No Warrior Left Behind – The Untold Story of HC-7
Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC-7) was formed during the Vietnam War and its primary mission was combat search and rescue (CSAR). Their mission is not for the faint of heart. CSAR is often dangerous and requires persistence to get the downed airman out of danger.
Its legacy of rescuing downed pilots, often deep in enemy territory epitomizes the mantra “Leave No Warrior Behind.” Among the tenacious airmen who flew these often-dangerous missions was Clyde Lassen. He was only one of four naval aviators to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their heroism in Vietnam.
By the end of the war, HC-7 had rescued nearly 150 grateful individuals and 94 aviators from People’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam (PDRV) and the Gulf of Tonkin. Their stellar performance and the awards given to its members established HC-7’s reputation as “one of the most highly decorated squadrons in Naval Aviation history.”
By September 1967 when HC-7 was established, Vietnam was fast becoming the “helicopter war.” Helicopters were its defining mode of transport and the image that remains in the minds of most Americans today. These birds brought men into battle and carried them home.