Unsung Hero in the Amazing Rescue of Bat 21 Bravo: Nguyen Van Kiet's courage and courage . . . . . . . .

 
Petty Officer Nguyen Van Kiet
   :       Vietnam War: It was their country. They deserve respect.When Hollywood made a movie about the dramatic rescue of a downed American pilot during the Vietnam War, it left one man out: the South Vietnamese navy officer who was a key member of the rescue team.    

Webmaster's Note:  I first  met Kiet at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam  when he was undergoing LDNN (SEAL) training.  I was one of the SEAL LDNN Advisors at the LDNN Camp.          LT. Richard Kuhn was our OinC.

 

 

 

                    Navy Cross Citation

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to

NGUYEN VAN KIET, PETTY OFFICER THIRD CLASS
NAVY OF THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM

                                                     Citation:

For extraordinary heroism while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressors in the Republic of Vietnam. On 13 April 1972, Petty Officer Kiet participated in an unprecedented recovery operation for a downed United States aviator behind enemy lines in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam. He courageously volunteered to accompany a United States SEAL Advisor Thomas R. Norris (Medal Of Honor) in an extremely hazardous attempt to reach the aviator, who was physically unable to move toward friendly positions. Using a sampan and traveling throughout the night, they silently made their way deep into enemy territory, past numerous major enemy positions, locating the pilot at dawn. Once, after being spotted by a North Vietnamese patrol, he calmly continued to keep the enemy confused as the small party successfully evaded the patrol. Later, they were suddenly taken under heavy machine gun fire. Thinking first of the pilot, he quickly pulled the sampan to safety behind a bank and camouflaged it while air strikes were called on the enemy position. Due to Petty Officer Kiet's coolness under extremely dangerous conditions and his outstanding courage and professionalism, an American aviator was recovered after an eleven-day ordeal behind enemy lines. His self-discipline, personal courage, and dynamic fighting spirit were an inspiration to all; thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and the Naval Service.

 

                 email:   ktnguyen95  [at] comcast  DOT net

                               

                                                  Nguyen Van Kiet         

                                            

                                                      

Nguyen Van Kiet was a Petty Officer Third Class in the Republic of Vietnam Navy and is one of only two South Vietnamese, and the only South Vietnamese Navy member, to receive the Navy Cross for actions during the Vietnam WarA book was written about Nguyen's heroism by William Charles Anderson and was later adapted in a movie named Bat*21 is a 1988 movie.

 Navy Cross citation

For extraordinary heroism while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressors in the Republic of Vietnam . On 13 April 1972, Petty Officer Kiet participated in an unprecedented recovery operation for a downed United States aviator behind enemy lines in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam . He courageously volunteered to accompany a United States SEAL Advisor in an extremely hazardous attempt to reach the aviator, who was physically unable to move toward friendly positions. Using a sampan and traveling throughout the night, they silently made their way deep into enemy territory, past numerous major enemy positions, locating the pilot at dawn. Once, after being spotted by a North Vietnamese patrol, he calmly continued to keep the enemy confused as the small party successfully evaded the patrol. Later, they were suddenly taken under heavy machinegun fire. Thinking first of the pilot, he quickly pulled the sampan to safety behind a bank and camouflaged it while air strikes were called on the enemy position. Due to Petty Officer Kiet's coolness under extremely dangerous conditions and his outstanding courage and professionalism, an American aviator was recovered after an eleven-day ordeal behind enemy lines. His self-discipline, personal courage, and dynamic fighting spirit were an inspiration to all; thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and the Naval Service.

 Also see

Thomas R. Norris

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Thomas R. Norris

born January 14, 1944

Nickname

Tommy, Ratso

Place of birth

Jacksonville, Florida

Service/branch

United States Navy

Battles/wars

Vietnam War

Awards

Medal of Honor

Other work

FBI agent

Thomas R. Norris, USN (Retired) (born 14 January 1944) is a retired a U.S. Navy SEAL awarded the Medal of Honor for his ground rescue of two downed pilots in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam on April 10-April 13, 1972. At the time of the action, Lieutenant Norris was a SEAL Advisor with the Strategic Technical Directorate Assistance Team.

Norris was one of three SEALS to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the Vietnam War. [1]

Biography

Thomas Norris was born on January 14, 1944 in Jacksonville, Florida. He earned an Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with a specialty in criminology from the University of Maryland. While at the University of Maryland , in 1965 and 1966, he was the Atlantic Coast Conference ACC wrestling champion. [2]

He joined the Navy with hopes of flying; however, he had problems with his visual acuity and depth perception that disqualified him from becoming a pilot. He then became a Navy SEAL. Norris struggled during BUD/S training, and the instructors seriously discussed washing him out of the course.[3] He graduated from BUD/S Class 45.

