The war in Southeast Asia was a frustrating experience for Americans at home and for the men who fought there. The enemy in the southern part of Viet Nam was everywhere and at the same time….no where. When the Viet Cong, and the North Vietnamese regulars chose to mount conventional operations, airpower proved its value as in Korea and World War II. In the northern part or the country and in Laos and Cambodia, the enemy made full use of sanctuary areas and used our own “rules of engagement” to their advantage. Airpower was shackled most of the war both in the north and in the south. There was one mission which by its nature was satisfying…it was search and rescue, or SAR for short. The heroes of the SAR mission were the pilots of the Skyraiders, the Forward Air Controllers (FACs) and the crews of the “Jolly Greens.” This lithograph is a superb representation of an actual mission flown by Captain Richard S. Drury, a member of the USAF’s 1st Special Operations Squadron. Flown on February 7, 1970, it resulted in the rescue of two downed A-6 crewmen from the USS Ranger, who faced a bleak future after being downed on the Ho Chi Minh trail, deep in Laos. For them, the angel of mercy took the form of an aged workhorse from another era….under the call sign “Sandy One.”
Richard Drury was born on October 22, 1943, in Burbank, California. He was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Southern California on July 30, 1965, and went on active duty beginning October 16, 1965. Lt Drury next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Williams AFB, Arizona, in October 1966, followed by B-52 Stratofortress Combat Crew Training from November 1966 to March 1967. His first assignment was as a B-52 pilot with the 340th Bomb Squadron at Blytheville AFB, Arkansas, from March 1967 to December 1968, and he then attended A-1 Skyraider Combat Crew Training from January to May 1969. Capt Drury served as an A-1 pilot with the 1st Special Operations Squadron at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from May 1969 to May 1970, followed by service as a B-52 pilot with the 23rd Bomb Squadron at Minot AFB, North Dakota, from July 1970 until he left active duty on October 16, 1970.
The Douglas A-1 Skyraider (formerly AD) was an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. It became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad", after the French World War I fighter.The Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful career, even inspiring its straight-winged, slow-flying, jet-powered successor, the A-10 Thunderbolt II. EDITION: 1000 signed/numbered by Mike Machat and Richard S. Drury SIZE: 18” x 24”
Aviation Autographs is the premier collection of items autographed by some of Aviation’s legendary aviators includes personal memoirs, definitive histories and compelling stories along with limited edition prints and the famed Gathering of Eagles Collection.
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