Circling at 20,000 to 30,000 feet, a C-130 "Hercules" outfitted with a sophisticated communications system receives word that an Air Force RF-101 "Voodoo" reconnaissance aircraft, piloted by Captain Robert E.
Circling at 20,000 to 30,000 feet, a C-130 "Hercules" outfitted with a sophisticated communications system receives word that an Air Force RF-101 "Voodoo" reconnaissance aircraft, piloted by Captain Robert E. Patterson, has been shot down by a North Vietnamese Air Force MIG aircraft, while on an unarmed reconnaissance mission last month over North Vietnam.
The C-130, a part of the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service in Southeast Asia, has an important role in the rescue operation. Through its high flying communications center, it follows and directs the rescue operation through aircraft and helicopters deployed on the mission.
When the initial call for help is received, the C-130, nicknamed "Crown", calls for HH-3E "Jolly Green Giant" helicopters to be cent to the downed pilot's position.
Overseeing the entire operation, "Crown" keeps the "Jolly Green" informed of the situation on the pilot on the ground.
Once the big chopper is over the downed pilot's location, the jungle penetrator is lowered. Para-rescue man Airman Second Class Randy S. McComb goes down to give the downed pilot a hand.
When both Captain Patterson and the para-rescue man are safely on the penetrator, they are quickly raised into the helicopter, where Airman McComb attends to the weary rescued pilot.
Captain Patterson, a member of the 20th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, is flown to his unit's home bas eat Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand.