The Search for Jolly Green 23


Trail 33 (FAC)

I remember it [Hellborne 215 parachute] being on the north side of the east west section of road that ran into Laos and it was hung up in a tree.   I never actually saw the A-4 pilot but understood he was in the bushes next to the chute and was injured and could not move.   I also heard the A-4 pilot answer the E&E questions, all four of them were presented back to back, and thought it was dumb to do it that way because we no longer had a way to verify who he was.   After the fighters had put down suppression ordinance Jolly Green 23 said he was going in for an attempted pick up.   JG23 went into a hover over the A-4 pilot and turned to face the west.   The PJ was on the wire being lowered when JG23 reported he was taking fire.   I saw fire coming out of the left side near the engine and told JG23 that he had a fire on the left side.   He started pulling out and I advised him that there was a clearing 1000 meters north if he had to set down.   He said he was going for the clearing. The fire appeared to extinguish and I advised JG23 of that.   He said he was going to set it down as he reached the clearing.   He was in a descent but still above the height of the trees along the edge of the clearing when the main rotor stopped turning.   The JG hit the ground and burst into flames that consumed anything that looked like an [aircraft].

Lt. Col Robert C. Dubois, USAF (Ret.)
Written February 1, 2002

SAR Task Force Logs

The following links are to copies of the actual declassified logs maintained by the HC-130 airborne SAR control aircraft, callsign Crown, on June 9, 1968.   Because they were written in near-real time, the details contained in them differ from the after-action reports written when the participants had time to collect their thoughts.

Log from Crown 01      Log from Crown 02

SAR Mission Narrative

37th Air Rescue and Recovery Squardon
Danang AB, RVN
14 Jun 68

This declassified document was submitted by the parent USAF squadron for Jolly Green 23 to the Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JSCC, callsign Joker) in Saigon.   It was written shortly after the incident and contains some of the best detail on the participants and what transpired.

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