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U.S. Mercy flight to Wilkes base



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FOR THE PRESS

DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

CANBERRA

PR. NO. 147 ....4th December?....... , 95 9 ,

U.S. Mercy F light to Wilkes Base

/ The Minister for External A ffairs, Mr. R.G. Casey, announced

today that a member of the Australian party a t Wilkes in the Australian

Antarctic Territory had been evacuated and was on his way back to A ustralia.

This man, who was one of the d iesel mechanics at the station, had suffered

a nervous breakdown la s t April, but because of climatic conditions i t had not

been possible u n til now to arrange for him to leave Wilkes.

Mr. Casey said that Rear Admiral Tyree, Commander of the United

States Naval Support Force, Antarctica, had kindly agreed to send one of

the ski-equipped Neptune a irc ra ft under his command to evacuate this man.

Mr. Casey said that the Australian Government was most grateful for the

co-operation of the United States authorities in th is m atter. The mission

had involved a flig h t of 1180 nautical miles from the United States base at

McMurdo Sound to Wilkes and the return journey. From McMurdo Sound the

man is being taken to Christchurch, New Zealand, and thence to A ustralia.

An Australian doctor from the Antarctic Division in Melbourne had been sent

ahead to Christchurch to meet him.

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