“It was like being at the top of a building when you feel an elevator drop. I knew this was not going to be good.”

On February 5, 1969, men aboard Jim’s HC130 rescue plane responded to an overturned Japanese freighter with 23 stranded crewmen. Storms rumbled over the South China Sea, creating high swells and dangerous flying conditions. Jim’s plane descended down to far below the minimum on a rescue mission, crashed, and burst into flames. Jim was the only survivor.

Jim shared his harrowing story in the South Hills back in August. Listen to his emotional retelling of his brush with death and his gratitude towards the Japanese who rescued him. We thank Jim for his service and for sharing his story.