As members of the U.S. Coast Guard attempted to rescue an injured fisherman from his vessel at sea, the helicopter suddenly lost power and went down.

It was 40 years ago this coming Monday, February 18th, 1979, that the crew of the HH-3F Pelican, Aircraft 1432, responded to a call for help somewhere off the coast of Cape Cod.

Aircraft 1432

"Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Jim Stiles, Royal Canadian Air Force Captain George Burge, Petty Officer 2nd Class John Tait, Petty Officer 2nd Class Bruce Kaehler and Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Torr launched 40 years ago to rescue a fisherman from the Japanese fishing boat Kaisei Maru. The weather was severe: winds in excess of 30 knots, seas over 20 ft., and reduced visibility from snow. This was the third attempt to medevac the crew member, the other attempts proving unsuccessful due to weather conditions and not knowing the exact position of the fishing boat. At 5 a.m., the boat was located and the rescue basket lowered. During the rescue, the HH-3F Pelican experienced a sudden loss of power and fell into the turbulent seas, claiming four out of the five lives. Torr was the sole survivor", according to a press release from Coast Guard First District News.

A memorial service was held this past yesterday morning at Air Station Cape Cod, to honor those who gave their lives during the medevac mission forty years ago.

God bless them, and those that serve with our United States Coast Guard!



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