TAN SON NHUT --- The HU-16B Albatross amphibian was officially retired from combat rescue operations recently after having been credited with recovering 62 survivors from the hostile waters of the Gulf of Tonkin and the South China Sea.
The aim of this program is to instill a greater sense of pride in its crew chiefs by
recognizing and rewarding superior accomplishment.
Replacing the Albatross are the HH-3E Jolly Green Giant helicopters of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Da Nang AB. Already established at rescue's prime overland retriever, air-to-air refueling with HC-130 Hercules tankers has enabled the turbojet HH-3E's to assume the role of overwater rescuers.
Praising the accomplishments of the retired Albatross, Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service Commander, Brig. Gen. Allison C. Brooks, said that the number of combat saves attributed to the HU-16 is equal to the combined aircrew strength of two fighter squadrons. Often, these rescues were made despite heavy enemy gunfire and adverse weather conditions.
The men rescued by the Albatross will never forget the drone of its engines nor the beauty and power of an open sea landing.
Now, more modern aircraft have inherited the lifesaving task but the mission - "That Others May Live' - remains unchanged.
Piloting the last aircraft departing Da Nang for Naha (AB), Okinawa, was Lt. Col. Roy E. Jacobsen, 43, of Haddonfield, N.J., commander of the 33rd ARRS.
Other crew members and backup personnel on the flight were Majors James F. Chubner, 36, of Toledo, Ohio; Maurice Golden Jr., 35, of Columbus, Ohio; and 1st Lt. Robert Kramer, 26, of Trenton, N.J, pilots; Capt. Robert W. Field, 33, of Bellingham, Wash.,navigator; Sergeants Kenneth E. Beers, 35, airborne radio operator; and John R. Pike, 28, of Elmira, N.Y., flight engineer.
The aircraft's maintenance personnel, MSgt. Clarence E. Rhodes, 41, of St Cloud, Fla., and A1C Lester L. Hyatt, 20, of Redwood City, Calif., also made the final flight.