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Air Force Presence Growing in Vietnam

Feb. 8, 1963 - Air strike activity in South Vietnam has been increasing sharply in the past several weeks with the arrival of new American planes and personnel. It was disclosed today that the U.S. Air Force now has 2,000 men in South Vietnam. A U.S. Air Force co-pilot, missing after a crash last Wednesday, was found alive in the jungles. A South Vietnamese member of the crew also was located. The co-pilot is 1st Lieutenant James E. Johnson, 28, of Winter Haven, Fla. He said the pilot of the plane, Major James R. O’Neill, 40, of Huntington Station, N.Y., sacrificed his life so the two others could bail out. “He saved my life,” Johnson told newsmen in Saigon. Johnson landed in the jungle and was unable to signal rescue aircraft because of the trees. Finally, he caught their attention with a mirror from a hill this morning. The Vietnamese was rescued after his parachute was sighted in a treetop.


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