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History

Our research has discovered the folllowing books and other material which provides some historical insight regarding the USAF Air Rescue Service.

Many, if not most, of these books and other material can be located on the internet in online booksellers (secondhand) and auctions.

We also recommend our LINKS page for additional historical materials and information.

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Book nonfiction 1. A HISTORY OF THE AIR RESCUE SERVICE, Prepared and edited by John L. Vandegrift, Jr., Information Services Office of Headquarters, Air Rescue Service, USAF, Orlando AFB, FL, Printed by the Rollins Press, Inc., 1959. A history of the USAF Air Rescue Service, published in house, covering the history of the organization from its beginnings in WWII, through Korea and up to the date of publication. Covers how ARS developed as an organization, and how its utilization of assets such as helicopters and pararescue developed and evolved up through 1959. A future project is to scan this book and put it here on the website as a .pdf file.
Official USAF Website Publication (.pdf) 2. THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE - USAF Air Rescue in Korea by Forrest Marion. An Air Force History and Museums Program, 2004. Published on the Air Force History Support Office Website, www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil. A history of helicopter combat rescue operations during the Korean war, as well as a history of the SA-16/HU-16 in combat rescue operations in the Korean war. Also covers some other aircraft used in various roles in combat rescue during the Korean conflict. See our LINKS page
Book nonfiction 3. AIR RESCUE! by C.V.Glines and Wendell F. Moseley. Published by Ace Books, New York, 1961. A history of the USAF Air Rescue Service, from WWII up to the date of publication. A collection of stories about various rescues performed by the ARS through 1960 or so. C.V Glines is a historian and regular contributor to Air Force Magazine. He has written many, many books and articles on USAF history subjects.
Book nonfiction 4. RESCUE! by Elliott Arnold. Published in 1956 by Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York. Stories of several different Air Rescue Squadrons around the world and their activities in performing rescues under difficult conditions. An excellent perspective of Air Rescue in the 1950's. Non fiction.
Book nonfiction 5. USAF AIR RESCUE published by Turner Publishing Co in cooperation with the Air Rescue Association. 1997. Covers Air Rescue Service history, air rescue stories, and contains biographies of many of the people who served with the Air Rescue Service through the years. All info submitted by ARS personnel and their families.
Book nonfiction 6. The 1952 SCRAMBLIER. A scrapbook of official USAF photos from the Korean War era of the 3rd Air Rescue Squadron's activities in Japan and Korea. Lots of photos of activities both on duty and off duty. Sections for each Flight within the Squadron and the Detachment in Korea. Some pictures labled with names, especially organizational photos; others without names. As a future project, we may scan and post it here.
Book nonfiction 7. PJ's IN VIETNAM. The story of Air Rescue in Vietnam As Seen Throught the Eyes of Pararescuemen, by Robert L. LaPointe, SMSgt, USAF, Retired. 2001. A good Vietnam era history of Air Rescue with photos and maps. Check out his website, www.pjsinnam.com.
Book fiction 8. FLIGHT FROM ASHIYA by Elliott Arnold. Published in 1959 by Alfred Knopf, New York and by Frederick Muller, Ltd., London. Also published in 1963 as a Bantam Book paperback. A novel about the lives of three crewmen aboard a Grumman SA-16/ HU-16 Albatross attempting to rescue survivors of a shipwreck off Japan, written by the author of the nonfiction book, RESCUE! above. If you've only seen the movie, the book is far better. See below to find out why. Available from secondhand booksellers online.
USAF Training Film 9. TF-5046AB AMPHIBIAN AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS, Sheltered Water(A) and Open Water(B). The definitive SA-16/HU-16 USAF training films from the 1950's. 35 min and 25 min. Everything you need to know to operate this aircraft on the water. These films were obtained from the National Archives with great difficulty and at great expense. See our STORE for your own personal copy of both films on one DVD.
USAF Training Film 10. TF-5800 RESCUE SURVIVOR RESPONSIBILITIES. 1967. Begins with an ejection from an aircraft then shows what an aircraft mishap survivor needs to do to be rescued. Also shows virtually all Air Rescue Service aircraft, equipment and techniques of that era. 30 min. See our STORE for your own personal copy on DVD.
Movie Fiction 11. FLIGHT FROM ASHIYA the movie. 1964. Starring Yul Brenner and Richard Widmark. Story as above, but changed to make it more acceptable to the USAF, since their cooperation was critical to the filming. Some themes, such as American officer/Japanese female and American officer/enlisted romantic relationships were changed or deleted from the story in the book because they were counter to accepted USAF policy. This makes the movie disjointed compared to the book. The best movie featuring shots of the Grumman SA-16/HU-16 Albatross with some Sikorsky H-19 shots as well. SA-16 base shots were filmed at Kadena AB and other footage was shot at Tachikawa AB, Japan. Technical assistance by the 36th ARS at Tachikawa AB in 1962 and 1963. Available on DVD from online sources as "Patrulla de Rescate" with both English and Spanish soundtracks, European region coding.
Movie Fiction 12. BATTLE TAXI the movie. 1955. Starring Sterling Hayden, Arthur Franz and Marshall Thompson. Based on events of the Air Rescue Service in the Korean War, mostly helicopter rescue. Some actual rescue footage. Difficult to find copies of this movie.
Book nonfiction 13. GRUMMAN HU-16 ALBATROSS, Naval Fighters Number 11, by Steve Ginter. 1984. Pictures, drawings and stories of the HU-16 in USAF, USN, USCG and foreign service.
Book nonfiction 14. HU-16 ALBATROSS in Action. By Robert D. Migliardi. 1996. Aircraft number 161, Squadron Signal Publications. Pictures, drawings and stories of the HU-16 in US and foreign military service.
Book nonfiction 15. GRUMMAN ALBATROSS, A History of the Legendary Seaplane, by Wayne Mutza. 1996, published as a Schiffer Military History Book. Pictures, drawings and stories of the HU-16 in US military, foreign military and civilian service.
Book nonfiction 16. THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE. The Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service. By L.B. Taylor, Jr. Published bu E.P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1967. A history of the Air Rescue Service with some perspective on ARS participation in the U.S. space program. Written by a NASA public information officer.
Book nonfiction 17. USAF SEARCH AND RESCUE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, 1961-1975. By Earl H. Tilford, Jr. Published by the Office of Air Force History, Washington, D.C. (GPO) 1980. Briefly covers ARS history prior to Vietnam, then majority of volume covers ARS activities in SE Asia through the Mayaguez incident.