Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Profiles "A Hillside Near Khe Sanh" - June 26th, 2004
Posted on 06/26/2004 12:08:48 AM PDT by snippy_about_it
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.
| Our Mission:
The FReeper Foxhole is dedicated to Veterans of our Nation's military forces and to others who are affected in their relationships with Veterans.
In the FReeper Foxhole, Veterans or their family members should feel free to address their specific circumstances or whatever issues concern them in an atmosphere of peace, understanding, brotherhood and support.
The FReeper Foxhole hopes to share with it's readers an open forum where we can learn about and discuss military history, military news and other topics of concern or interest to our readers be they Veteran's, Current Duty or anyone interested in what we have to offer.
If the Foxhole makes someone appreciate, even a little, what others have sacrificed for us, then it has accomplished one of it's missions.
We hope the Foxhole in some small way helps us to remember and honor those who came before us.
Capt. Gerald O. Young
The severely injured HH-3E pilot laid his life on the line to save a rescue force from disaster.
Shortly after midnight on Nov. 9, 1967, Capt. Gerald O. Young, an instructor pilot with the 37th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Da Nang, headed his HH-3E Jolly Green Giant toward an area southwest of Khe Sanh.
Low-hanging clouds shrouded 5,000-foot peaks off to his left. Visibility was poor. It wasn't a good night for a rescue mission in the hill country just below the DMZ, but Young was a veteran of 59 combat missions, including as far north as Haiphong. He and his crew had volunteered for this one.
The previous afternoon, a small US-South Vietnamese reconnaissance team had been surrounded by a NVA battalion. Two helicopters had been shot down during a daylight rescue attempt. Young and his crew were flying backup for another Jolly Green, supported by a C-130 flareship and three Army gunships, in a desperate attempt to save the ambushed patrol.
As the rescue force approached the beleaguered team, the enemy opened up with automatic weapons on the escorting gunships. The primary HH-3E moved through heavy fire into the area, now lighted by flares from the C-130. Hovering along a steep slope, its crew picked up three survivors before they were forced to withdraw to an emergency landing area, badly shot up and leaking fuel and oil. The pilot advised Young not to make another attempt under such extremely difficult conditions. Nevertheless, Young decided on one more try, even though the gunships were low on fuel and ammunition and might not be able to stay with them.
Young approached the slope head-on, hovering with one main wheel on the ground and his rotor blades barely clearing the bank above him. His copilot, Capt. Ralph Brower, directed fire from the gunships while Sgt. Larry Mansey leaped to the ground to help the wounded aboard, covered by SSgt. Eugene Clay at one of the chopper's machine guns. The big bird was sprayed by automatic weapons fire while five survivors were pulled aboard. During takeoff, a direct hit exploded one of the Jolly Green's engines, flipping the craft over on its back as it burst into flames and crashed down the hillside.
Young, hanging upside down in his harness, finally escaped through the broken windshield, his clothing on fire. He rolled down the slope to extinguish the flames, which had inflicted second- and third-degree burns on his legs, back, arms, and neck. Then, with his bare hands, he smothered the flames that were consuming a soldier lying nearby who had been thrown clear of the wreckage. Were there other survivors in or near the burning wreck? Young crawled 100 yards up the hill toward the flames, but was driven back by intense heat and enemy fire.
Young knew that daylight would bring a rescue force looking for survivors. The first A-1E Sandys to arrive spotted him and the unconscious man he had rescued. Young tried to warn them of a possible flak trap. He knew that the main rescue force would arrive at any moment and that enemy troops were moving back into the area to oppose them. The only way he could help was by leading the hostiles away from the crash site. In his condition, that meant almost certain capture or death.
He hid the wounded man whom he had rescued earlier and, despite the agony of his burns, took off into the brush, with enemy troops in pursuit. Each step ahead in the long hours of flight was a triumph of will over searing pain as he lured his pursuers farther and farther from the wreckage. After stumbling and crawling for six miles, he eluded the NVA troops late that afternoon, 17 hours after the crash, and called in a helicopter to pick him up.
