Despite bad weather and running out of daylight, Navy Lt. (j.g.) John Koelsch and AMM3C George Neal attempt to rescue a downed Marine aviator, Capt. James Wilkins, in mountainous terrain deep in North Korea. Their Sikorsky HO3S helicopter is shot down by ground fire as they are pulling Wilkins up in the rescue hoist. The three Americans then evade capture for nine days and reach the Korean coast before capture. Suffering from dysentery and malnourished, Koelsch consistently refuses to cooperate with his captors. He dies in prison and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.