HC-7 RESCUE 20 (1) 10-JAN-1968 (Friday)

UH-2A Kaman Seasprite helo 151306 DET 107
USS King (DLG-10) Routine Night(2)
62 miles off North Vietnam coast
Water: 64⁰ Air: 63⁰ Wind: 19 knots Visibility: 2 mi., 300’ Ceiling

Pilot – LT William L. Berry
Co-pilot – LTJG Rolland B. Bougher
1st crew – AE-1 Willie H. Smith
2nd crew – ATN-3 Gary W. Farrell

Alert received – 1831 : MC
Vehicle departed – 1834: 60 miles
Arrived on scene – 1900 : None
Located survivor – 1900: PRC 63 survival radio, pencil flares, strobe lights
Begin retrieval – 1901: Orbiting aircraft and oil slick from aircraft
Ended retrieval – 1908: after second rescue returned survivors to USS Kearsarge
Survivor disembarked – USS Kearsarge

F-4B Phantom 153063 VF-114 (Aardvarks) USN USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)

LTJG Richard T. Fleming
LTJG Thomas L. Hart

Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SEVEN, Detachment 107 had a double rescue this morning. Still proud and walking high, as the sun was setting approx. 17:30, the crew relaxing. The quiet scene was interrupted at 18:31 when fight quarters was set and Clementine scrambled at 18:34 for SAR effort scene bearing approx. 174 range 78 miles. (12) During a BARCAP mission the Phantom lost complete hydraulic pressure, (5)(7) which affected the flight controls. The crew ejected when they lost all control. (5) Approximately 10 miles from the survivors the helo crew started receiving an emergency beeper. Switching to guard channel, immediately a Direction Finder (DF) steer was obtained. 19:00, five minutes pasted, one flare and two strobe lights were sighted. 19:01 Clementine crew is flying beneath the orbiting aircraft and observes the oil slick from the down phantom. Both survivors were picked up in good condition and taken to the USS Kearsarge, landing at 19:25. A brief stay aboard the carrier, then Clementine returns to the USS King, flight quarters are secured at 21:22. USS King changes course and speed to intercept USS Ponchatoula (AO-148) for refueling, 39 minutes later, lines are clear, the King now sets course to high-line cargo from USS Pollux (AKS-4). By 23:30 the King is settling back to normal NSAR conditions. A successful DAY !

1) Numbering as per HC-7 Rescue Log (accumulative rescue number)
2) HC-7 1968 Command Report
3) HC-7 Det 107 Rescue report
5) “Vietnam – Air Losses” By: Chris Hobson (with permission)
4) “U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Aircraft Damaged or Destroyed During the Vietnam War” By: Douglas E. Campbell
6) Lt William Berry – flight log book “January 1968”
7) USS Kitty Hawk – “Narrative of Events – 1968”
10) HC-7 History collection; Ron Milam – Historian
12) USS KING – Deck Logs

(Compiled / written by: Ron Milam, HC-7 Historian – HC-7, 2-1969 to 7-1970, Det 108 & 113)