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[Image 2: HMH-462 Marine sits in a CH-53D at the end of his Phnom Penh evacuation
mission. Sgt Ervin E. Breyette, Jr.. leans against his.') O-caliber machine gun and watches evacuees disembark on the USS Okinawa. Photo courtesy of Capt Russell R. Thurman, USMC fRct).]

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section of two as backups. As expected, the controllers held these aircraft
at Oscar approximately 30 minutes beyond their sheduled estimated time of
arrival. Upon confirmation by the Embassy that the last citizens, including
Ambassador Dean and the acting president of the Khmer Republic, Saukham Khoy,
had safely boarded a HMH-462 helicopter, the squadron aircraft began extracting
the landing force. At approximately 1050, 107mm rocket fire began impacting
in the vicinity of Landing Zone Hotel. Less than 10 minutes later, the zone
also received some 82mm mortar fire. As soon as the enemy initiated its rocket
and mortar attack, the controllers in the zone notified the Air Force forward
air controllers (FACs) flying overhead in 23d Air Support Squadron OV-lOs.
The FACs immediately made low passes over the cast bank of the Mekong, but
could not spot any fire coming from known enemy positions in that location.
At 1059, the last element of BLT 2/4 left the zone and 16 minutes later, two
Air Force HH-53s from the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS),
as scheduled, extracted Colonel Batchelder and his command element. As they
departed the zone, the helicopters

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