Pararescuemen (AFSC 1T2X1) are United States Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and Air Combat Command (ACC) operatives tasked with recovery and medical treatment of personnel in humanitarian and combat environments.
Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) was established 10 Feb 1983 as Twenty-Third Air Force, with headquarters at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
More on PJs tied to European Theatre in the 1940s. The Army formed several squadrons in theater specifically to aid and rescue downed flyers-both at sea and on islands-with great success, thanks to these brave and skilled men. From there…
the China-Burma-India Theater (CBI) was the birthplace of what would eventually become pararescue. Here was a unique combination of long overland flights through territory that was loosely held by the enemy and survivable.
Dominating the flying in the CBI was ‘The Hump’ route. Cargo flights that left India carrying thousands of tons of vital war supplies had to cross the spine of the Himalayas in order to reach their destinations in China. Every day thousands of flight crews and their passengers risked their lives making this passage in C-46 and C-47 aircraft.
Many of these flights never arrived at their destinations due to mechanical problems, weather and mistakes. Crews forced to bail out or crash land faced weeks of hardship in tracing a path back to civilization, enduring harsh weather, little food, and the injuries they sustained during the crashes.
Capt. John L. “Blackie” Porter came to their aid. Porter was a former stunt pilot and credited with commanding the first organized air rescue unit in the theatre. More to follow on “Blackie” and Parescue Jumpers…