Steve Caple

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Awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart medals for the attempted rescue of Lt Deane Woods, USN - 12-16 October 1966

Read rescue synopsis - October 16, 1966

Pictures of loss of Indian Gal 69

Read Steve's recollection of the rescue attempt


Steve is armed "to the teeth" in the doorway of a SAR bird during the 1966 cruise - "This is where I was kneeling on both knees with the cargo door open about two feet, when that 37mm hit the bottom of the "9" in the side number, about five feet away."

Steve Caple, Ed Marsyla and Vic Vicari are returned to the USS Intrepid by  Clementine in their new orange flight suits courtesy of the HC-2 Det

Ed Marsyla, Dave Murphy, Steve and Vic Vicari in either Danang or Chu Lai after the mission. They were then flown by COD to Cubi Point and eventually to R&R at Camp John Hay in Baguio City, P.I.

Ream Echo article about the 7 April 1967 Award Ceremony where Steve was presented his Silver Star and Purple Heart for the attempted rescue of Lt Deane Woods, USN, 12-16 October, 1966

Steve's recollection of flying with Dave Murphy:

     "Thanks to Dave Murphy I got a lot of stick time on North SAR, under the theory that having a crewman able to crudely wrestle an H-3 around would be a good idea. Or maybe because Murph was supposed to be a regular at late night poker games and needed the sleep. At any rate once we got on station at North SAR and topped off the tanks Dave headed for the Mac seat in back and I got to toodle around under Ed Marsyla's watchful eye. I think I still remember how to visualize a guesstimation of offset TACAN vectors looking at the dial. Then two hours later back to pick up the fuel hose, and or coffee and rolls from the North SAR DD/DL, and back in the right seat after we unhooked and got back in the racetrack. I don't know how well anybody could sleep on those crappy Mac seats, but Murphy seemed to! I'm sorry to hear his health is not so good." by email 03/13/11

Read more about the efforts to rescue Deane Woods 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.
Read Steve Caple's recollection of the rescue attempt
Deane Woods (right center) with other participants of the panel discussion "Valiant Rescue Attempt: North Vietnam" at the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation's 2009 Symposium.
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: 04/03/11