Son Tay Raid to liberate US POWs in Viet Nam war – P2
The Son Tay Raid to liberate US POWs in Viet Nam war will be conduct with the support F-105 Wild Weasel aircraft to suppress SAM missiles, F-4s were added to provide protection against possible MIG interference. The low light of the moonlight near the end of the month would help shield the aircraft and helicopters on duty and help American guerrillas raid Son Tay Raid to rescue American prisoners of war easier.
The time chosen was October 21-25 or 21-25 November and Gen. Manor chose the date of October 21. The Blackburn Specialist arranged for Gen. Manor to meet with the Joint General Staff to inform the final campaign planned September 16th and the Son Tay raid. Its was approved.
Gen. Manor has a meeting with Defense Secretary Melvin Laird and on Oct. 8 continues his Pentagon lecture with the participation of National Security Advisor Dr. Henry Kissinger and Brigadier General Alexander Haig. General Manor announced the final approval of President Richard Nixon for the Shanxi ambush operation on Oct. 21. Henry Kissinger announced that President Nixon was absent and suggested moving the campaign day to 21. This made General Manor disappointed and anxious that the day of the Son Tay raid was to carry out intelligence gathering, prepare the means, etc. Taking advantage of this time, Gen. Manor ordered FLIR (Forward Looking Infra Red) infrared equipment for MC-130s to be able to observe and control offensive weapons at night. Dr. Cataldo also added a plan to take care of prisoners as soon as they were rescued, as prisoners would probably be in a state of exhaustion
Gen. Manor flew to Saigon and met with US commander General Creighton Abrams and US Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff General Lucius Clay Jr. support for the campaign
Gen. Manor and Simons also met Admiral Fred Bardshar on board of the flagship – carrier Oriskany, commanding the 77th Task Force 77 operating in the Gulf of Tonkin. General Manor demanded that at the time of the US task force conduct the Son Tay raid , the Task Force 77 would launch airplanes from northern carriers attacking from the East to distract the North Viet Nam to concentrate against the admiral Fred Bardshar’s aircraft without notice to General Manor’s aircraft
Deployment of Son Tay Raid
On November 10, two MC-130s with C-141s carrying commandos, weapons, vehicles, under Gen. Jack Catton took off from the Eglin base. The destination is Takhli, Thailand. By the 11th, the deployment to Thailand was completed, the blockade around the base under the CIA was set up to protect the secret.
F-105 Wild Weasel aircraft were added with the mission of engaging surface to air missiles (SAM’s) should those batteries become active. F-4s were added to provide protection against possible MIG interference. The F-105s were from a unit at Korat, the F-4s from Ubon and the A-1Es were based at Nakhon Phanom. All bases were in Thailand. KC-135 tankers were provided by a SAC unit at Utapao, Thailand, a base south of Bangkok. The helicopters originated from various bases and were brought to Udorn and prepared for the mission.