A Tactical Air Command C-130D aircraft crew from Dyess AFB on a resupply mission to DYE sites near Sondrestrom Air Base, Greenland took part in an emergency evacuation of a three-year-old Danish boy at Oresuaquaq, a village on the east coast of Greenland. The boy has been attacked by eight-husky dogs on May 10, the 819th Troop Carrier Wing office of information announced.

About the only accessible route to and from Oresuaquaq is by helicopter from Kulusuk, approximately 40 air miles from the injured boy. An S-55 helicopter at Sondrestrom Air Base was dismantled by the crew from the Keystone Corporation and loaded aboard a C-124 Globemaster aircraft and airlifted to Kulusuk where it was reassembled.

Captain Gary W. Schmidt, C-130D aircraft commander and his crew were on a normal resupply mission when the call for assistance came. The TAC crew from Dyess' 17th Troop Carrier Squadron airlifted two Air Force physicians from Sondrestrom AB to Kulusuk, a distance of 320 air miles. Capt. Schmidt's crew was composed of 1st Lt. Donavon G. Wilkerson, co-pilot; Capt. Bruce V. Bradley, navigator; S.Sgt. William H. Gregory, engineer; S. Sgt. Douglas F. Cave, loadmaster and two crew chiefs; A.3C William A. Fink and Gordonen A. E. Grosnick.

In one hour and one-half the C-130D turbo-prop jet aircraft landed at Kulusuk. The two medical officers deplaned, boarded the reassembled S-55 helicopter and continued their journey to Oresuaquaq. The doctors administered first aid to the boy and escorted him to a hospital at Angmagaslik. The physicians said the boy was in good condition despite severe loss of blood and a number of deep wounds.

About the same time Capt. Schmidt and his crewmen departed Sondrestrom AB, paramedics from the 54th Air Rescue Squadron departed Goose AB, Labrador, intending to parachute into the area and administer first aid to the boy until the helicopter arrived. Bad weather conditions and an engine failure forced the Rescue Service aircraft to turn back and land at Sondrestrom.

Col. J. Y. C. Roth, Sondrestrom base commander, set up a command post in the base operations building and personally directed the dramatic rescue throughout the night. Capt. Wilson C. Arthur, Sondrestrom AB operations officer, was coordinator for the rescue; but due to his long experience in the air rescue work and knowledge of the Arctic terrain, flew to Kulusuk in the C-124.

Newspaper article circa May, 1964

Courtesy of:
Don Wilkerson
17th Troop Carrier Squadron Pilot