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Bat 21: The Most Expensive Rescue Operation in US Air Force History | Aviation in Vietnam War

Paper Skies

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Published on May 02, 2021
On April 2nd, 1972, an American B-66 “Destroyer” was shot down by a surface to air missile in the skies over South Vietnam. The only crew member to eject was U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Iceal Hambleton. A rescue helicopter was immediately dispatched to pick up the downed pilot, but no one knew at the time that Hambleton had landed in the middle of what turned out to be the most powerful offensive of the North Vietnamese Army during the war. And, of course, at the time nobody knew that his rescue would take 12 long days and become not only the most intense and, in every sense, most expensive rescue operation in U.S. Air Force history, but would also raise the uncomfortable question, "Is there a price on human life?"

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00:00 - Combat losses
02:06 - How much is a pilot worth?
04:21 - Easter offensive
06:19 - Trolls
08:47 - Bat*21 Bravo
10:51- No-fire zone
13:23 - Green giants
16:00 - Shock
20:23 - Chuck Norris
23:13 - Let's play a game
27:00 - Aftermath

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Paper Skies - amazing stories about famous airplanes, historical events, or exceptional people that have changed the world of aviation or turned out to be unfairly forgotten.

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All content on Paper Skies is presented in historical context for educational purposes.

#aviation #history #Vietnam
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