Combat Talon from Son Tay Raid Retired

Members of Air Force Special Operations Command gathered at Cannon AFB, N.M., for the retirement of the MC-130E Combat Talon I aircraft that led the Son Tay Raid to free US prisoners of war from North Vietnam in November 1970. On June 22, tail number 64-0523 flew in to Cannon from Duke Field, Fla., where it had served in recent years with Air Force Reserve Command’s 919th Special Operations Wing. The retirement ceremony at Cannon was that same day. The MC-130E will now undergo several months of demilitarization before it rests on permanent display at Cannon’s airpark, according to a June 25 base release. This Combat Talon first flew in 1966 and amassed more than 23,500 flight hours, according to 919th SOW officials in a June 25 release. “We are extremely proud of our special operations forces heritage and what this aircraft means to AFSOC,” said Col. Buck Elton, commander of Cannon’s 27th SOW. (Cannon report by A1C Alexxis Pons Abascal) (Duke Field report by TSgt. Samuel King Jr.) (See also The Son Tay Raid from Air Force Magazine’s archives.)