He Knew Too Much – The Insane Rescue of Most Important Man Shot Down in the Vietnam War


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He Knew Too Much - The Insane Rescue of Most Important Man Shot Down in the Vietnam War



During the Easter Offensive in the Vietnam War, Lieutenant Colonel Iceal “Gene” Hambleton was shot down by Vietnamese surface-to-air missiles while flying aboard an EB66.

He was the sole survivor of a six-man crew and parachuted right into a battlefield with about 30,000 North Vietnamese soldiers.

Hambleton had top-secret access to Strategic Air Command and was an expert in nuclear weapons, so the armed forces launched what would become the largest, longest, and most complex rescue operation in the entire Vietnam War.

Several men lost their lives, many aircraft were shot down, and costly resources were spent during the operation, which ultimately summoned one of the remaining Navy SEALs in Vietnam for support, and led to a historic revaluation of how rescue operations would be conducted from then on.

– As images and footage of actual events are not always available, Dark Docs sometimes utilizes similar historical images and footage for dramatic effect. I do my best to keep it as visually accurate as possible. All content on Dark Docs is researched, produced, and presented in historical context for educational purposes. We are history enthusiasts and are not always experts in some areas, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with corrections, additional information, or new ideas. –

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28 Comments

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  1. This was featured on Mysteries At the Museum although they didn't talk about how much aircraft was destroyed or damaged in the search. I was just thinking last night, I wonder if there's a video on him and boom, it's suggested to me today.

  2. I've always said about this that I believe Hamilton was very fortunate that by bad day 3 and the second or third rescue attempt that it wasn't deemed that the best course of action would be to arclight him as a dead man tells no takes or US nuclear secrets there is rumors that this was done earlier in the war and there were some SOG guys who it did happen to and some that missed it by minutes

  3. The book, "Bat-21", is simply outstanding, it is totally captivating, you won't be able to put it down. Movie is good, but the book,…I'd suggest to watch the movie before reading the book. Otherwise you will be disappointed in movie, yes the book is that much better!

  4. Impossible to make an unbiased judgment now. Like the last soldier said in his statement, an American was down behind enemy lines ofcourse I would do it again. They are a different breed and they catch hell for it. Yet they go out and train for it everyday bc you don't know what day you will needed to perform at your best, not only for your life but for another, possibly a brother,, or sister in arms. That is when you must be at your best. They are just a different breed. Drank different water. Just f*k** awesome!

  5. My biological father flew Cessna 0-2's in Vietnam.
    He was shot out of the sky 7 times before messing up his back and receiving a medical discharge.
    1 of his stories is about having his engine shot out. He sees an aircraft carrier. Calls the aircraft carrier and asks for permission to land. The aircraft carrier replied, You are Air Force, not Navy, you are not authorized to land. If you attempt to land we will shot you out of the sky.
    So he was forced to land in the water.
    Which the aircraft carrier was upset about. Now they have to take time to fish him out of the water….lol
    We grew up with the same little grey paint scheme on our plane. We had a Cessna 150J (N51305). The RG on the tail stands for Roger's County in Oklahoma. It's where he is from.