Pedro Call Sign  SEA : Vietnam - Thailand

The origin of the “Pedro” call-sign comes from Rescue missions during the Korean War.  In the book  "Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service, 1946 - 1981, An Illustrated Chronology," by Donald D. Little [1983]  (Office of MAC History, Military Airlift Command, USAF, Scott AFB, IL 62225)  a Rescue Mission is described, dated 12 Apr 1953 in Korea, using the call-signs “Pedro 1” and “Pedro 2”. 

The first known use of the “Pedro” call-sign in CONUS was during late November 1964, when two HH-43B from Det.9, WARC at Portland IAP, OR and one Huskie from Det.5, WARC at McChord AFB, WA evacuated more than 175 persons in the flood-stricken Pacific Northwest. “Pedro 1”, “Pedro 2” and “Pedro 3” were flown by some of the crewmembers who were sent TDY to set up the Detachment at Udorn AB, Thailand in May 1965. It may therefor be quite possible that these crewmembers introduced the idea to use “Pedro” as permanent call-sign for the HH-43 in SEA.

The first known use of the “Pedro” call-sign in the SEA War is dated 28 October 1965 and this was during a mission executed by two HH-43F assigned to Det.5, 38ARS (Udorn AB, Thailand), but  launched from NKP. 

Before this date HH-43 aircraft operating in SEA were given call-signs which would change every seven to ten days. They were classified AFSAL call signs (Armed Forces Security Agency List). Each helicopter would carry a permanent two-digit number. For instance “21” and “22”  for HH-43B 60-0279 and 60-0280 (when based at NKP during 1965). (Source : Capt. Joe Ballinger, Det.Co. at NKP - DET.1, 38ARS - information published on pages of the website "USAF Rotorheads"). During this timeframe call-signs like "Alban 21"  and  “Rescue 44” in SEA  or “Firebird 1”  elsewhere, were used.

December 1965

The exact date is unknown, but certainly during early December 1965 the “Pedro” call-sign was permanently (not changing every 7-10 days) issued to all HH-43 aircraft in SEA with fixed two-digit numbers issued to each Huskie in theatre and running from 01 up to 99.

 

Period  before  December 1965

 

 Alban 21  60-0279   NKP  DET.Prov.2  -  31 Mar 1965 : Capt. Jay Strayer, pilot ; Capt. James Rodenberg  co-pilot (low bird)
 Alban 41  62-4510   NKP  DET.Prov.2  -  31 Mar 1965 : Capt. Israel Freedman, pilot ; Capt. Warren Davis, co-pilot (high bird)
 Bandy 21  60-0279   NKP  DET.Prov.2  -  02 Mar 1965 : Capt. Warren Davis, pilot  (high bird)
 Bandy 41  62-4510   NKP  DET.Prov.2  -  02 Mar 1965 : Capt. Israel Freedman, pilot ; Capt. James Rodenberg, co-pilot (low-bird)
 Bandy 95    Quang Tri/Da Nang  DET.5, PARC  -  02 Mar 1965 : 1st.Lt. Joseph Phelan, pilot ; Capt. Clyde Lemke, co-pilot  (low bird)
 Bandy 96    Quang Tri/Da Nang  DET.5, PARC  -  02 Mar 1965 : Maj. Ronald Ingraham, pilot ; Lt. Donald Welsh, co-pilot
 Curse 21  60-0279  NKP  Det.Prov.2  08 June 1965  (high bird)  RCC  Capt. Thomas Curtis
 Curse 22  60-0280  NKP  Det.Prov.2  08 June 1965  (low bird)  Capt. Stanley Schaetzle
 Duchy 21  60-0279   NKP  DET.1  -  20 Sept 1965 : Capt. Joe Ballinger, pilot ; Capt. Walt Turk, co-pilot
 Duchy 22  60-0280   NKP  DET.1  -  20 Sept 1965 : Capt. Richard Laine, pilot ; Capt Bruce Hepp, co-pilot  (high bird)
 Duchy 41  62-4510  NKP  DET.1  -  20 Sept 1965 : Capt. Tom Curtis, pilot ; 1st.Lt. Duane Martin, co-pilot  -  was shot down
 Hobby 21  60-0279  NKP  Det.Prov.2  23 Jun 1965 mission
 Hobby 22  60-0280  NKP  Det.Prov.2  23 Jun 1965 mission
 Pansy 88  62-4564 ?  NKP  DET.Prov.2  -  18-19  Nov 1964 : first large scale Search&Rescue operation
 Pansy 89  62-4565 ?  NKP  DET.Prov.2  -  18-19  Nov 1964 : first large scale Search&Rescue operation
 Pedro 01  HH-43F 62-4511 or 25  NKP   DET.1  -  28 Oct 1965 : Capt. Donald Burdeaux, pilot ; Capt. William Uhl, co-pilot  (low bird)

