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Once a Hero is the 10th episode of Season 2 of Airwolf and the 21st episode overall. The episode first aired on 11/24/84.

Archangel appears in this episode but without any of his usual assistants. Caitlin is also absent throughout. Presumably she needed to manage the Santini Air business back in Van Nuys.

Plot synopsis

Through Archangel's contacts, Hawke buys some photos of scenes in a Laotian prison camp. He is convinced that a blurred, out-of-focus photo is that of his brother, Saint John, and he sets about planning a rescue, but is he merely seeing what he wants to see?

Episode summary

(spoiler alert - click on expand to read)

(work in progress)

Story locations

  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Laos

Aircraft seen

Firearms and other weapons seen

  • Detonics Combat Master - Hawke
  • M16 - Kearns, Wallace and Charmaine. Wallace used one with an M-203 launcher although he didnn't have it any more during the egress phase
  • Valmet M71S - Laotian bandits and guards in prison camp
  • Browning M1919A4 Machine Gun - on a guard tower and mounted on a jeep in the prison camp
  • Browning M2 Heavy Machine Gun - emplacement inside prison camp and also on the road during egress

Research Notes

  • The episode had the working title of "Heroes".[1]
  • The opening scene where Hawke meets Tommy Lui, Archangel and Loo may not have been set in Bangkok. There is a scene of a few skyscrapers in the night which look more like they are set in a US city. It might have been in the Chinatown of, say, Los Angeles.
  • The footage of the Airwolf thermal scan of the prison camp is the same as that used in Firestorm (episode).
  • The same footage is used to represent both the Browning M2 emplacement in the prison camp and the second one which the team meets on the road during the egress phase.

Guest stars/Recurring cast

  • Thomas Callaway as Gary Wallace
  • Rod McCary as Jack Kearns
  • Cathie Shirriff as Charmaine Beaucaire (a.k.a. Chin Mau)
  • Soon-Teck Oh as Tommy Lui (as Soon-Teck Oh)
  • J.W. Smith as Roach
  • Benjamin Lum as Loo
  • Eddie Wong as Government Official
  • Professor Toru Tanaka as Bandit King
  • Richard Lee-Sung as Bandit Leader


  • IMDB also lists Jeff Imada as a bandit soldier and Jeff Olson as an M.I.A. prisoner (both uncredited) but their characters have not been identified.


External Links