In 1964-65 Lt. Dale D. Eddy was flying with HMM-163, the Yankee Papa Squadron ferrying South Vietnamese infantry to the front. Then on March 1965 they were attacked and dad’s ship, YP-3 took on heavy gun fire and he was hit in the neck – temporarily paralyzing him. This is that heroic story of the men that rescued him. – My Yankee Papa

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my yankee papa

Early in the Vietnam War, before the United States was heavily involved the U.S. Marine Corps was assisting the South Vietnamese in their conflict of trying to push back the spread of communism. My father, Lt. Dale D. Eddy was flying a Sikorsky H-34 helicopters with HMM-163 Squadron. Most missions were to ferry South Vietnamese infantry to the front and on March 31, 1965 they were attacked on their third sortie while dropping soldiers off at the LZ. Dad’s ship, Yankee Papa 3 took on heavy gun fire and dad was shot in neck temporally paralyzing him while others in his crew were injured or killed. Dad describes his Vietnam experience, the events of March and the brave men that played a part in saving his him and how wild it was to be part of a article in LIFE Magazine.


LIFE Magazine was doing an article on USMC gunner Lance Cpl. James C. Farley (crew chief of Yankee Papa 13) who would try and rescue my dad in the midst of a heavy gun fight. Farley and YP13 had to leave dad at the LZ because all hell was breaking­-loose after an attempt to pull him from the cockpit. Unknown to Farley lots of Rambo stuff happening on the other side of the ship as ‘Rocky’ protected the injured and himself until help arrived. The LIFE article was a big deal when released in April 1965 as it was the first time the American public would see their young boys getting killed in action. "One Ride With Yankee Papa 13" was a page turner in 1965 and still is today.

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HONORING HMM-163 SQUADRON and heroic events of MARCH 31, 1965 was created by the Eddy Family. Images either owned by the Eddy family or pulled from LIFE Images. LIFE images photographed by Larry Burrows. Contact and Links.