Bat*21 is a 1988 film directed by Peter Markle, and adapted from the book by William Charles Anderson. Set during the Vietnam War, the film is a dramatization based on the true, costly, and controversial rescue of a U.S. navigation officer from North Vietnam. The film stars Gene Hackman, Danny Glover, and Jerry Reed.
During the last days of the Vietnam War, Lieutenant Colonel Iceal E. "Gene" Hambleton, United States Air Force, is the sole survivor of the crew of an EB-66 electronic warfare aircraft, which is downed by a surface to air missile over enemy territory. The plane, callsign Bat Two-One, was doing electronic scans preparatory to a major bombing strike.
Hambleton (Hackman) makes radio contact with Birddog (Glover), the pilot of a Cessna Skymaster, flying a Forward Air Control mission near where the EB-66 was destroyed. Birddog (Captain Bartholomew Clark) becomes Hambleton's link to rescue.
Hambleton, an expert on electronic weapons systems, is known to the North Vietnamese, who begin an all-out search, attempting to capture him. Meanwhile, American forces begin an all-out attempt to rescue him.
Knowing that it is too dangerous for rescue aircraft to come to where he is, and