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Phisit died January 20, 2016, in Bangkok, Thailand. Many of us last saw Phisit when he attended the reunion in Missoula last July as a guest of Fred Rohrbach (MSO-65). Phisit was the crew of an Air America C-46 that was shot down September 5, 1963. Five people, including Gene DeBruin (MSO-59) parachuted from the flaming aircraft and were captured by Laotian forces. He survived a being a prisoner in the jungle for three years, four months and four days before being rescued by Cobra team of Laotian Rightist troops. During this time Phisit was involved in two escapes, both ending in his recapture. Navy Lt. Dieter Dengler was also a prisoner with Phisit during the second breakout and his successful escape story was told in the movie Rescue Dawn. The film was filled with many inaccurate portrayals of the escape, especially downplaying the very important part Gene DeBruin played in that event. After his rescue in 1967, Phisit returned to work at Air America, until the U.S. withdrawal and fall of Indochina in 1975. He then worked for a Thai company and retired in Bangkok. Phisit was cremated wearing a Missoula Smokejumper t-shirt.



Publication Date

January 2016


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Indradat, Phisit ((Associate Life Member) 0000)