Down on the PDJ

On September 15, 1969, LtCol Al Martin's A-1H "TS 789" was hit by enemy groundfire in northern Laos. Martin elected to make a forced landing on an unprepared strip on the Plaines des Jarres (PDJ). After landing, Martin retracted the landing gear as he maneuvered to avoid a bomb crater on the landing strip.

Suffering only slight damage, the Skyraider was airlifted by a US Army Sikorski CH-64 Skycrane to a larger landing strip in northern Laos where the engine and propeller were replaced. The aircraft was flown back to NKP where it underwent further repairs and subsequently was put back in service.

Col Martin provided a series of photographs relating to this incident which are displayed in the image collections section of this website.

At the A-1 Skyraider Association reunion in October of 1997, I had the good fortune to conduct a one-on-one interview with Col Martin. This interview between Byron Hukee and Al Martin is presented here in RealAudio format.