landing sites available, therefor it was decided to lower a man on the hoist to determine if medical assistance was required by the survivors. It was discovered that one member of the party had suffered a minor injury. “Rescue 44” then flew to a nearby Army Camp and directed a ground party to the survivors. All four members were led out of the area safely. 

And       from Kaman RotorTips issue, Feb-March 1966, page 18   "Huskie Happenings" :

 ... Search for four officials from ECAFE, United Nations organization, conducted by HH-43B crew from Det 4, 38th ARS, Korat AB, Thailand. Officials, missing for three days, located on a sand bar in Hain Sei Noi River in the jungles of Khao Yai National Park. Rescue site located in narrow gorge surrounded by 100-foot tall trees. SSgt. Allan N. Bantle goes down 90 feet on hoist, determines party does not need assistance. Helicopter directs ground searchers through jungle to location. Pilots on mission are Captains John S. Lapham and Lew E. Phillips, crew chief is A2C Roger R. Shell. 


04.07               Rescue Mission on 08 Dec 1965

                          Source1: file K318-2-1965-Vol.11-Support Documents, IRIS 00491713, in USAF Collection, AFHRA - Hist. 1Oct-31Dec65, Pages 56 thru 59: History Det.4, 38th ARS 

Rescue Mission      4-38-???-8Dec65                                                   DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   58-1845  call sign “Rescue 44”

Flown by  RCC   unknown crew


SAR Objective :  pilot F-105D 62-4302  Capt. John A. McCurdy  - 355 TFW

                            crashed following engine failure and fire, 39 NM north of Korat AB


A notification from the Korat AB tower was received by this Detachment on 1242 hours on the 8th December 1965 of a bailout 39 NM north of this station. “Rescue 44” departed Korat AB at 1244 hours and located the downed pilot at 1309 hours. The pilot had sustained no injuries and was returned to Korat at 1420 hours after locating the aircraft wreckage. During the following days a number of support missions were flown to the crash site for purposes of extracting the wreckage. A total of 35 hours plus 55 minutes were flown in support of this mission to the present time. 



591586 May Jun66 JimMardock

59-1586 at Korat, photographed by Jim Mardock during May-June 1966  


04.08               Rescue Mission on 22 Feb 1966

                          Source: Rescue Mission Report  4-38-2-22Feb66, in USAF Collection, AFHRA (on microfilm REEL31113, frame 1042-45) 

Rescue Mission      4-38-2-22Feb66                                               DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   no details

Flown by  RCC    crew unknown


SAR Objective :   one injured Thai National,  22 NM south of Korat AB


The security guard was reported shot in the chest at a US Army Engineering Camp, 22 NM south of Korat AB. Delivered to the US Army field hospital at Korat. One sortie, 0 plus 50 hours.


04.09               Rescue Mission on 11 Apr 1966

                          Source:  file K318-222-3-Hist-3ARRG, Vol.1, part Apr-Jun66, IRIS 00492414 in USAF Collection, AFHRA 

Rescue Mission      4-38-5-11Apr66                                               DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   unknown

Flown by  unknown


SAR Objective:   medical evacuation of one US Military person to medical facility



Details unknown 


04.10               Rescue Mission on 02 Jun 1966

                          Source:  file K318-222-3-Hist-3ARRG, Vol.1, part Apr-Jun66, IRIS 00492414 in USAF Collection, AFHRA 

Rescue Mission      4-38-6-2Jun66                                               DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   unknown

Flown by  unknown


SAR Objective:   pilot F-105D  61-0160   Capt. Clarence A. Stewart   -   21 TFS  Korat AB

                            engine failure and explosion , bailed out, rescued


Recovered F-105 pilot who bailed out of his aircraft at 56 NM  NE of Korat AB. HH-43B landed in unprepared area for pick-up. Further details unknown. 


04.11               Rescue Mission on 18 Jul 1966

                          Source:  file K318-2-Hist-3ARRG Jul-Dec66, Vol.2, part Jul-Sep66, IRIS 00491723 in USAF Collection, AFHRA 

Rescue Mission      4-38-7-18Jul66                                               DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   unknown

Flown by  unknown


SAR Objective:   SAR 1 person , one sortie


Details unknown



5.      FOURTH  GROUP  of  personnel                                    Sep 1966  -   xxx 1967 

Capt. Donald J. Couture               (P)  Det.Co.  *

Capt. Lucian A. Gunter, III             (P)  Det.Co.  *

Capt. Zack L. Stockett                   (P)

Capt. James G. Ellis                      (P)

1Lt.   James P. Soster                   (P)

