20 Cold War-Era Warplanes of the U.S. Air Force

HH-3E Jolly Green Giant

What is a helicopter doing in this post? Because our pilots would not likely have performed to the incredible standard they achieved were it not for the fact that help was on the way if you were unfortunate enough to be shot down. During the Vietnam War, a rescue package would orbit overhead and pinpoint the location of a downed airman for extraction by HH-3 Jolly Green Giants, fighting their way in and out if necessary. To adapt the rescue platform from the Navy’s existing Sikorsky CH-3 Sea King, the Air Force added armor, guns, a high-speed hoist, self-sealing fuel tanks, and a refueling probe. They also carried a Pararescueman that would be lowered into the jungle to rescue the pilot if necessary. In 1972, legendary aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh was rescued by Jolly Greens when he and his crew were trapped on a 3,000-foot ridgeline on Mindanao. Maj. Bruce Ware and the crew of JOLLY 36 flew 600 miles from Clark Air Force Base to Lindbergh’s location and made several trips to haul out the 46-member research team. The daring rescue mission lasted over 12 hours.

Author: Chris Carter

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