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Last updated on 11/24/14

Site established on 3/22/01



Air Rescue & Recover Service


Click here to read a rescue story from Randy Pikelseimer


Instructional manual on the background of Air rescue in the USAF


The CH-3E was often called the Jolly Green Giant for it's formidable size, but it was often refered to as a "BUFF" which was short for "Big Ugly Fat Fellow(?)"


Jacket patch for the ARRS
Image courtesy of Charles Cole

Jolly Green Giant sticker often left behind by ARRS Pilot's and crew while visiting other units and stations!
Image courtesy of Charles Cole

Jolly Green" patch worn by rescue crews as well as those rescued by Jolly green when the "Recued By" tab is added.


A personalized calling card


Jolly Green Giant footprint patch given as souvenirs and worn on party suits. The green foorprint has a long tradition with the PJ's. 5 toes on the foot denotes wear or distribution by an officer, 4 toes for NCO's & EM's.

"Let me tell the story of Jolly Green Giant footprints. Although we did not have a squadron patch, we did and do have a trademark signature (big green footprints). Started in the mid 60s when two young PJs, of the 37th, drank too much and went downtown Danang and had green foot prints tatooed on their asses. From then till today this became our trademark signature. Green feet have been painted on the most dangerious places you can think of. Hugh buildings, halfway down water towers, all Officer & NCO clubs we visited, marine barracks and many other places. During the Medal of Honor presentation at Wright-Patterson AFB two hugh green footprints showed up half way down the base water tower across from the AF museum. Sometime during our reunions several of the young active duty PJs will moon the crowd showing their green feet and asses. (Did not happen at W-P)". Randy Pikelseimer


Korean War era jacket patch for the 3rd group, 29th Squadron
Image courtesy of John W. Cook

HH-43 "Husky/Pedro" Jacket patch

Jolly Green lapel pin presented to those recued after the mission.
Image courtesy of H.L. Mills



Pic 1- Strapping the Beast On! These A-1's could carry the equivilant of a B-17 bomb load on it's wings.

Pic 2- Firing her up.

Pic 3- Pulling the Chocks.

Pic 4- Rolling.

Pic 5- Super Jolly Green goes too.

Search and rescue(SAR) always started with bad news. That is, a shoot down by the bad guys of one of our guys. These were usually fighter bombers flown by Air Force, Navy or Marine crews. The rest of the flight would stick around as long as possible to establish the crew was on the ground, and the SAR force would be scrambled from the nearest base. The SAR force was usually four, sometimes more, A-1 Skyraider, fixed wing, propeller driven aircraft, and the H-3 Jolly Green or H-53 Super Jolly Green, helicopter. A-1's(Callsign Sandy) provided close air support and anti-aircraft fire suppression so the Jolly Green could sweep in and make the pick up of the downed crew with a hoist. This, of course, required the chopper to hover. If the downed air crew was physically unable to get to the hoist, a crewman trained in this craziness, would go down the hoist to assist. Most SAR ops took place in North Vietnam and Laos and under fire from everything from small arms to surface to air missiles. All in all, a very hairy operation.
Images courtesy of Dave Ayers, D/1/1 & D/17



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