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Posted: 9/23/2004 6:34:58 PM EST
A true American hero has passed. God Speed Colonel! Thank you for your brave service.

Associated Press
> Sept. 21, 2004 07:05 AM
>
> TUCSON - Iceal "Gene" Hambleton, a military aviator whose 1972 rescue
in
Vietnam inspired the movie "Bat 21," has died. He was 85.
>
> Hambleton, a retired lieutenant colonel from Davis-Monthan Air Force
Base,
died of cancer Sunday at Tucson Medical Center, his family said.
>
> Hambleton was shot down on Easter Sunday in 1972 and was the focus of
the
largest rescue operation in Air Force history.
>
> Actor Gene Hackman played Hambleton in the 1988 film "Bat 21," which
showed how he survived in the midst of thousands of enemy troops.
>
> The movie was based on the 1980 book of the same name. A second book,
"The
Rescue of Bat 21," was published in 1998.
>
> Bat 21 was the call sign of the EB-66 radar jamming aircraft in which
Hambleton flew as navigator.
>
> During 12 days in hostile territory, the then 52-year-old Hambleton
kept
in touch with U.S. forces through his hand-held survival radio,
directing
many strikes against enemy supply lines by calling in the locations of
vehicles on the highway.
>
> Hambleton's actions earned him several medals for heroism, including a
Silver Star, a Distinguished Flying Cross and a Purple Heart.
>
> A funeral service was scheduled for Thursday at Spanish Trail Lutheran
Church in Tucson.
HISTORY
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:37:03 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:37:54 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:41:09 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:41:49 PM EST

Rest In Peace
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:45:40 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:48:27 PM EST
I didn't realize so many people know who he is.

May he rest in peace as a true American hero.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:49:04 PM EST
salute

I read that book when I was 11 years old.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:49:30 PM EST
Gone.
But Never Forgotten.


Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:50:02 PM EST



Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:52:15 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:53:28 PM EST
......
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 6:55:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/23/2004 6:56:46 PM EST by az-gunner]


God Speed my friend
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 7:18:33 PM EST
I don’t know.

They did a documentary on him a while back on “Wings” which, admittedly, I didn't see in its entirety. Despite the fact that several men died trying to rescue him, all he seemed to talk about was himself.

Kinda rubbed me the wrong way.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 8:21:24 PM EST
RIP Sir
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 8:26:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/24/2004 6:08:35 AM EST by Nimrod1193]
Godspeed, BAT-21.

ETA: Can't think of a better way to use my 2000th post.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 8:28:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By 199:
I don’t know.

They did a documentary on him a while back on “Wings” which, admittedly, I didn't see in its entirety. Despite the fact that several men died trying to rescue him, all he seemed to talk about was himself.

Kinda rubbed me the wrong way.



Link Posted: 9/23/2004 8:28:44 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 8:29:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By CAR-10:
I didn't realize so many people know who he is.

May he rest in peace as a true American hero.



... lots of good folks on this board man

Gene Hambleton
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 8:30:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By 199:
I don?t know.

They did a documentary on him a while back on ?Wings? which, admittedly, I didn't see in its entirety. Despite the fact that several men died trying to rescue him, all he seemed to talk about was himself.

Kinda rubbed me the wrong way.


After what that guy has gone thru, he deserves to talk about whatever he wants to talk.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 3:03:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By warlord:

Originally Posted By 199:
I don?t know.

They did a documentary on him a while back on ?Wings? which, admittedly, I didn't see in its entirety. Despite the fact that several men died trying to rescue him, all he seemed to talk about was himself.

Kinda rubbed me the wrong way.


After what that guy has gone thru, he deserves to talk about whatever he wants to talk.



Agreed.

Lots of people died in that war doing lots of things. But the fact this guy was able to move around on the ground, alone and in enemy territory for 12 days while evading capture is a remarkable story. It is the story everyone naturally focuses on. You can bet your ass Hambleton was grateful for the efforts of his rescuers. Probably more than we'll ever know.

Rest in peace Hamb.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 3:04:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By DVDTracker:

Originally Posted By 6172crew:
salute

I read that book when I was 11 years old.



+1 I was about the same age when I read it.



+2, I read it in the early/mid '80s. Great story about a man with grit. Rest in Peace.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 3:07:01 AM EST
Rest in Peace.

Link Posted: 9/24/2004 3:09:22 AM EST
Both books are great reads. Rip Bat21.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 3:11:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:

Originally Posted By warlord:

Originally Posted By 199:
I don?t know.

They did a documentary on him a while back on ?Wings? which, admittedly, I didn't see in its entirety. Despite the fact that several men died trying to rescue him, all he seemed to talk about was himself.

Kinda rubbed me the wrong way.


After what that guy has gone thru, he deserves to talk about whatever he wants to talk.



Agreed.

Lots of people died in that war doing lots of things. But the fact this guy was able to move around on the ground, alone and in enemy territory for 12 days while evading capture is a remarkable story. It is the story everyone naturally focuses on. You can bet your ass Hambleton was grateful for the efforts of his rescuers. Probably more than we'll ever know.

Rest in peace Hamb.



It is probably very difficult to get a man talking about the guys who he did not know who died trying to rescue him . . . it must have been terrifying to be so close to rescue only to see the soldiers come to rescue you cut down.

Don't forget, as well, that the editor of documentary may have cut out all the parts that didn't fit the image of the self-important heroe that the editor wanted to project. All the parts where they had to stop and let the Colonel regain his composure would have been cut out.

Link Posted: 9/24/2004 3:13:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By 199:
I don’t know.

They did a documentary on him a while back on “Wings” which, admittedly, I didn't see in its entirety. Despite the fact that several men died trying to rescue him, all he seemed to talk about was himself.

Kinda rubbed me the wrong way.



The producers edit that stuff, ya know...could have very well been that all THEY wanted you to hear was the stuff about him. I'll happily give any guy like this the benefit of the doubt.

Another good man gone...sad...R.I.P.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 3:25:40 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 10:24:18 AM EST
Sonuva....

This guy was awesome. This sucks!
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 10:42:27 AM EST
Blue Skies,

Also of note is the man who rescued him with a Vietnames LLDB, Lt. Thomas Norris who earned the Medal Of Honor for his actions and Kiet Van Nguyen who received the Navy Cross.

For those who do not know, Lt Norris was wounded in an operation later and was rescued by fellow SEAL who also received the Medal Of Honor.

Link Posted: 9/24/2004 10:47:59 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 10:52:28 AM EST
Rest in piece , sir. The war is over for you now.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 10:57:38 AM EST
You have earned your rest sir, Enjoy the flight!...
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 11:06:03 AM EST


R.I.P.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 11:07:07 AM EST
A guy I knew in highschool, his dad wrote the original book on the operation.
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 11:08:52 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/24/2004 12:21:42 PM EST
He was of military service age during WWII. I wonder how he served then. RIP Colonel.
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