Lt R. Deane Woods - USN

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bullet12 October 1966 -
Lt Bob Burnand/Lt(jg) Doug Heggie/AXC Kenneth White/AX3 Rodger Sitko attempt to rescue the A-1H SPAD pilot of "Canasta 572" (BuNo 135323). Lt Deane Woods from VA-25 flying off the USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) had ejected ejected 25 miles inland after being hit by ground fire. Radio contact is established with Lt Woods but the helo crew is unable to establish visual contact. Crew persists in search efforts despite dangerously high main gear box temperatures and heavy enemy fire which riddles the helo and wounds AXC Kenneth White. Crew continues rescue efforts until nightfall forces them to withdraw. Read rescue synopsis.
bullet13-16 October 1966 -
Lt Bob Burnand/Lt Ross Mordhorst/AX3 Roy Powell/AMH2 Royce Roberts resume efforts to rescue the A-1 SPAD pilot of "Canasta 572", Lt Deane Woods shot down on 12 October. The crew again persists in rescue efforts despite being subjected to intense enemy fire. The mission eventually evolves into a multi-day/multi-sortie mission until 16 October when a 16 member "Shining Brass" Special Ops team is inserted on the ground to locate Lt Woods. The team almost immediately  engages in a fire fight with a North Vietnamese patrol and has to be extracted. Read rescue synopsis. Read about "Shining Brass" team leader Richard Meadows.
bullet12-16 October 1966 -
Lcdr Dave Murphy/Ens Ed Marsyla/ADJ1 "Vic" Vicari/AX2 William Caple participate in the multi-day/multi-sortie "Shining Brass" Special Ops effort to rescue Lt Deane Woods shot down on 12 October after being hit by ground fire. While hovering to extract the "Shining Brass" on 16 October, Indian Gal 69 has the #1 engine shot out by enemy fire after boarding only three team members - the crew successfully flies out of the hover on a single-engine and heads toward the beach - the helo is again heavily damaged by AAA fire as it goes "feet wet" - the tail rotor flight controls are severely damaged but crew manages to reach the open sea and successfully ditches. During the egress to the safety of the sea, all crewmembers and "Shining Brass" teams members are wounded.  Read rescue synopsis. View pictures of Indian Gal 69's emergency water landing, crew rescue and subsequent sinking of the helo.
bulletDeane Woods evaded successfully until 14 October 1966 when he was captured by North Vietnamese Army patrol. Combat SAR forces were unaware of Deane's capture and continued their heroic rescue efforts to rescue him until the loss of Indian Gal 69 on 16 October during the recovery of the "Shining Brass" Special Ops team. Deane was eventually repatriated on March 4, 1973.
Read more about the rescue efforts as described in "Leave No Man Behind - the Saga of Combat Search and Rescue" by George Galdorisi and Tom Phillips. This excerpt used with the gracious permission of the authors. The book can be ordered from and many other book sellers.
bullet POW Network web site entry about Deane.
Deane (right center) with other participants of the panel discussion "Valiant Rescue Attempt: North Vietnam" at the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation's 2009 Symposium.
bulletDeane's bio from the Symposium program.
bulletOrder a DVD of the 2009 Symposium panel discussion "Valiant Rescue Attempt: North Vietnam" by calling the Naval Aviation Museum store at 1-800 247 6289. Ask for Session II.

Updated: 06/26/09