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Air America in Laos I - The University of Texas at Dallas

Air America in Laos I - The University of Texas at Dallas

USAF RF-4C crew

USAF RF-4C crew members.” 80 Already on 21 January 72, General Lavelle had thanked Air America by telex, 81 and on 10 February 72, the CIA noted that this was “an example of correspondence relatively frequently received by the Company, and especially these months, for help in Laos.” 82 Commendation of 12 February 71 (Air America Log, vol. V, no. 3, 1971, p. 2) Another Commendation refers to the pick-up of the crew of a downed USAF aircraft made on 2 September 1971 by two Air America helicopters. The location is not given, but at that time, Air America’s Bell 205s and UH-34s operated only in Laos. 80 See the commendation at http://www.foia.cia.gov/AirAmerica/C05266397.pdf . 81 See the telex at http://www.foia.cia.gov/AirAmerica/C05266402.pdf . 82 See the document at http://www.foia.cia.gov/AirAmerica/C05266399.pdf . 26

Commendation of 8 September 1971 (Air America Log, vol. VI, no. 2, 1972, p. 8) One more Commendation published here refers to an unsuccessful, but very courageous attempt made by the crews of 7 Air America helicopters on 7 November 1972 to pick up a downed Forward Air Controller and to a successful Search and Rescue mission flown on 9 November 1972, when Air America Bell 205 XW-PFJ crewed by Captain J. D. Fonburg, First Officer R. R. Zappardino, and Flight Mechanic T. W. Yourglich rescued a downed Lao pilot. All of these Commendations – together with many others not referring to Search and Rescue missions flown in Laos to pick up US and allied military personnel – were once published in the Air America Log, evidently in order to encourage others to follow those examples. 27

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