Down on the PDJ
On September 15, 1969, LtCol Al Martin's A-1H "TS 789"
was hit by enemy groundfire in northern Laos. Martin elected to
make a forced landing on an unprepared strip on the Plaines des
Jarres (PDJ). After landing, Martin retracted the landing gear
as he maneuvered to avoid a bomb crater on the landing strip.
Suffering only slight damage, the Skyraider was airlifted
by a US Army Sikorski CH-64 Skycrane to a larger landing strip
in northern Laos where the engine and propeller were replaced.
The aircraft was flown back to NKP where it underwent further
repairs and subsequently was put back in service.
Col Martin provided a series
of photographs relating to this incident which are displayed
in the image collections section of this website.
At the A-1 Skyraider Association reunion in October of 1997,
I had the good fortune to conduct a one-on-one interview with
Col Martin. This interview
between Byron Hukee and Al Martin is presented here in RealAudio