The mountain passes of Norway are some of the most dangerous roads in all of Europe.
And when winter hits, the transport roads turn into treacherous bobsleigh tracks with trucks and cars skidding and sliding everywhere, blocking vital trade routes and in extreme cases, causing fatal accidents.
But never fear, up and down Norway there are brigades of brave rescue workers, who work around the clock to keep the roads safe and open.
It takes a special breed of men to pull off the perfect Ice Road Rescue...from a driver smuggling nappies (of all things!) out of Norway, to a truck in trouble full of fresh fish threatening to go bad – the rescue teams of Norway have their work cut out in this nail-biting series!
Status: To Be Determined
Runtime: 60 minutes
Ice Road Rescue - Rescue of Bat 21 Bravo - Netflix
The rescue of Bat 21 Bravo, the call sign for Iceal “Gene” Hambleton, a navigator aboard an EB-66 aircraft shot down behind North Vietnamese lines, was the “largest, longest, and most complex search-and-rescue” operation during the Vietnam War. Five additional aircraft were shot down during rescue attempts, directly resulting in the deaths of 11 airmen, the capture of two others, and another airman trying to evade capture. On April 2, 1972, the Easter Offensive, the largest combined arms operation of the entire Vietnam War, was in its third day. An early morning flight of two United States Air Force EB-66 aircraft was led by Bat 20, piloted by Lt. Col. Robert Singletary. Hambleton was a navigator aboard Bat 21. The two aircraft were escorting a cell of three B-52s. Bat 21 was configured to gather signals intelligence, including identifying North Vietnamese anti-aircraft radar installations to enable jamming. Bat 21 was destroyed by an SA-2 surface-to-air missile and Hambleton was the only survivor, parachuting behind the front lines into a battlefield filled with thousands of North Vietnamese Army soldiers.
Hambleton had Top Secret access to Strategic Air Command operations and was an expert in surface-to-air missile countermeasures. The North Vietnamese Army may have possessed information about his presence in Vietnam and his capture would have meant a huge intelligence bonanza for the Soviet Union. Hambleton and 1st Lt. Mark Clark, who was shot down during rescue operations, were finally recovered from behind the front lines on two different nights in daring, covert, night-time rescues carried out by U.S. Navy SEAL Thomas R. Norris and VNN commandos. For their actions in rescuing the two men, Norris was awarded the Medal of Honor and VNN Petty Officer Nguyen Van Kiet was recognized with the Navy Cross. Nguyen was the only South Vietnamese naval officer given that award during the war. The Air Force did not put limits on what it took to rescue a downed airman. The direct and indirect cost of rescuing Hambleton was enormous and became a watershed event in Air Force search and rescue. To prevent friendly fire incidents, the Americans imposed a standard no-fire zone within a 27 kilometers (17 mi) radius of Hambleton and diverted aircraft to aid in his rescue. It is likely that South Vietnamese soldiers indirectly died as a result of their inability to obtain fire support. The added deaths, loss of aircraft, and length of the rescue operation led the USAF to change the way they planned and conducted search and rescue missions. As a result, they developed new techniques and equipment to improve their ability to rescue downed airmen.
Ice Road Rescue - Casualties - Netflix
As a direct result of the rescue operation, five aircraft were lost, 11 people were killed, and two were captured. Additional aircraft were seriously damaged. Hambleton wrote from an Air Force hospital after he was rescued. “I had to stand by and watch six young men die trying to save my life. It was a hell of a price to pay for one life. I'm very sorry.” His rescue was, according to Stars and Stripes, “the biggest U.S. air rescue effort of the war.” During the entire Vietnam War, search and rescue forces saved 3,883 lives at the cost of 71 rescuers and 45 aircraft.
Ice Road Rescue - References - Netflix