Recovery of RB26L (44-35782) that was lost December 6, 1963
All crewmembers perished in the crash
|Capt Gary W. Bitton - Pilot||Capt. Thomas F. Gorton - Instructor Navigator||Capt. Norman R. Davison - Navigator||Airman 2nd Class Richard D. Hill -Photographer||Unidentified SVAF Crewman|
Images Courtesy of Joseph W. Brown Jr.
1st Special Operations Squadron (constituted 1st Air Commando Squadron, Composite, and activated, on 17 Jun 1963; organized on 8 Jul 1963; redesignated: 1st Air Commando Squadron, Fighter, on 15 Aug 1967; 1st Special Operations Squadron on 1 Aug 1968).
Pacific Air Forces, 17 Jun 1963; 34th Tactical Group, 8 Jul 1963; 6251st Tactical Fighter Wing, 8 Jul 1965 (attached to 3d Tactical Fighter Wing, 21 Nov 1965–8 Mar 1966); 2d Air Division, 18 Feb 1966; 14th Air Commando Wing, 8 Mar 1966; 56th Air Commando (later, 56th Special Operations) Wing, 20 Dec 1967; 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 Dec 1972; 18th Tactical Fighter Group, 1 May 1978.
Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam, 8 Jul 1963; Pleiku AB, South Vietnam, 5 Jan 1966; Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand, 20 Dec 1967; Kadena AB, Japan, 15 Dec 1972 (segment of squadron operated from Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, 15 Dec 1972–28 Jan 1973).
B–26, 1963–1964; T–28, 1963–1964; U–10, 1963–1966; C–47, 1963–1966; RB–26, 1963–1964; A–1, 1964–1972; FC–47, 1964–1965; AC–47, 1965; C(later, MC)–130, 1972–.
Combat in Southeast Asia, 8 Jul 1963–7 Nov 1972 and 15 Dec 1972–28 Jan 1973. Trained Vietnamese Air Force pilots in counterinsurgency operations, Jul 1963–Nov 1972.
Vietnam: Vietnam Advisory; Vietnam Defensive; Vietnam Air; Vietnam Air Offensive; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase II; Vietnam Air Offensive,Phase III; Vietnam Air/Ground; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV; TET 69/ Counteroffensive; Vietnam Summer-Fall, 1969; Vietnam Winter-Spring, 1970; Sanctuary Counteroffensive; Southwest Monsoon; Commando Hunt V; Commando Hunt VI; Commando Hunt VII; Vietnam Ceasefire.
Presidential Unit Citations (Southeast Asia): 1 Aug 1964–15 Apr 1965;
8 Mar 1966–7 Mar 1967; 1 Nov 1968–1 May 1969; 1 Oct 1969–30 Apr 1970; 1 Apr–15 Dec 1972. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" Device: 1 Dec 1970–30 Nov 1971; 1 Dec 1971–29 Feb 1972. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 May 1963–31 Jul 1964; 1 Apr 1974–31 Mar 1976 Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: 1 Oct 1967–15 Dec 1972.
Det#2 1st Air Commando Squadron at Soc Trang
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