The Longest Battle

SW

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Check out this segment CBS did on Pararescueman (and Medal of Honor recipient) Bill Pitsenbarger.
If you dont know who Pits is, go see the movie 'The Last Full Measure' and find out. It's worth your time.

 

Yukon

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I also recommend the movie as being worth the time to watch. Not being 100% a documentary some minor composite characters were created. Such as Tully, a PJ character that was composite of the PJ on the other H-43 and the PJ on the H-43 going into the site of the battle first light the next morning.

Having attended Pitsenbarger's posthumous MOH presentation ceremony I met and talked to many of the Army survivors of this battle and also Bill's parents. I'm pleased the film is as accurate as it is considering it wasn't produced to be a documentary.

It was an intense battle that was fought without pause for many hours. The movie doesn't depict how much ground fire was being directed at the helicopters by the enemy. There were two HH-43F helicopters working the evacuation of the wounded. Call signs Pedro 73 and 96. Crew on each 43 consisted of two pilots, one flight engineer, and one PJ. One of the helicopters (Pedro 73) was almost shot out of the sky and barely remained airborne sufficiently to fly the five miles to the Army's forward position at Binh Ba where a controlled crash landing was successfully accomplished. Pedro 96 took so much battle damage that it was out of commission of being unflyable when it returned to home station.

Pit's was the PJ crew member on Pedro 73. Pedro 96 was the last helicopter to hoist out and evacuate the wounded as the sun was setting.
 
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