Aerospace Rescue and Recovery




The 39th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS), located at Tuy Hoa AB, SVN, is the only fixed-wing unit in the 39th ARRG. Equipped with 11 HC-130 Crown aircraft, this unit also placed a back-up aircraft at Udorn AB, Thailand, when operations in Laos and strikes against North Vietnam increased.

Versatile in design modification and qualified in the performance of its assigned task, the HC-130 is equipped with essential radios capable of monitoring and transmitting on designated radio frequency bands. It is positioned in a designated orbit and is strategically situated to provide the highest degree of assistance, while remaining at a relatively safe distance to survive SAM and MIG threats. 

When the aerial refuelable HH-3E appeared, the role of the HC-130 expanded into that of an airborne tanker. The usual procedure was to have the HH-3E top off prior to heading for the assigned orbit position 30 minutes prior to the first time on target of the strike. During a rescue effort, if some fuel is jettisoned to reduce the gross weight of the HH-3E, another rendezvous and refueling is accomplished prior to RTB.


Above information from: "USAF SEARCH AND RESCUE  JULY 1966-NOVEMBER 1967 19 January 1968  - Approved for public release, distribution unlimited www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a486481.pdf


Lineage.   Redesignated 39 Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, and activated, on 16 Jan 1967. Organized on 18 Jan 1967. Inactivated on 30 Apr 1972. 

Assignments.  3 Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group, 18 Jan 1967-30 Apr 1972. 

Stations.  Udorn RTAFB, Thailand, 18 Jan 1967; Tuy Hoa AB, South Vietnam, 8 Jun 1967; Cam Ranh Bay AB, South Vietnam, 16 Sep 1970-30 Apr 1972.

Commanders.   Lt Col Manyard R. Rhoades, 18 Jan 1967; Col Charles W. Marshall, 3 Jun 1967; Lt Col Marion L. Costello, 30 Apr 1968; Lt Col Charles E. Thacker, Jr., 1 Jun 1968; Lt Col James R. Wesley, 10 Jun 1968; Lt Col Noble L. Webster, Jr., 29 May 1969; Lt Col James V. Prewett, 3 Oct 1969; Lt Col Sidney M. Spilseth, by Jan 1971; Lt Col Irvin L. Klingenberg, Jr., 19 Jun 1971; Maj Arthur T. Provencio, Mar-c. Apr 1972.

Aircraft/Missiles.   HC-130, 1967-1972.  

Operations.   Search, rescue, and recovery missions in Southeast Asia, Jan 1967-Apr 1972; missions included refueling rescue helicopters and performing airborne command, control, and communications functions during combat rescue operations

Service Streamers.   None.

Campaign Streamers.   Vietnam: Vietnam Air Offensive; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase II; Vietnam Air/Ground; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase III; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV; Tet 69/Counteroffensive; Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969; Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970; Sanctuary Counteroffensive; Southwest Monsoon; Commando Hunt V; Commando Hunt VI; Commando Hunt VII; Vietnam Ceasefire.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers.  None.

Decorations.  Vietnam, 1 Jul 1967-31 Jan 1969; Vietnam, 1 Feb 1969-30 Apr 1970; Vietnam, 1 May 1970-31 Mar 1972. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: 18 Jan 1967-30 Apr 1972.


The majority of the Information on this page is from the USAF Historical Research Agency: http://www.maxwell.af.mil/au/afhra/

History from the units time in SEA is given.



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