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Combat Story

Apr 8, 2021

Today, we hear the combat story of Terry Buckler, the youngest of 56 Green Berets on one of the most dangerous and daring missions in U.S. military history, when they went 300 miles behind enemy lines into North Vietnam to rescue American POWs at the Son Tay POW camp. 
Terry is part of a rare group known today as the Son Tay Raiders.  The mission does not have the intended outcome (as you’ll hear in this interview), but changes the lives and morale for hundreds of American POWs for years to come.  
This is a story of true sacrifice, amazing bravery and selflessness, and some of the most impressive planning and execution you’ll ever hear. I know this sounds like hyperbole but I promise you, it is not.   
The stories you’re about to hear from Terry are detailed beautifully in the book Who Will Go: Into the Son Tay POW Camp. Terry wrote this book with Cliff Westbrook, who is also part of this interview and whose father was the Air Mission Commander for one of the aircraft involved in this incredible story.   
I sincerely hope you enjoy this front row seat to one of the most impressive, selfless, and expertly planned and executed operations in our military’s storied history.   

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#Special Forces #Son Tay #Veterans #combatstory
Show Notes

0:00 Intro
1:23 - Introduction of Terry and Cliff
6:36 - Terry’s childhood
15:25 - Aviation training and resourcing for the Son Tay Raid, including the new technology that made the mission possible: aerial refueling.
17:27 - Being selected for the raid.
25:46 - The situation and plight for POWs in North Vietnam at the time and the decision for a rescue.
31:45 - The Mission Statement, which is phenomenal, and the reaction of the 56 Green Berets will make your hair stand up.
45:45 - Captain Dan Turner and the relationship with Terry on the raid.
50:45 - Combat Story Planning and Son Tay Raid task organization and resources.
55:50 - Why choose 1,000 feet above ground level (AGL) for the flight route.
57:50 - What’s it like being 20 years old going into one of the most dangerous missions you can imagine for your first combat experience.
1:02:35 - Combat Story as the plan was drawn up (but did not go as planned, like any mission).
1:07:35 - Combat Story and what actually happened.
1:18:31 - This is why this mission was a success despite not finding any POWs.
1:36:43 - How do you find purpose in your life after such a significant event in your 20s.
1:40:25 - What did they carry with them in combat?
1:43:14 - Would you do it all again?