2Lt.   Thomas J. Vining                (P)


TSgt Bobby W. Singleton            (HM)

SSgt. Lyod J. Satterfield              (FE)

SSgt. Charles H. Stone                (FM)

SSgt. Robert P. Joubert               (MT)

A1C  Nimrod J. Ramey                (FE)

A1C  Hugh A. Brown                    (FE)

A1C  Keith T. Tauton                    (FE)

* Capt. Couture was Det.Co. Jul66 - Sep66 ;  Capt. Gunter became Det.Co. in Oct66


05.01               Rescue Mission on 05 Oct 1966

                          Source:  file K318-2-Hist-3ARRG Jul-Dec66, Vol.2, part Oct-Dec66, IRIS 00491723 in USAF Collection, AFHRA 

Rescue Mission      4-38-8-5Oct66                                               DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   unknown

Flown by  unknown


SAR Objective:  2 SAR objectives , one sortie 


Details unknown


05.02               Rescue Mission on 10 Oct 1966

                           Source: Rescue Mission Report  4-38-9-10Oct66, in USAF Collection, AFHRA (on microfilm REEL31113, frame 909) 

Rescue Mission      4-38-9-10Oct66                                               DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   60-0280   “Pedro 22”

Flown by  RCC    Capt. Donald J. Couture; Capt. Zack L. Stockett (co-pilot); A1C Hugh A. Brown (FE); A1C Keith T. Tauton (FE)


SAR Objective:  pilot F-105D  62-4300  “Machete 04”  1Lt. Glen F. Bullock  -   34 TFS, 388 TFW

engine failed on take off from Korat AB and crashed approx one mile off the end of runway 06, pilot ejected but was fatally injured


Rescue Mission Report : Korat AB primary crash phone scrambled “Pedro 22” with FSK at 0615Z and the aircraft was airborne at 0617Z. Smoke from crash was visible at take off. “Pedro 22” arrived at crash site 0618Z. Fire around deceased extinguished immediately. Deceased returned to Korat AB by Air Force ambulance. Two sorties, 0 plus 45 hours. 

Short history of flight, compiled by W.H. Plunkett, Albuquerque, NM (2011); published on the Internet as part of the 34th TFS History :

At 1316 hours (0616Z) F-105D, SN 62-4300 crashed approximately one mile off the end of runway 06, Korat AB.  The crash occurred approximately fifteen seconds after take off following an engine explosion and immediate pilot ejection.  The aircraft was completely destroyed by impact damage and fire.  The pilot ejected but was fatally injured. The aircraft was number four in a flight of four F-105s taking off on a tactical mission.


05.03               Rescue Mission on 10 Nov 1966

                          Source: Rescue Mission Report  4-38-10-10Nov66, in USAF Collection, AFHRA (on microfilm REEL31113, frame 891-892) 

Rescue Mission      4-38-10-10Nov66                                               DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   60-0280   “Pedro 22”

Flown by  RCC    Capt. James G. Ellis; 1Lt. James P. Soster (co-pilot); SSgt Lyod J. Satterfield (FE); A1C Nimrod J. Ramey


SAR Objective:  pilot F-105D  62-4288   Maj. Dain W. Milliman  -   469 TFS, 388 TFW

                             crashed on take off, 3 miles SE of Korat AB , pilot was fatally injured


Rescue Mission Report : Korat AB primary crash phone scrambled “Pedro 22” with FSK at 0635Z and the aircraft was airborne at 0636Z. Smoke from crash was visible at take off. “Pedro 22” arrived at crash site 0637Z. No survivor visible among wreckage. Helicopter forced to withdraw due to explosive ordnance. Deceased returned to Korat AB by Air Force ambulance. One sortie, 0 plus 55 hours.


05.04               Rescue Mission on 22 Nov 1966

                           Source: Rescue Mission Report  4-38-11-22Nov66, in USAF Collection, AFHRA (on microfilm REEL31113, frame 882-883) 

Rescue Mission      4-38-11-22Nov66                                               DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B   60-0280   “Pedro 22”

Flown by  RCC    Capt. Donald J. Couture; Lt. Thomes J. Vininr (co-pilot); SSgt. Charles H. Stone (FM); Capt. Kenith M. Singer (Flight Surgeon)


SAR Objective:  pilot F-105D  58-1161  “Boar Flight Leader”  Capt. Buddy L. Bowman  -   469 TFS, 388 TFW                          


Rescue Mission Report : Korat AB  tower by field phone scrambled “Pedro 22” at 0510Z. After take off  “Pedro 22” was vectored towards site of bailout by Korat radar. Vector continued until loss of radar contact at approximately 50 NM. “Pedro 22” then made visual contact with rescap “Boar 1” and directed the helicopter to the survivor, Capt. Buddy L. Bowman. Capt. Bowman was recovered after the helicopter landed in open field near a Thai village. After a check by the Flight Surgeon, Capt. Bowman was returned to Korat AB. Two sortie, 2 hours.


