The Rescue of Streetcar 304: A Navy Pilot's Forty Hours on the Run in Laos

The Rescue of Streetcar A Navy Pilot s Forty Hours on the Run in Laos On May Lt Kenny Fields catapulted off USS America in his A for his first ever combat mission His target was two hundred miles away in Laos What the planners did not know was that Fields was

  • Title: The Rescue of Streetcar 304: A Navy Pilot's Forty Hours on the Run in Laos
  • Author: Kenny Wayne Fields
  • ISBN: 9781591142720
  • Page: 103
  • Format: Hardcover
  • On 31 May 1968, Lt Kenny Fields catapulted off USS America in his A 7 for his first ever combat mission His target was two hundred miles away in Laos What the planners did not know was that Fields was en route to a massive concentration of AAA gun sites amidst an entire North Vietnamese division Fields, call sign Streetcar 304, was the first to roll in, and he destroyeOn 31 May 1968, Lt Kenny Fields catapulted off USS America in his A 7 for his first ever combat mission His target was two hundred miles away in Laos What the planners did not know was that Fields was en route to a massive concentration of AAA gun sites amidst an entire North Vietnamese division Fields, call sign Streetcar 304, was the first to roll in, and he destroyed that target with a direct hit Three AAA guns began to fire, but, following his wingman s run, he rolled in again This time many AAA guns opened up and Fields was shot down Soon, a rescue pilot suffered the same fate The Rescue of Streetcar 304 is Fields exhilarating narrative of the forty hours that followed and what turned out to be one of the largest and most spine tingling air rescues of the Vietnam War Fields mixes humor and drama as he recounts teeth chattering close encounters with Pathet Lao guerillas, and nearly being killed time and again by friendly bombs He describes in riveting detail the radio chatter between participants, and the stress effects of coping with fear, sleep deprivation, wild animals, and relentless AAA By the time it was over, the U.S Air Force had flown 189 sorties to rescue Fields, and in the process four pilots ejected, seven planes were lost or heavily damaged, and one pilot became a POW for five years.

    One thought on “The Rescue of Streetcar 304: A Navy Pilot's Forty Hours on the Run in Laos”

    1. Here is a story of great adventure. It is the story of a naval aviator who, along with his shipmates, enters the crucible of war in Vietnam —and what follows is the chronicle of Ken Field’s courage, frustration, perseverance, and survival. But, it not just an account of one man —it is the story of a team of men working hard to save one man from capture by the enemy. It is also the story of faith in God. This must be one of the finest books written of the Vietnam War. It was hard to put the [...]

    2. This is a very well written history of the shoot-down of "Streetcar 304" and the subsequent rescue attempts. I found it very illuminating in terms of the number of pieces that must be coordinated to effect such a rescue and the extreme danger that the rescue forces face in conducting their mission. At first I found it extraordinary that manually operated anti-aircraft weapons were successfully employed against jet aircraft, but upon reflection, the massive volume of fire the author describes mea [...]

    3. A thoroughly harrowing read. Well written, especially in terms of the author's "after-the-fact" investigations. Fields does a great job of describing not only his thoughts and fears while on the ground, but also of establishing what was going on in the command structure trying to rescue him. Frankly, a book of him in the jungle saying 'WTF?!' every 20 minutes wouldn't have been as interesting without knowing about the hundreds of flights and sorties, all of the logistical nightmares, and frankly [...]

    4. With all of the focus on John McCain's war experiences as of late, this is a timley book. Author Kenny Wayyne Fields was a young naval flight officer flying off of a carrier at Yankee station when he was shot down on his first combat flight. The book details the next 3 days as he escaped and evaded while a wild air-ground battle raged around him, the rescue teams vs a NVA batallion hiding in the jungle. It is a great story of survival and hope.

    5. Superb. This book is among the absolute best of the genre. It really doesn’t get any better than this. I can’t think of any book about the Vietnam War that I would recommend more than this one.

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