Operation Ivory Coast: The Pows At Son Tay

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Operation Ivory Coast was an Operation that took place during the Vietnam War. The objective of this operation was to rescue several American POWs, from a compound near Son Tay Prison Camp. The concept for this mission came up on the 9th of May, 1970. Based on aerial photographs taken by the USAF, it was concluded that about 55 American POWs were kept in this compound, 6 of which were in need of urgent rescue. Army BG Donald Blackburn, special assistant for counterinsurgency and special activities met with General Earle G Wheeler to recommend the rescue of the POWs at Son Tay. General Wheeler authorized a I 5 man planning group, codenamed Polar Circle, to study the feasibility of a rescue mission on Son Tay. This was the first phase of Operation Ivory Coast. When the group met, it was concluded that the number of…show more content…
The rescue mission was deemed feasible, and was to occur in one of two windows. Either October 18-25 or November 18-25. These windows were chosen to best accommodate the parameters of the rescue mission; at night with the moon 35 degrees over the horizon. The second phase of Operation Ivory Coast was called Ivory Coast. This phase began on the 18th of August, 1970, and involved the organization, planning, training, and development phase of the operation. Admiral Thomas H. Moorer nominated Manor as the commander of the Operation, and Simons as the Deputy Commander. Eglin Air Force Base was the designated joint training base for this operation. A 27 man planning staff was assembled, 11 of which were part of the first phase, Polar Circle. Simons recruited 103 Army personnel of 500 volunteers. The Air force planners selected key Air Force commanders, who

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