NSA: Flying Low on The Ho Chi Minh Trail

almost-paradise-008The NSA was placed at different sites and aircraft flew over certain terrain and sent back info at different routes.  Camp Tarbox took in info from a (stationery site) at Nakorn Panom Air Base. (1972-74)

Another route was sent along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and four crew men at the back gathered info. Two pilots were at the front and two other pilots were learning the route, observing.

On this route from southern Thailand, this plane was hit by the ground fire, causing the plane to begin falling. The four crewmen put on their parachutes and bailed out over rough territory. Shortly after all four airmen landed in heavy hills and vegetation and were quickly captured.

All four pilots crashed with the plane and died. The young airmen (Vietnamese interpreters) were sent to Hanoi. It was thought that the Russians took over then. The airmen were never seen again. Their IDs, their sidearms, and other material were given back to their families years later but no explanations were given of what happened to them decades later.

I was also chosen later to get on a mission on the same route, or learn Chinese for two years. I decided to retire and do something else.




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