 NKP  DET.1  - 18 Nov 1965 : Capt. John Reiderick, pilot ; 1st.Lt. Vharles Sweet, co-pilot

 Pedro 02  HH-43  NKP   DET.1  -  28 Oct 1965 : Capt. Charles McMillan, pilot ; Capt. Charles Rush, co-pilot  (high bird)

 NKP  DET.1  - 18 Nov 1965 :  1st.Lt. Frederick Dykes, pilot ; 1st. Lt. Kenneth Griffis, co-pilot 

 Pedro 03    LimaSite 36 - 07 Nov 1965 (from NKP ?)
 Pedro 04    LimaSite 36 - 07 Nov 1965 (from NKP ?)
 Rescue 44  58-1845  DET.4, 38 ARS  Oct 65
 Rescue 93  59-1586  DET.4, 38 ARS  Oct 65
 Rescue 95  63-9713  Da Nang  DET.5 -  02 Jun 1965 : Capt. Floyd Lockhart, pilot  (low bird) - was hit and crashed
 Rescue 96  63-9714  Da Nang  DET.5 -  02 Jun 1965 : Capt. James Hartley, pilot ; Capt. James Berryhill co-pilot  (high bird) ; 
 Rescue96 used in mission 7-38-668-12Nov65
 Rescue 97    Rescue97 used in mission 7-38-668-12Nov65
 Tick 22  60-0280  DET.Prov.2   17 May 1965   (low bird)   Capt. Bruce Hepp
 Tick 41  62-4510  DET.Prov.2   17 May 1965   (high bird)  1stLt. Walter Turk

 

 

Period  as of  December 1965 

 

Pedro 01    Udorn  DET.5  - Oct66-67  (source: Mr. Dan Wolfe, via Steve Mock)
Pedro 02    Udorn  DET.5  - Oct66-67  (source: Mr. Dan Wolfe, via Steve Mock)
Pedro 03    DET.14, 3 ARRG  TanSonNhut AB  (RotorTips July72)
Pedro 04  60-0253  DET.8  CamRB  Jan-Mar68 ;  Phan Rang   DET.1 - Jul69-Jul70
Pedro 05  60-0254  DET.11 TuyHoa Jan-Mar68  ; Tuy Hoa  DET.11 - Feb69
Pedro 06    
Pedro 07    
Pedro 08  60-0258  DET.3 Ubon  Jan-Mar68
Pedro 09  60-0259  Udorn  DET.4 - Feb67-Feb68  ; DET.5  Udorn  Jan-Mar68
Pedro 10    
Pedro 11    
Pedro 12    
Pedro 13    
Pedro 14    
Pedro 15    
Pedro 16    
Pedro 17  60-0268  DET.12 NhaTrang  a/o 18 Feb68 (from Clark AB)
Pedro 18    
Pedro 19    
Pedro 20  60-0278

 ??-????

 Tuy Hoa  DET.11 - Aug67  (RotorTips-Sep-Oct67) ; DET.12 NhaTrang Jan-Mar68 ; DET.12  Jul-Sep68 ; 60-0278 crashed 10Jul69

 DET.1, 3 ARRG  Phan Rang AB (RotorTips-Jan-Feb72-p5) (could be 60-0266, arrived in SEA 26Sep69)

Pedro 21  60-0279  DET.13 PhuCat Jan-Mar68 ; DET.13  Jul-Sep68  ;  PhanRang DET.1 - Jul69-Jul70 
Pedro 22  60-0280  Korat DET.4 - Jun 67 ; DET.13 PhuCat Jan-Mar68 ; Phu Cat  DET.13   ; DET.13  Jul-27Sep68
Pedro 23  60-0281  DET.4 Korat  Jan-Mar68
Pedro 24  60-0282  Tuy Hoa  DET.11 - Aug67 (RotorTips-Sep-Oct67) ; DET.11 Jan-Mar68 ; DET.11  Feb69 ; Aug69
Pedro 25    
Pedro 26    DET.4  Korat   (RotorTips-Nov-Dec72-p21)
Pedro 27    
Pedro 28    
Pedro 29    
Pedro 30    
Pedro 31    
Pedro 32    
Pedro 33  61-2950

