USN VA 113

A-7E Corsair II

BuNo 157589
NE315

13th March 1971

USS RANGER
Lt. Barton Sheldon Creed

 

"Pick me up, pick me up now!
They are here!"

 

These were the last words transmitted by Lt. Barton Creed as he had became completely surrounded by the North Vietnamese, 

 

On 13th March 1971 Lt. Barton S. Creed's A-7E Corsair II was flying a combat mission from USS Ranger over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos. When near Ban Sung, east of Ban Thoun, Laos 23mm AAA blew off part of the wing, He ejected using his Escapac seat but sustained a broken arm and leg in the process. Despite the close proximity of enemy forces on the ground several rescue attempts to pick him up were made.

The FAC that had established his position and had marked a false location to detract enemy forces and was in constant radio contact with Lt. Creed.

 During the first attempt the helicopter hovered over Creed and a rescue man was lowered to within 30 feet of the ground before intense small arms fire forced a withdrawal due to hits and on-board casualties.

 

The search and rescue (SAR) plane made a wide sweep while two helicopters tried to clear the area around Creed's position. About 4 minutes later, a second rescue attempt was made, but small arms fire was even more intense. Both helicopters received disabling fire, and the co-pilot of one was seriously wounded. Neither helicopter made it back to base, but the crews were recovered.

Creed was moved between the second and third attempts. The third attempt was made by helicopters that had been standing off to the west of the area and commenced about 15-20 minutes later. They also received heavy ground fire. Creed's parachute had been moved a little, and he could no longer be seen by SAR.

A fourth attempt was made after dark, with a crewman lowered to the ground for a search, but there was no sign of Lt. Creed.

The original FAC was granted permission to go back and look for Creed again the following morning. The FAC found that Creed's parachute had been moved about 500 meters and had been spread out. The pilot believed that NVA soldiers had spread the parachute as a decoy for U.S. planes, as no American pilot trying to evade capture would advertise his presence in this manner.

Rescue pilots say Creed was "most certainly alive" when they last saw him. However, Creed's name did not appear on any list of prisoners provided by the North Vietnamese.

 

 

Lt. Barton Sheldon Creed

 

The author of this site is indebted to Lt. Creed's wife, Mrs Susan Page Creed Percy, for permission to include his photo and details.

Further details are to be found by clicking on the following link
Virtual Wall memorial

 

      Most  extracts used in this Biography  were  provided thanks to the generosity of Charles and Mary Schantag  who also gave permission to include the  following POWNET biography  link               (please use your browser Back Arrow to return to this page)

Lt. Barton Sheldon Creed