Clyde Bennett's Recollection of the Gunfighter 82 SAR


As I recall, we were alerted sometime after midnight. The Fast FACs and King had been talking to 82 Alpha and Bravo, but then Bravo went off the air.

The Sandys and Jollys launched at first light for the pickup attempt. We started in to get Alpha and when we were just about there, Bravo came up [on the radio] again. We backed off while Sandy low pinpointed Bravo, and since we knew where Blissett [Alpha] was and Bravo was on more danger, the decision was made to get Bravo first. He got [his] smoke popped and we got him and then proceeded up the hill to get Alpha. His tree [personnel] lowering device would not work so we decided to hook a metal snap ring [caribeener] into his harness so when he cut loose from his chute, we [would] have him secured. After [the PJ, SSgt] Brown got to him, some of the tree blew down and kind of entangled them in the shroud lines.

If you look at photo #3, it appears that Brown's right knee and left leg are higher that his head. As I recall he said that he was afraid that the lines across his legs might do some damage and I think he said he had his knife out and all he had to do was touch the lines and they would snap.

We finally got Alpha and the PJ on board and we got out of there, and RTBed to NKP.

Gunfighter 82A in trees
Blissett in trees as we come over him. PJ's helmet in lower right corner on the way down.

Gunfighter 82A in Trees
PJ, SSgt. William Brown on the way down to Gunfighter 82A

Gunfighter 82A in Trees
Brown entangled in shroud lines. Off to the left of his helmet (toward chute) you can make out his right knee bent and sticking up through the lines. His right leg and foot are further out to left. Back of Blissett's neck (shaped like 1/4 moon) can be seen just to the right of Brown's helmet.

Roger Youngblood sips champagne
Sandy 01, Roger Youngblood sips the fruits of his labors following the Gunfighter 82 SAR

Atcheson, Youngblood, Priebe, Amith
(L to R) Rick Atcheson, Roger Youngblood, Glenn Priebe, and Rocky Smith

This poster along with a case of champagne (Corbel?) was left at Ops for the Jolly Greens

Congratulatory Mob
A joyous throng greets Art Blissett after his rescue from Mu Gia Pass
(Blissett has his head down and his hand on Clyde Bennett's shoulder)

(The guy with the blue Hobo cap on just to the left of the hoist hook is 1Lt Byron Hukee)

Back to Gunfighter 82 Page