Army Aviator
Founding Member and Past President of the 281st AHC Association

DAT:  11-12-2010

Captain Jack Green and crew of 1st Delta mission
(Jack is last person on right) John W. "Jack" Green left us on his final mission on December 11, 2010 in his home town of Baton Rouge, LA. Jack was an officer and a gentleman who earned the respect of the Intruder family.  As a young army aviator jack joined the 145th Aviation Platoon In 1965 when it was assigned the mission of providing direct support to the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam, Jack served as a senior aircraft commander and operations officer from 1965-1966.  Upon returning to civilian life in Baton Rouge Jack became a successful business man, raised his family, was a founding member of the Intruder Association and served as its president. Jack was involved in model railroading and organized a national chapter of the model railroading association.  In the 145th Airlift Platoon which became a part of the 281st AHC, Jack served as the operations officer and was the first Aircraft Commander to fly a long range recon mission for Project Delta, the 5th Special Forces Group reconaissance unit. Jack is also credited with being the first army aviator the use the McGuire Rig to rescue a member of a recon team.       

McGuire Rig (From Wikipedia)

The “McGuire Rig” was used to extract soldiers from the jungles of Vietnam. It would be suspended from a helicopter and used to extract soldiers from areas without a suitable pick-up zone. It was simple, inexpensive, and effective. Although less comfortable than the STABO (Short Tactical Air Borne Operations)[1] harness, it did not require the soldier to carry any special equipment. It was designed by Sergeant Major Charles T. McGuire, a member of Project DELTA, a Special Forces reconnaissance project.

The McGuire Rig was fashioned from a 2-inch (51 mm) wide, 15-foot (4.6 m) long A7A nylon cargo tie-down strap with a quick-fit buckle on one end. This was typically cut down to an 8-foot (2.4 m) length and a 18-inch (460 mm) web loop (wrist strap) attached near the top end. This was used to form a sling loop and attached to an over 100-foot (30 m) length of 5/8-inch nylon rope. Three ropes with McGuire Rigs attached could be dropped from a UH-1 "Huey" helicopter, all on the same side. A deployment back containing a sandbag carried each rope to the ground. A soldier attached his rucksack with a snap link, stepped into the loop, adjusted it, inserted his left hand in the wrist loop, and on signal the helicopter lifted off. The three men would lock arms to prevent oscillation and prevent falls if a rope was shot through. A wounded or unconscious man could fall from the harness unless secured. The system did not allow the extracted soldiers to be hoisted into the helicopter. They were flown out of the danger area and then set down in a clearing in order to board the helicopter. On a long flight the harness proved to be extremely uncomfortable.

From the pilot's standpoint, performing an extraction using a McGuire Rig required intense concentration. Once the soldiers were in the rig, the pilot would attempt to hover straight up. But with the nearest ground reference over 100 feet away, it was difficult to discern when the chopper was moving. There was the distinct possibility, therefore, that the soldier(s) would be dragged through tree limbs during the extraction.

CPT John W. "Jack" Green, III, flying a UH-1B for the 145th Airlift Platoon in support of Project Delta was the first pilot to utilize the McGuire Rig in an emergency extraction. In mid-1966, 145th was blended into the 281st AHC which then assumed the mission of supporting Project Delta. Due to intense training with the MACV Recondo School and on the job training with Project Delta, the 281st AHC developed the usage of the McGuire Rig into an art form.



An officer and a gentleman went home today--mission accomplished.  Jack Green died at 1:50 pm.  He was peaceful and without pain.  It was a privilege to hold his hand as he took his last soft breath.  I could see the beauty of God's world in this good, kind, intelligent, brave man and I could feel God's love as He brought Jack home.

May God Continue to Bless Us All



 CPT John W. "Jack" Green III died 11 December 2010 at his home in Baton Rouge of pancreatic cancer.  Jack was a pilot in the 145th Airlift Platoon, the first Army Aviation unit attached to 5th SFG (Abn), Det B-52 Project Delta, for helicopter support.  He flew the first mission for Project Delta that utilized the McGuire rig in an emergency extraction and served as the Operations Officer for the 145th.  Jack remained in the 145th as it was absorbed by the 2/171st and ultimately the 281st AHC which assumed the mission of the 145th and 2/171st and was attached OPCON to the 5th SFG in May of 1966 to support Special Operations.  Jack was the first Bandit 26 in the 281st.  Among Jack Green's many awards and decorations is the Distinguished Flying Cross that was awarded to him for conspicuous valor in accomplishing the extraction of a Delta Recon Team under heavy fire.  Jack was a Charter Member of the 281st AHC Association and served as its Vice President and President.

Jack is survived by his wife, Linda Anderson Ydarraga Green; two daughters, Erin Green Eason and Jena Green; stepdaughter, Cathy Moffett; stepsons, Mark and Kevin Ydarraga; and thirteen grandchildren.


 From Ken Smith

Dear Linda,

I want to tell for myself as well as the members of the 281st AHC Association and all those who served in the 281st (and its early units like the 145th) that the loss of your beloved husband weights heavily on all us who knew or knew of Jack. A true hero has left us, but he will never be forgotten.

I, for one, did not know Jack or you as well as I wanted too. I just know that Jack would always be there to support the 281st AHCA and me personally. I recall clearly how he supported my efforts on the Airborne and Special Operations Museum Monument and Dedication. It was, like, Jack was always out there watching and supporting our efforts at all times. I will really miss him a lot!

I want to be sure that you know that you are always a member of the 281st AHCA, and I want to encourage you to stay in touch with us and to be welcome at all 281st Reunions and other events. Please honor us by staying close by and helping us remember Jack as a great man, a hero and a warrior.

My deepest sympathy and regrets for your loss. Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family. The 281st sends Taps to a great man and imagine a 21 gun salute as a back drop.

Sincerely and with deepest sympathy,

Ken Smith
281st AHCA

 From Bob Mitchell

Bob Mitchell, on behalf of the 281st AHC Association, Dec 19, 2010:

Yesterday, Al Smith, Jim Jackson, John Hyatt, Brian Paine and I attended a Memorial Service for Jack Green in Baton Rouge. There were well over 250 people in attendance, which is a testament to the fact that Jack Green touched many lives during his time.

Of the speakers during the service, his Grand Daughter's was the most touching and to the point. She spoke of her love for her Grandfather and paid tribute to his military service. She said she had always known the he was in Vietnam, but only recently learned of his heroic actions and the fact that he had been decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross on two occasions.

After the ceremony the five of us presented Linda Green with a Flag Case which was furnished by the 281st AHC Association. She was very appreciative of the Flag Case and grateful for our being there for Jack.

We were proud to represent all of you.