Thank you for visiting our web site. This site is dedicated to all past and present United States Air Force Crash Rescue Firefighters and Air Rescue Crewmembers and Support Personnel. The major focus of this web site is the HH-43A/B/F Helicopter and her crews. There were literally hundreds of individual HH-43 units stationed throughout the world. This web site is literally a life-long endeavor, that will be changing continuously. Please visit with us regularly.
The Kaman HH-43 Helicopter and her crewmembers (Firefighters, Flight Mechanics, Medics, Pararescuemen – PJ’s, Flight Surgeons, and Pilots) were committed to the protection of others. The motto “…That Others May Live” was not just a slogan. It was a personal promise to do whatever it took to help someone in need. The HH-43 was the first USAF rescue helicopter used in the Vietnam War. In the war, she became known by the Call Sign “PEDRO”. The Viet Nam War and Southeast Asia was not PEDRO’s only area of operation. She served throughout the world. She has many military and civilian saves to her name. The HH-43 holds the record for USAF Rescue helicopters. To this day, she holds the record with more saves than any other USAF Rescue helicopter.
I think it is safe to say that the highest of standards of commitment to others set by her early crews were the goals of every helicopter rescue crew to follow.
It is my objective to build a web site that accurately documents the history of the HH43. Provide an internet home for those who flew on her, and the support and administrative personnel that kept us in the air. Provide a source of interesting and educational information for all others. If you were associated with the HH-43, please contribute to our history by contacting me. When we are gone, our history is gone.
I would like to thank Chris Taylor who is helping me research information and has provided much information for the site. If you would like to help by providing information for this site, please drop me a line.
I have tried to load this site with plenty of graphics and photos. Please be patient while some of the pages load. I think you will find it worth the wait.
A PEDRO with its FSK (Fire Suppression Kit) hanging below, responds to a crash of an A-1 that appears to have had some type of landing gear problem. This photo was taken at a location in Vietnam which is currently not known.
Jay Strayer and his crew rescue a downed F-100 Pilot near the Mu Gia Pass in Laos. Note the Bearpaws (landing gear assemblies) in the trees. This is when HH-43’s were equipped with only 100 ft. of cable. They were later equipped with 218 ft. of cable. If you look closely at the bottom, center of the photograph, you can see the PJ being lowered to the ground to assist the injured pilot.