THE SON TAY RAID
The mission statement might have been expressed simply: "Rescue approximately fifty American POWs from Son Tay prison near Hanoi, North Vietnam." However, the Air Force's planning for this mission was as comprehensive and meticulous as any in the history of the service. Moreover, it was the first major military operation to be conducted under the direct control of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The President made the final go/no go decision. Unfortunately, the rescue effort itself turned out to be futile, though it produced unintended benefits. C. V. Glines
"For twenty minutes, we had owned a piece of North Vietnam, and to this day we know full well that if the prisoners had been there, they would have been free that night. Nothing could or would have stood in our way to successfully complete that mission except what we encountered - no prisoners at Son Tay." - Sgt. Joseph Murray, Son Tay commando
On November 20-21, 1970, a joint force composed of USAF Special Operations and rescue personnel and U.S. Army Special Forces, supported by U.S. Navy Carrier Task Force 77, made a daring raid on the Son Tay prison camp located less than 30 miles from Hanoi, North Vietnam. The objective was to rescue as many as 100 U.S. captives thought to be held there.