Combat SAR Operations
29 December 1967
Rescue of Lt J.F. Dowd and Ltjg G. K. Flint, VA-161
Gordon Thomas' recollection: "Our original vector took
us too far north to a different set of islands. We should have been directed
to the Fai Tsi Long Archipelago just off Haiphong. We picked up that crew
in the southwest area, between the four islands there.
From VA-25 Squadron History: "ROCK RIVER 203 (VF-161) was shot down among the northern islands of the Gulf of Tonkin. LCDR BOLT and ENS RAMSEY arrived overhead for search and protection. LCDR ROUSA and LTJG DUNN rendezvoused with BIG MOTHER 71 and escorted it to the survivors. The air temperature was 40°F, and speed was important. The pickup was rapidly made, with no opposition, and soon two very happy CORAL SEA pilots were back aboard. Their comments: 'When we saw the SPADs, we knew we had it made!'"