05.05              Rescue Mission on 28 Dec 1966

                          Source: Rescue Mission Report  4-38-12-28Dec66, in USAF Collection, AFHRA (on microfilm REEL31113, frame 1154-58) 

Rescue Mission      4-38-12-28Dec66                                               DET.4, 38 ARS

HH-43B      unknown serial and call sign

Flown by  RCC   Capt. Lucian A. Gunter, III; 2Lt. Thomas J. Vining (co-pilot); TSgt Bobby W. Singleton (Hoist operator);  Captain George Stoneman (Flight Surgeon); SSgt Robert P. Joubert (MT)


SAR Objective:  crew of USAF U-6A 51-16565  606ACS at NKP , pilot Capt. Ronald A. Susi, and A1C Gary F. Parris   ;  area Koks Kathiem, Thailand                    

Narrative Report written by Detachment Commander Captain Gunter:

Notified by TACC Udorn AB at 0257Z that a “Mayday” report had been received from Don Muang AB at 0240Z on a distress aircraft, Call Sign “Sweep 30” (USAF U-6A). Location, given as 101 degrees 32 minutes W; 14 degrees 12 minutes N. Emergency refueling was requested and 388th TFW Command Post was informed of above information as well as Base Operations. Preliminary investigation revealed no inbound aircraft with similar call sign due Korat or Takhli RTAFB’s. At 0310Z, contacted again by TACC, Udorn Airfield, and request received to dispatch helicopter in an effort to investigate incident. Refueling completed and HH-43B from Det 4, 38 ARRS was airborne from Korat RTAFB at 0320Z. Communication established at 0345Z between “Dressy Lady” GCI, “Gamby 11” (EB-66 CAP) and HH-43B. “Gamby 11” established first contact with survivors via ARC RT-10 radio and vectored helicopter into the crash site, 0400Z.

Hoist pickups over isolated, rough mountainous rocky shale terrain, among numerous small trees. Helicopter departed the site at 0405Z and arrived at Korat RTAFB at 0500Z. No major difficulties encountered. The downed crewmembers were uninjured and assisted in their recovery by “beeper” transmissions, voice communications and display of parachute panels. The survivors were recovered by hoist sling without difficulty. 


05.06        “Pitsenbarger Hall” dedication for Airmen’s mess hall at Korat AB

                     Source:  file K318-2-Hist-3ARRG Jul-Dec66, Vol.2, part Oct-Dec66, IRIS 00491723 in USAF Collection, AFHRA

The airmen’s mess hall at Korat AB was named “Pitsenbarger Hall” on 25 Dec 1966 in honor of A1C William H. Pitsenbarger of the 38th ARRSq. Senator Stuart Symington made the dedication. Airman Pitsenbarger, Pararescueman, voluntarily rode a rescue hoist to the ground to help Army personnel prepare csualties for evacuation during a mission near Bien Hoa, Vietnam on 11 April 1966 (HH-43F Detachment 6, 38ARRS). After the helicopter made several hoist pickups, the Army position came under attack; Airman Pitsenbarger was killed while assisting the ground forces during the onslaught which eventually over-ran the Army defenses. For this heroic actions Pitsenbarger was awarded the Air Force Cross posthumously. Col. Lovelady and Lt.Col. Price attended the ceremony as representatives of 3rd ARRGp and 38th ARRSq respectively. 


591586 Dec66 NARA100357

Korat AB  Dec 1966 - USAF photo 100357  NARA collection (thanks to Dana Bell)


591586 frTower Dec1966 JSpillers

Korat AB - camouflaged HH-43B, photographed during December 1966 by Jack Spillers (collection N.E.Taylor)

591586 FSK Dec1966 JSpillers

Korat Air Base - camouflaged HH-43B, photographed during December 1966 by Jack Spillers (collection N.E.Taylor)



6.   End of this review - however,  Det.4 continued to fly Huskies from Korat AB

                                                                   A follow-up of this review for the period  1967 - 1975  will be published later.


600281 Korat Dec68 NARA

HH-43B 60-0281 during firefighting practice , Dec 1968 - USAF photo K35517 NARA collection (thanks to Dana Bell)



last update 20/02/2023