Phan Rang Happy Valley News 1968

35TFW, Phan Rang AB F-100’s 1968
120th TFS (ANG), 352 TFS, 614 TFS, and 615 TFS

F-100 Pilot, Greg Butler did not hesitate.  “I immediately blew the canopy and was ejected,” he said.  “I started tumbling until the parachute opened and then had a normal descent.”

Several Army helicopter gunships, operating north of the base, quickly diverted to fly cover for the downed pilot.

While Major Butler was ejecting, the two Huskie helicopters at Phan Rang were being scrambled for the rescue.

One helicopter was airborne in seconds with Maj. William C. Emrie, Florissant, Mo. and Maj. Donald R. Brooks, Colorado Springs, Colo., in the cockpit.  Sgt. Richard L. McNeese, Slidell, La., was the flight engineer.  “As we arrived at the scene, the pilot on the ground fired a flare,” said Major Emrie. “We just went into his exact location and made the pick-up.”

“When we got over the man on the ground,” Major Emrie continued, “Sergeant McNeese threaded the forest penetrator hoist through the jungle canopy and made the pick-up.” On the ground Major Butler became concerned when at first he couldn’t locate the three-pronged anchorlike penetrator in the dense jungle.

Then, it landed right at his feet.

SSgt. Angel Luna, Midwest City, Okla., was the medical technician on board the helicopter. Sergeant Luna said, “I gave him a quick check when we got him into the helicopter, and, except for a slight cut on his nose and forehead, he seemed to be in fine shape.”

During their return to Phan Rang, red streaks from enemy tracer rounds went flying past the plexiglass of the canopy. An AC47 Dragonship, assigned to Flight B,  3rd Air Commando  Squadron, used its rapid-firing mini-guns to suppress the ground fire.

When the rescue helicopter landed at Phan Rang it was met by medical personnel who immediately checked Major Butler and pronounced him in good shape.

When the rescue helicopter landed at Phan Rang it was met by medical personnel who immediately checked Major Butler and pronounced him in good shape.

Article reprinted from Phan Rang AB Happy Valley News..1968