HC-7 RESCUE 28 (1) 14-Apr-1968 (Sunday)

SH-3A “Protector” Sikorsky Seaking helo DET 110
USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) Routine Day (2)
92 miles of the North Vietnam coast
Water: 70⁰ Air: 72⁰ Wind: 7 knots Sea State: 1 – wave 3 feet

Pilot – LT R. L. “Deke” Harden Jr
Co-pilot – LTJG Dennis J. Mangus
1st crew – AE-2 Raymond Harvey
2nd crew – AX-3 Caldwell (see note A)

Alert received – 1445: vectored by Kitty Hawk
Vehicle departed – 1445: 270/16 miles
Arrived on scene – 1500: search required
Located survivor – 1520: beeper/UHF – ADF/day smoke
Begin retrieval – 1521: day smoke
Ended retrieval – 1525: rescue effected
Survivor disembarked – 1540:


A-6 Intruder “Raygun” Side No. 522 VA-35 (Black Panthers) USN
USS Enterprises (CVAN-65)

LCDR Gregory A. Olson

An A-6 bombardier that punched out while jinking around on a return from a mission. Apparently the aircraft departed from normal flight, the pilot ordered “bail-out”, and as the canopy separated and the NFO went out, the plane stabilized itself. And the pilot flew home without the BN, which we picked up a short time later. (4)

USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) – Deck Log;

15:10 detached USS CONE (DD-866) for SAR pick-up. 15:28 USS CONE (DD-866) returned to station.

Primary problem was excessive offers of assistance, which cluttered GUARD frequency, making it virtually impossible to hear beeper or rescue at times. (SH-3A, UH-2C, CVA, DD, E-2, C-130)

Rescuee had not made enough of an effort to get clear of parachute while in his raft; consequently, when he went into the water for pick-up he got his feet entangled in the shroud lines.

Crewman swimmer entered water without face mask, due to non-availability this detachment, and encountered problems with regards underwater sight and clearing rescuee’s legs of shroud lines. (3)

RADM – (John P. “Blackie”) Weinel – “I personally observed your CIC and AIROPS and listened to the air-sea rescue of LCDR Olson of VA-35. The whole effort from start to finish was handled in a most professional manner by all concerned. In particular, I want to comment LT LUTZ and his E2A crew for absolutely flawless performance which resulted in the quickest possible pick-up. To LT HARNDEN and his helo crew well done on the pick-up.” (5)

Notes: (not in order)
A. – AX-3 Caldwell; believed to have been TAD from HS-6 – no HC-7 muster roll data available
1) Numbering as per HC-7 Rescue Log
2) HC-7 1968 Command Report
3) HC-7 Det 110 Rescue
4) Letter from “Deke” Harnden
5) Declassified congratulatory message
6) Map – Goggle Earth
10) HC-7 History collection – Ron Milam – Historian

RIO – Radar Interceptor Officer
NFO – Naval Flight Officer

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