Son Tay Prison Raid


Son Tay Prison Raid... 

November 20-21, A joint force composed of USAF Special Operations and rescue personnel and U.S. Army Special Forces, supported by U.S. Navy Carrier Task Force 77, made a daring raid on the Son Tay prison camp located less than 30 miles from Hanoi, North Vietnam. The objective was to rescue as many as 100 U.S. captives thought to be held there. The assault troops, in six ARRS helicopters accompanied by two C-130 aircraft, flew 400 miles to Son Tay from bases in Thailand.

U.S. Navy pilots made a diversionary raid while 116 USAF and Navy aircraft from seven air bases and three aircraft carriers flew refueling, surface-to-air missile suppression, fighter cover close air support, early warning, communications support and reconnaissance missions. Although no prisoners were found in camp, the raid was a brilliant success in transporting, landing and recovering an assault force of 92 USAF and 56 Army personnel without the loss of a single man. Although no prisoners were rescued, the raid focused world attention on the plight of the prisoners of war (POWs), raised their morale and resulted in improved living conditions for all U.S. prisoners of the North Vietnamese. The men of the Joint Task Force earned the admiration of their countrymen for risking their lives in an attempt to bring freedom to others.

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