RCAF Public Affairs
A recent memorial service held at United States Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod honoured the crew of aircraft HH-3F Pelican 1432, who died on February 18, 1979, after launching for a medical emergency involving a fisherman from Japanese fishing boat "Kaisei Maru."
Forty years ago this year, while responding to the call for assistance, the HH-3F Pelican experienced a sudden loss of power and fell into turbulent seas. Both pilots, one crew member, and a corpsman lost their lives in the accident.
Three members of the U.S. Coast Guard, Lieutenant Commander Jim Stiles; Petty Officer 2nd Class John Tait; and Petty Officer 2nd Class Bruce Kaehler; and Royal Canadian Air Force exchange officer Captain George Burge, died in the accident.
Flight mechanic Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Torr survived and was rescued by the fishing vessel.
The crew of Air Station Cape Cod, family, friends, and past shipmates gathered this week to mark the 40th anniversary of the accident, and commemorate the courage and sacrifice of the young men who responded to the call.