56th Security Police Squadron

On May 12, 1975, just 12 days after US forces pulled out of Vietnam, the SS Mayaguez drifted into Cambodian waters in the Gulf of Thailand and was captured by Khmer Rouge communist and who forced it to sail to Kohtang Island with crew.  When negotiations failed President Ford ordered a rescue mission to liberate the crew.

Helicopters with 125 Security Police from 56th Special Operations Wing stationed on Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Base (NKP) undertook this objective on May 14, 1975.  One of the choppers crashed 37 miles from NKP and 18 SPs lost their fives.  The 56th is now stationed at Luke AFB and last year they observed the loss with a special Retreat Ceremony.  This year there is planned a special Memorial Retreat on May 16, 1997 and a SP Combat Dining Out on May 17, 1997.

At this time we have no further information, if you would like more information contact Charles Coles, CMSgt, USAF, 56th Security Police Squadron, 7333 N Bong Lane, Luke AFB, AZ 85309-11428.

   Reprinted from VSPA Guardmount - Apr 1997

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