Coast Guard pilot honored for Pacific rescue

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline
Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A Coast Guard pilot has been honored for helping rescue nine colleagues whose cargo plane crashed on a hillside on the western Aleutian Island of Attu off Alaska in 1982.

Capt. William Peterson was inducted Thursday into the Wall of Gallantry at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. He previously received the military’s Distinguished Flying Cross.

The now-retired resident of Richland, Washington, flew a rescue helicopter in heavy fog and high winds to get to the crew of the Coast Guard plane that crashed while trying to land at a base on Attu.

Peterson and his crew rescued five victims by trekking a mile up the hill and carrying them back down on stretchers to the helicopter.

The nine people who were rescued all survived. Two other crew members died.

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