Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Randy S. McComb, SMSgt., USAFFebruary 27, 1946 – November 19, 1983
RANK/SERVICE:Senior Master Sergeant E-8, U.S. Air Force
VETERAN OF:U.S. Air Force Reserve 1966U.S. Air Force 1966-1983Cold War 1966-1983Vietnam War 1967-1968, 1970-1971
He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserve in January 1966, and went on active duty beginning March 9, 1966. After completing basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas, Amn. McComb was trained as a Pararescueman at Orlando AFB, Florida, from April 1966 to May 1967. His first assignment was as a Pararescueman with Detachment 2 of the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS) at Udorn Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from May to October 1967, and then with Detachment 1 of the 37th ARRS at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai AFB from October 1967 to July 1968. Sgt. McComb then served as a Pararescueman with the 55th ARRS at Kindley AFB, Bermuda, from July 1968 to April 1970, followed by service with the 40th ARRS at Udorn Royal Thai AFB from April 1970 to April 1971. During this time he served as the Pararescueman aboard the HH-53 “Apple Two” during the Son Tay Raid, a clandestine mission to rescue American Prisoners of War in North Vietnam on November 21, 1970. His next assignment was as a Pararescueman with the 54th ARRS at Pease AFB, New Hampshire, from April 1971 to April 1972, followed by service with the 33rd ARRS at Kadena AB, Okinawa, from May 1972 to November 1974. MSgt. McComb served as a Pararescue Instructor with the 1550th Technical Training Squadron at Hill AFB, Utah, and at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, from November 1974 to February 1978, and then as Commandant of Operating Location J of the 1550th Aircrew Training and Test Wing at Lackland AFB from February 1978 to April 1980. His next assignment was as a Pararescueman with the 67th ARRS at RAF Woodbridge, England, from April 1980 to May 1982, followed by service as the Pararescue Standardization NCOIC with Headquarters Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service at Scott AFB, Illinois, from June 1982 until his death while on active duty on November 19, 1983.
His 1st Silver Star Citation reads:
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Airman Second Class Randy S. McComb, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as Pararescue Specialist on an unarmed HH-3E rescue helicopter near Nam Dinh, North Vietnam on 18 July 1967. On that date, Airman McComb penetrated deep into hostile territory to recover a downed United States Navy pilot. While being subjected to an intense barrage of automatic weapons fire, he deliberately exposed himself in order to assist in locating and retrieving the survivor. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Airman Second Class McComb has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
His 2nd Silver Star Citation reads:
Staff Sergeant Randy S. McComb distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force during the Prisoner of War Search and Rescue Operation at Son Tay, North Vietnam, on 21 November 1970. On that date, Sergeant McComb performed aircrew duties on the lead aircraft of the force penetrating deep into enemy territory in the attempted rescue effort. Completely aware of the enemy antiaircraft and surface-to-air missile threats en-route and in the objective area, Sergeant McComb totally disregarded his personal safety and skillfully performed his duties which significantly contributed to effective control of the entire force. As a result of Sergeant McComb’s heroic efforts, the force arrived at Son Tay as planned, the enemy forces were completely surprised, and the mission was successfully completed. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant McComb has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
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