 63-9717

 DET.4  Korat  Jan-Mar68

 Udorn  DET.5 - Sep 75

Pedro 34  64-17559  Udorn  DET.5 - Sep 75
Pedro 35    
Pedro 36    U-Tapao  DET12 - (RotorTips-Nov72-p25) ; Nov73 ; Sep 74
Pedro 37    U-Tapao  DET12 - Jul 74
Pedro 38    
Pedro 39  62-4508  Binh Thuy  DET.10 - Jan68 , 1969
Pedro 40    
Pedro 41  62-4510??  
Pedro 42  62-4511  Pleiku  DET.9 - Oct66
Pedro 43    
Pedro 44  58-1845  Phan Rang  DET.1 - Mar67 , Oct68
Pedro 45    
Pedro 46  62-4515  DET.6 - Apr66  ; DET10  Mar67 ; DET.14  TanSN  Jan-Mar68
Pedro 47    
Pedro 48  58-1859  DET.8  CamRB  Jan-Mar68
Pedro 49    
Pedro 50    
Pedro 51  59-1541  CamRB DET.8 Jan-Mar68 ;  CamRB/temp. at Phan Rang   - Jun69 ; CamRB  DET.8 Aug69
Pedro 52    
Pedro 53    
Pedro 54    
Pedro 55    
Pedro 56  62-4525  Pleiku  DET.9 - Oct66 , Aug67 , 07 Feb68
Pedro 57  59-1549  Takhli  DET.2  Jan-Mar68  ; DET.2  Apr 69
Pedro 58    
Pedro 59    
Pedro 60    
Pedro 61    Da Nang   DET.7 - Nov72 , Feb73
Pedro 62    
Pedro 63    
Pedro 64    
Pedro 65    
Pedro 66    
Pedro 67    
Pedro 68    
Pedro 69  59-1561

 ??-????

 DET.7  DaNang  Jan-Mar68       (59-1561 left SEA Mar70)

 DET.5   Udorn  (RotorTips Nov71) (either 59-1572, earlier Pedro 80 , or  60-0259, earlier Pedro 09)

Pedro 70  59-1562  DET.3  Ubon  :  July66  ,  Jan-Mar68 ;       U Tapao  DET.12   :    Jul69
Pedro 71  60-0258  Ubon  DET.3 - 1971/72
Pedro 72  62-5978  Ubon  DET.3 - 1971/72
Pedro 73  63-9711  Bien Hoa  DET.6 - Apr66 , Mar67
Pedro 74  63-9712

 62-4543

 Bien Hoa  DET.6 - 12 Feb66 , 06 Jun66 ; DET.9 Pleiku Aug67 ; DET.9 Jan-Mar68 ; DET.6  Jan69 

 NKP  DET.9 - Mar70

Pedro 75    
Pedro 76    
Pedro 77  59-1569  DET.6 BienHoa  Jan68 ; DET.12 NhaTrang a/o 8Feb68
Pedro 78    
Pedro 79  59-1571  DET.14  TanSN  Jan-Mar68
Pedro 80  59-1572  Udorn  DET.5  Jan-Mar68  ; DET.5  Dec 67
Pedro 81    
Pedro 82  59-1574  Takhli  DET.2  Jan-Mar68  ;   DET.2  Apr 69
Pedro 83  59-1575  DET.11  Tuy Hoa  Jan-Mar68  ;  NKP  DET.9 - Mar70
Pedro 84    
Pedro 85    
Pedro 86    
Pedro 87    
Pedro 88  62-5978  Ubon  DET.3 :  July66 
Pedro 89    
Pedro 90    
Pedro 91  62-4560  Binh Thuy  DET.10 - Apr66 , Nov67 ,  Jan-Mar68  , 1969
Pedro 92  59-1590

 60-0266??

 Phan Rang  DET.1 - Aug66 , Mar67 , Apr69 , Jun69 (crashed)

 (arrived in SEA Sep69)  ; Ubon  DET.3 - 1973

Pedro 93 59-1586  Korat DET.4 - Jun 67 ; Da Nang  DET.7 - Jul67 ; DaNang  Jan-Mar68

 Ubon  DET.3 - 1973

Pedro 94  63-9713??  
Pedro 95  63-9714  Da Nang  DET.7 :  Sep66    ;  Bien Hoa  DET.6 :  Jan-Mar68  ,  Sep68  ,  Nov68
Pedro 96  63-9715  Pedro96 used in mission 7-38-678-3 Dec65 (DET.7  DaNang)   ;  Da Nang  DET.7 :  Sep66  ,   May67
Pedro 97  63-9716  Bien Hoa  DET.6  - 12Feb66 , 06 Jun66  ; DET.6 Jan-Mar68 ;  DET.6  Sep68 ;  1969
Pedro 98  63-9717  Nha Trang  DET.12 - Oct66 ,  Aug67 ; DET.12 NhaTrang Jan68 ; DET.9 Pleiku a/o 8Feb68 ;  NKP  DET.9 - Mar70
Pedro 99  64-17559  Pedro99 used in mission 7-38-678-3 Dec65 (DET.7  DaNang)  ;     Nha Trang  DET.12 - Oct67  ;  DET.12  Jul-Sep68

 

Last update  17/05/2021