Kalen, Herbert Donald, Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1974-1979, Kirtland Air Force Base
Service Years
1953 - 1979

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Kalen, Herbert Donald, Col.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Tarrytown, New York
Last Address
Panama City Beach, Florida

Date of Passing
Aug 27, 2016
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 71 Grave 1667

 Official Badges 

Combat Crew Combat Rescue Officer Air Force Retired

 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal

 Military Association Memberships
Air Force Memorial (AFM)
  2016, Air Force Memorial (AFM) - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

His AF Cross citation:
Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pleasure in presenting the Air Force Cross to Major Herbert D. Kalen (AFSN: 0-56767), United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as an Aircraft Commander of an HH-3E Rescue Helicopter of the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, 3d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group, as part of an all-volunteer joint U.S. Army and Air Force raiding force in the Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed heliborne assault mission to rescue United States military personnel held as prisoners of war at Son Tay prison in North Vietnam, on 21 November 1970. On that date, Major Kalen volunteered to rescue and extract United States military personnel held as Prisoners of War deep inside the territory of North Vietnam. Major Kalen was faced with the most intense counter-air environment in the history of aerial warfare involving surface-to-air missiles. He masterfully executed the complicated maneuvers to evade the enemy's air defense systems. Knowing that a grave danger existed in that the guards within the Prisoner of War compound may have been alerted, he valorously, fearlessly and successfully flew the helicopter with an assault group into the compound yard, knowing that he must crash-land the helicopter in an area much too small for safe landing. Once the landing was completed, he further assisted the assault group in its ground operation mission. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Major Kalen reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
General Orders: Department of the Air Force, Special Order GB-985 (December 15, 1970)

Action Date: November 21, 1970

Service: Air Force

Rank: Major

Battalion: 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron

Regiment: 3d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group

Division: Son Tay Volunteer Task Force
Other Comments:
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Aviator (Command)

 Unit Assignments
School AssignmentsAir Training CommandUS Air ForceAir Training Command
6520th Test GroupAir Force Systems Command (AFSC)37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery SquadronRescue Units
Aerospace Rescue and Recovery ServiceUS Air Force
  1953-1954, Pilot Training Class (Unknown)
  1954-1955, Air Training Command
  1954-1957, Helicopter Units
  1957-1958, Air Training Command
  1958-1964, 6520th Test Group
  1964-1967, Air Force Systems Command (AFSC)
  1967-1968, 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron
  1968-1971, 1021A, 48th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron
  1971-1974, Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service
  1974-1979, Kirtland Air Force Base
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1967-1968 Vietnam War
  1970-1970 Vietnam War
  1970-1970 Vietnam War - Southwest Monsoon Campaign (1970)/Operation Kingpin (Son Tay Prison Raid)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
HH-3/CH-3E  Jolly Green Giant  
  1966-1971, HH-3/CH-3E Jolly Green Giant
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