March 24, 2008
Lubbock, Texas—When Hollywood made a movie about the dramatic rescue of a downed American
pilot during the Vietnam War, it left one man out: the South Vietnamese navy officer
who was a key member of the rescue team.
In April 1972, during the largest search and rescue operation of the war, Petty Officer
Nguyen Van Kiet spent 11 days behind enemy lines helping to locate and extract the
Kiet’s story was highlighted among many others honoring the South Vietnamese military during a recent two-day conference organized by The Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University. The center’s main goal is to collect archives representing all aspects of the war, including the work of those who supported the war as well as those who opposed it.