ERRAND OF MERCY
Dakota Flies 700 Miles With Iron Lung VAIN EFFORT IN INDIA British Official Wireless Rec. 12.30 p.m. RUGBY, July 20. Plying through heavy monsoon storms .over mountain peaks, sea and jungles a R.A.F. Dakota crew raced one night this month with an iron lung to Rangoon in an atteinpt to save the life of a soldier stricken with infantile paralysis. The emergency call was received at Comilla, north-east of Calcutta.
The soldier was lying in Rangoon hospital and had to be placed in the : lung within a matter of hours 4f he was to live. It was then ten o'clock. Urgent calls were made throughout Bengal and a lung was found and at midnight it was delivered to an airfield at Comilla. Meanwhile the crew of the R.A.F. Dakota, of a battle supply squadron, were briefed and flew to Comilla. Within 35 minutes of touching down the crew were airborne again, this time with an iron lung. At the airfield at Rangoon 700 miles from Comilla, a flarepath was flashing and radio beacons were kept in operation throughout the night. An ambulance stood by to carry the lung to hospital, 12 miles away. The weather' was extremely bad, but at 5.30 a.m.—so minutes before it was expected—the Dakota touched down.
The crew that morning flew back to their base and the British soldier was in the iron lung. The gallant efforts were in vain, however, as the soldier died that evening.
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ERRAND OF MERCY, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 171, 21 July 1945
ERRAND OF MERCY Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 171, 21 July 1945
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