Rescue of AMH3 Harrison, USN

2 October, 1966

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It wasn't a combat rescue, just happenstance.

We were on a logistic flight in Indian Gal 65 and waiting for the Oriskany (CVA-34) to complete its land-launch cycle, trying to stay out of the way of their UH-2 in starboard delta when we heard "man overboard" on the radio. Their H-2 went down the wake and the plane guard DDs stopped and turned 90 deg and were covered with crew with binoculars. We hung out for a few minutes where we were, but since there wasn't any obvious success we headed way back down the wake about three miles, turned around and slowly flew back up the wake. Sure enough, there was this poor Sailor who'd been blown off the flight deck, so we picked him up and headed back to the Oriskany. All the time both guard and land/launch freq were totally nuts with everyone but us screaming over it. Since the land/launch cycle was complete, we slowly flew up the port side, dropped our gear and looked hungry for a landing. The tower gave us a green Aldis lamp and we moved over and landed on the angle. The Sailor had been puking up seawater all over the back, but the medics hauled him off without a stretcher. The flight deck director gave us a "hold" signal and we waited for a minute or two until some officer came running out of the island and handed us a brown paper bag, then they couldn't get rid of us fast enough. In the bag were 4 USS Oriskany cigarette lighters and ashtrays and maybe something else, too, so we each got one.

Story isn't over yet. Back to starboard delta to cool our tail rotor for a while until they were ready to bring us aboard for our log mission, then back home to 33.

Story still isn't over yet. Upon return, we went to the ready room to debrief and had the SDO log the rescue. Cdr Lockwood was always anxious to know of any new rescues, but we didn't find him around RR4 so we went about our business. The first he knew of it was a message from the Oriskany, and of course he was caught by surprise. Accosting us later, he demanded to know why we hadn't informed him of the rescue. We told him that we were unable to find him when we landed, but it was logged in by the SDO. Somewhat chagrinned that he hadn't found it in the log book, he quietly let us of the hook.

As recounted by Dick Lynas, January 3, 2007