A rescue force had finally been able to land at the crash site, retrieve one survivor, and recover the bodies of the dead, including that of the man Young had hidden. Young spent six months in hospitals, recovering from his burns. In May 1968, he was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Lyndon Johnson at a ceremony dedicating the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes.
Before retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1980, Young served at the Air Force Academy, was instrumental in setting up the forerunner of the Air Force Mast Program (which provides helicopter assistance to civilian highway patrols), flew with the VIP transport squadron out of Andrews AFB, Md., and was Air Attache to Colombia.
In 1985, 18 years after his last combat mission, he was asked how he felt about his Vietnam experience? "The air rescue mission was one of the best in the war," he said. "There is no greater compensation than to participate in saving lives."
By that standard, Young was a wealthy man indeed.
By John L. Frisbee, Contributing Editor
Great thread about a real Vietnam War Hero.
Neat picture. Thanks Sam and goodnight.
Hi Sam. Are you up late or up early?
Not sure. LOL! A little of both I think.
Sat Morning Foxhole Bumperoooooni
Hoping to get the last of the siding on the house today.
FWIW this is weekend 62 of my weekend home improvement project(snicker,snicker)
Good morning, snippy and everyone at the Freeper foxhole.
On This Day In History
Birthdates which occurred on June 26:
1702 Dr Philip Doddridge England, nonconformist clergyman
1730 Charles Messier cataloguer of "M objects"
1742 Arthur Middleton signer Declaration of Independence
1763 George Morland England, artist of rural landscapes
1819 Abner Doubleday credited with inventing American baseball
1824 Kelvin, [William Thomson], British physicist (Kelvin Scale)
1837 Martin Davis Hardin II, Brig General (Union volunteers), died in 1923
1837 Victor Jean Baptiste Girardey, Brig General (Confederate Army)
1887 Anthony G de Rothschild Britain, philanthropist
1892 Hubert Julian (Jay) Stowitts the first American star in the Russian ballet, and Anna Pavlova's only American partner
1892 Pearl S Buck China, author (Good Earth-Nobel 1938)
1893 Big Bill Broonzy Miss, blues singer/guitarist (Blues by Broonzy)
1898 Willy Messerschmitt, German aircraft designer
1901 Stuart Symington (Sen-D-Mo)
1903 Floyd "Babe" Herman Brooklyn Dodgers' slugger (.324 lifetime average)
1904 Peter Lorre actor (M, Casablanca, Beast with 5 Fingers)
1909 Col Tom Parker Elvis Presley's manager
1911 Edward Levi professor (Intro to Legal Reasoning)
1913 Maurice Wilkes inventor (stored program concept for computers)
1925 Pavel Belyayev USSR, cosmonaut (Voskhod 2)
1933 Noriyuki "Pat" Morita Calif, actor (Happy Days, Karate Kid) (Wax on..wax off)
1934 John V Tunney (Rep/Sen-D-Calif)
1939 Charles Robb (Sen-D-Va)/husband of Lynda Bird Johnson
1940 Billy Davis Jr St Louis Mo, singer (5th Dimension-One Less Bell)
1942 Larry Taylor rocker (Canned Heat-On the Road Again)
1960 Barbara Edwards Albuqueque NM, playmate of the year (Sept, 1983)
1961 Greg LeMond, US bicyclist (Tour de France winner-1986, 1989, 1990)
1964 Zeng Jinlian Hunan China, became tallest woman known (2.46 m, 8'1")
Have a good day!
how did you fix your puter?
Is it true, and if so how?
You can restore your computer back a couple days?
I am having some minor problems.
If you have windows you should have System Restore. On my Windows XP it is located here:
Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/System Restore
It is easy to preform and takes only a few minutes.
You won't lose any documents or mail. You may lose software recently loaded from the internet if you have any but you can always get that back. I've used this several times when I couldn't fix a bug.
I recall I had it on windows 98 also. It's simple and painless.
Yes I have windows 98
Good morning to you!
Good morning. I'm just waking up and saw your post first and thought I should answer about System Restore asap. I may go back to bed but will check in again soon.
sleep in, it's saturday!
Thank you,i'll let you know.
FWIW this is weekend 62 of my weekend home improvement project(snicker,snicker)
What are you rushing it for? It'll just end up being poorly done. :-)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.