Vietnam: Air Rescue!

Posted by on January 21, 2013


While popular images of the Vietnam conflict focus exclusively on combat, air strikes and popular discontent that was occurring in the United States during this time, I’d like to spin a different tale, one of heroics, rescue and a side of the U.S. armed services that you might not be as aware of.  My topic?  Non-combat operations during the Vietnamese conflict.  In particular, the United States Air Force Pararescue units.


While I have heard of these units in the past, I was on the Internet Archive today and ran across an Air Force Film called “Faces of Rescue”.  It was published by the Air Force and is a fascinating look at the efforts, time, and personal sacrifices performed by many in helping to rescue our downed pilots during this conflict.


In particular, I was amazed at the many details that went in to operations such as this.  Reading some of the resources below as well as watching the film, it was an aspect that I have never really thought about much before.

If you have a few moments, take a look at the film below.  Although now dated, it’s a great bird’s eye view into operations in Vietnam as well as  the technology and operations proceedures of the times.


Source: (see below)


USAF Pararescue

Search and Rescue in Southeast Asia (HathiTrust)

Air Force Magazine. ” USAF’s Most Decorated PJ”

Cheating Death:  Combat Air Rescues in Vietnam and Laos

The Air Rescue Museum

Air University Review.  “Search and Rescue in Southeast Asia, 1961-1975,”



Jolly Green Giant Image & Facts  (U.S. Air Force)

U.S. Air Force Pararescue Patch (Wikipedia)

Faces of Rescue (






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