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They Called It Naked Fanny : Helicopter Rescue Missions During the Early Years of the Vietnam War
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Before the first U. S. combat troops arrived on Vietnamese soil on March 8, 1965, an unheralded group of men were already fulfilling a mission of their own. They were serving their country in support of their flying brothers who were taking aim on North Vietnam in their fighter/bomber aircraft. Coming from peacetime bases in the United States, Japan and the Philippines, where they provided local airbase support for crash and fire rescue, they would have a completely different mission.
They would fly that same aircraft -- without armor, without armament and without self-sealing fuel tanks -- into enemy territory in Laos and North Vietnam to rescue pilots stranded when their aircraft were shot down. Some of these men were stationed at a place called Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, or, as they called it, “Naked Fanny.”
Their stories are a part of American and U. S. Air Force history rarely shared outside military circles. Learn of their bravery as they and many of those they rescued recount the details of their heroic deeds while upholding the Air Rescue Service motto – “That others may live.”