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.
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
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.
extraordinary heroism while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed
conflict against the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist aggressors in the
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R. Norris, USN (Retired) (born 14
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
1972. At the time
of the action, Lieutenant Norris was a SEAL Advisor with the Strategic Technical
Directorate Assistance Team.
was one of three SEALS to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the Vietnam
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
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.
He graduated from BUD/S Class 45.
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.
months later, in October 1972, Norris sustained a near-fatal head wound in
action and was rescued by his fellow Navy SEAL, Michael
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.
received the Medal of Honor from President Gerald
R. Ford in a White
House ceremony on March
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.
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.
Thomas R. Norris
United States Naval Reserve
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
^ Norris' rescuer, Michael Thornton, received the Medal of Honor for his actions.
Thomas R. Norris, United States Naval Reserve,
Stories of Valor: Thomas Norris, American Valor, PBS.
RESCUE of BAT 21 Bravo
BAT 21 the movie Trailer
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. 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 remaining in Vietnam, 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.
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