In April 1972, Norris and a Navy SEAL team effected the rescue of two downed pilots in enemy territory. For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Six months later, in October 1972, Norris sustained a near-fatal head wound in action and was rescued by his fellow Navy SEAL, Michael Thornton.[4] As a result of the head injury, Norris was retired from the Navy. To recover from this injury, he spent three years in the hospital and underwent many major surgeries over a six year period.

Norris received the Medal of Honor from President Gerald R. Ford in a White House ceremony on March 6, 1976.

In 1979, Norris decided to join the FBI and requested a waiver for his disabilities. FBI director William Webster responded, "If you can pass the same test as anybody else applying for this organization, I will waiver your disabilities." In September 1979, Norris passed the test and subsequently served as an FBI agent for 20 years.

Tom Norris lost an eye and part of his skull during the operation in which he was rescued by Michael Thornton. Was an original member of the FBI's HRT as an assault team leader.  

                                           Medal of Honor citation

Lieutenant Thomas R. Norris
United States Naval Reserve

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a SEAL Advisor with the Strategic Technical Directorate Assistance Team, Headquarters, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. During the period 10 to 13 April 1972, Lieutenant Norris completed an unprecedented ground rescue of two downed pilots deep within heavily controlled enemy territory in Quang Tri Province . Lieutenant Norris, on the night of 10 April, led a five-man patrol through 2,000 meters of heavily controlled enemy territory, located one of the downed pilots at daybreak, and returned to the Forward Operating Base (FOB). On 11 April, after a devastating mortar and rocket attack on the small FOB, Lieutenant Norris led a three man team on two unsuccessful rescue attempts for the second pilot. On the afternoon of the 12th, a Forward Air Controller located the pilot and notified Lieutenant Norris. Dressed in fishermen disguises and using a sampan, Lieutenant Norris and one Vietnamese traveled throughout that night and found the injured pilot at dawn. Covering the pilot with bamboo and vegetation, they began the return journey, successfully evading a North Vietnamese patrol. Approaching the FOB, they came under heavy machine gun fire. Lieutenant Norris called in an air strike which provided suppression fire and a smoke screen, allowing the rescue party to reach the FOB. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, undaunted courage, and selfless dedication in the face of extreme danger, Lieutenant Norris enhanced the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service.  

 

  Honors and RecognitionsThe Naval Special Warfare Group Two in Little Creek, Virginia is located in the Lt. Thomas R. Norris Building.Norris' Medal of Honor actions have been re-told in numerous books and in the feature film Bat*21, which is named for the Air Force code name for the original reconnaissance mission. 

Notes^ Virtual Polygraph. SEC. ^ Alumni Hall of Fame, University of Maryland . 

Retrieved on 2006-07-03. ^ Couch, D (2001). The Warrior Elite: The forging of SEAL Class 228. ISBN 0-609-60710-3.

 Referred to in Couch's speech at graduation of BUD/S Class 228. Couch was in BUD/S Class 45 with Norris. ^ Norris' rescuer, Michael Thornton, received the Medal of Honor for his actions. 

  Thornton was the first person in more than a century to receive that the Medal of Honor for saving the life of another Medal of Honor recipient. Norris and Thornton were able to witness each other's Medal of Honor ceremonies. 

 Thomas R. Norris Citation. Retrieved 2006-07-03. Medal of Honor citation for Norris. Lieutenant Thomas R. Norris, United States Naval Reserve, Vietnam War Medal of Honor Recipients, Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy. 

Retrieved 2006-07-03. Stories of Valor: Thomas Norris, American Valor, PBS.

 Retrieved 2006-07-03. Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_R._Norris"


                        RESCUE of BAT  21  Bravo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rescue_of_Bat_21_Bravo   go here for the whole story of the rescue.

USMCCol. Al Gray suggested a covert, land-based rescue operation.[26] and Lt. Col. Andy Anderson, commander of the Joint Search and Rescue Command, ordered a ground rescue. In Saigon, Navy SEAL Lt. j.g. Thomas R. Norris, one of just three SEAL officers and nine enlisted men[1] remaining in Vietnam,[5]  had just completed an assignment in theMekong Delta. He was waiting for orders when the call came in for a commando operation to get Hambleton out. Norris was immediately dispatched to lead an operation to rescue Hambleton. He joined a five Vietnamese frog-men (Lien Doc Nguoi Nhia LDNN) Naval Advisory Detachment, Sea Commando team from Da Nang.

 

                                                                                 

 

Lt Col Iceal E. Hambleton, USAF electronic warfare officer shot down behind enemy lines in Vietnam.  Hes the man that Navy SEAL Tom Norris and Kiet Nguyen went in to rescue:
http://www.veterantributes. org/TributeDetail.php? recordID=2060

 

 

                                                           

 

 

 

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