The image above was taken from an MH-53J from the 20th Special Operations Squadron, piloted by Capt. Thomas Trask, during the first Combat SAR (Search And Rescue) mission behind the enemy lines since Vietnam.
The combat rescue mission was launched on Jan. 21, 1991 to rescue Lt. Devon Jones, 130 miles into Iraq.
Jones was an F-14 Tomcat pilot from USS Saratoga’s VF-103, who was downed along with RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) Lawrence Slade by a SAM (Surface to Air Missile) over Iraq.
Larry “Rat” Slade endured interrogation, torture and starvation in the Iraqi hands for 43 days.
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.
On Feb. 18, 2012, a U.S. spy plane crashed six miles from Djibouti International Airport during “a routine flight.” As a consequence, all four U.S. military personnel on board, belonging to the 319th and 34th […]
This is why aircraft carriers have JBD (Jet Blast Deflectors). The videos below show an incident that occurred aboard USS Independence (CV-62) in 1995. On Apr. 18, 1995 a VF-21 F-14 Tomcat was blown off […]
What happened to Slade? Why weren’t they together?
depending on the speed , altitude and attitude of the aircraft when they baled out, added to the winds, two persons ejecting at a two seconds interval may very well find themselves a mile from each other on the ground.
maybe slide was injured, or maybe he just landed too close from enemy troops…
i honestly don’t know.
Slade landed about a mile from him…he was stumbled upon by an Iraqi soldier while hiding and captured. He was severely beaten but survived with permanent damage to bones and organs. Interestingly Jones goes on to command El Centro and is relieved of command just this summer….read here:
That sucks. Good thing we don’t gut our military after every major conflict so things like this don’t happen…a 50% recovery rate is pretty bad.
Thanks for the info.