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The Insane Rescue of Most Important Man Shot Down in the Vietnam War

Published Sept. 6, 2021

During the Easter Offensive in the Vietnam War, Lieutenant Colonel Iceal “Gene” Hambleton was shot down by Vietnamese surface-to-air missiles while flying aboard an EB66.


He was the sole survivor of a six-man crew and parachuted right into a battlefield with about 30,000 North Vietnamese soldiers.


Hambleton had top-secret access to Strategic Air Command and was an expert in nuclear weapons, so the armed forces launched what would become the largest, longest, and most complex rescue operation in the entire Vietnam War.


Several men lost their lives, many aircraft were shot down, and costly resources were spent during the operation, which ultimately summoned one of the remaining Navy SEALs in Vietnam for support, and led to a historic revaluation of how rescue operations would be conducted from then on.


As images and footage of actual events are not always available, Dark Docs sometimes utilizes similar historical images and footage for dramatic effect. I do my best to keep it as visually accurate as possible. All content on Dark Docs is researched, produced, and presented in historical context for educational purposes. We are history enthusiasts and are not always experts in some areas, so please don't hesitate to reach out to us with corrections, additional information, or new ideas.

Published Sept. 6, 2021

During the Easter Offensive in the Vietnam War, Lieutenant Colonel Iceal “Gene” Hambleton was shot down by Vietnamese surface-to-air missiles while flying aboard an EB66.


He was the sole survivor of a six-man crew and parachuted right into a battlefield with about 30,000 North Vietnamese soldiers.


Hambleton had top-secret access to Strategic Air Command and was an expert in nuclear weapons, so the armed forces launched what would become the largest, longest, and most complex rescue operation in the entire Vietnam War.


Several men lost their lives, many aircraft were shot down, and costly resources were spent during the operation, which ultimately summoned one of the remaining Navy SEALs in Vietnam for support, and led to a historic revaluation of how rescue operations would be conducted from then on.


As images and footage of actual events are not always available, Dark Docs sometimes utilizes similar historical images and footage for dramatic effect. I do my best to keep it as visually accurate as possible. All content on Dark Docs is researched, produced, and presented in historical context for educational purposes. We are history enthusiasts and are not always experts in some areas, so please don't hesitate to reach out to us with corrections, additional information, or new ideas.

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