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RVN pilot escorted in huey by H-53 on 29Apr1975

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  • RVN pilot escorted in huey by H-53 on 29Apr1975

    Tran Ve = 714-495-8740 <>

    Hello: I'm a former south Viet Nam combat helicopter pilot, was trained at Fort Wolter AAF, Texas and Hunter AAF, Georgia in late 70 to the late of 71, got my pilot wing around Oct. 71, went back to Viet Nam stationed at Phu Cat (243rd) and Nha Trang Air Base (219th) and flew many combat missions to the end of VN war. Around 3PM, on April 29, 1975 I flew my Uh1 from Tan Son Nhat AFB to one of the ships of 7th Fleet in Pacific Ocean.

    My copter was shot through main rotor blade while on route to the ocean! I transmitted MayDay messages through flyers\' emergency frequency! I am still so grateful for three American CH-53 Sea Stallions, believed on the way to Saigon US embassy, responded to my MayDay and turned around to escort me to a battle ship of 7th Fleet! The lead had assured me that if I would have to land before reaching a safe landing zone they would pick me up! Luckily, I did not! The lead also flew low level twice over a battle ship helipad and asked me if I had seen it; I answered then, roger and thank you! before those three CH53 left the ocean to continue their missions they also told me good bye and good luck in American; (at that time I also evacuated a C-47 crew chief family whose wife was 8 or nine months pregnant! in addition to my poorly broken English, emotion, sadness, and nervousness overwhelmed me; I did not believe I have properly expressed my appreciations to those pilots who took time to assist a totally defeated pilot at the end Viet Nam War!) Please accept my many thanks and appreciations for your random kindness, cares, and compassion. I believe the pilots who flew those CH53s are now in late 50s or early/mid 60s! Honestly speaking, I can not find enough words to express my gratitude! Over 33 years, I have prayed for you a safe and joyful return; finally I have an opportunity to transmit this grateful message!

    I do believe you are safe and if you are one those pilots, please call me so I can say \"thank you\" directly.

    Appreciatively, Tran Ve
    Alan H. Barbour, Historian
    USMC Combat Helicopter Assoc
    "Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever"