This profile of the 40th Helicopter Squadron in Vietnam shows the incredible work of this unit in combat conditions. ALL FOR ONE focuses on the rescue of Capt. Gerald Lawrence on August 20, 1972. It includes interviews with A-1 squadron commander (Sandy), as well as, the forward air controller, excellent live-action footage aboard HH-53s (super jolly greens) of actual rescues, as well as details outlining the specific role of each team member: the pilot, co-pilot, navigator (door gunner) and the para-rescue jumpers, called “PJs.”
The squadron was activated as the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base in March 1968 with HH-3s which were nicknamed “Nitnoy.” Later HH-53s arrived and these were nicknamed “BUFF.”
In March 1968, Detachment 2 of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Udorn RTAFB operating HH-3s and HH-53Bs, was transferred to the 40th ARRS.
The 40th moved to Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base on 21 July 1971.
20 August 1972, the local base rescue detachments of the 3d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group each operating 2 HH-43s were transferred to the 40th ARRS.
30 November 1972, with the inactivation of the 37th ARRS at Danang Air Base, 5 of its HH-53s were transferred to the 40th ARRS, while its two HH-43s remained at Danang as Detachment 7 of the 40th ARRS to provide base rescue during Operation Linebacker II.
Following the Paris Peace Accords all remaining US Forces were withdrawn from South Vietnam by 27 March 1973. Detachment 7 at Danang Air Base and Detachment 14 at Tan Son Nhut Air Base were inactivated during this period. Following the withdrawal from South Vietnam the 40th’s force level was 11 HH-53s and 14 HH-43s.
The USAF continued combat operations over Cambodia until 15 August 1973 and the 40th provided CSAR support during this period. Following the end of combat operations the 40th kept 2 HH-53s at Nakhon Phanom on 15-minute alert during daylight and 45-minute alert at night.
In July 1974 Detachment 10 at Takhli was disbanded, followed in August by Detachment 3 at Ubon. On 20 February 1975, Detachment 1 at Nakhon Phanom was disbanded. At this time the 40th’s force level had dropped to 8 HH-53Cs and 4 HH-43Fs.
The 40th moved to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base on 1 October 1975. On 15 October 1975 with the inactivation of the 56th ARRS its 4 HC-130Ps joined the 40th.
On 31 January 1976 the 40th ARRS was inactivated at Korat RTAFB
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