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RAAF Hercules completes evacuation flight

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TUESDAY, 20 FEBRUARY, >979. NO.32/79.


. ( The following story was filed from Bahrain last night, by a Defence Public Relations Officer.). .

A RAAF Hercules transport aircraft has airlifted

73 people, including 30 Australians, from strife-torn Iran

to the safety of Bahrain, on the Persian Gulf.

The 600 nautical miles return flight from Bahrain

to Tehran International Airport took about seven hours.

Other nationals evacuated in the Hercules included

17 Canadians, 16 New Zealanders, 6 British,and 4 Europeans.

and Americans.

The evacuees included several children, one of them

a baby. . .

The evacuees were farewelled at Tehran Airport

by the Australian Ambassador to Iran, Mr Marshall Johnston.

A RAAF medical officer, Group Captain G.W. Reed,

who flew with the Hercules crew, said the evacuees were in

good health, and none needed medical attention.

Armed guards of the”Peoples1 Militia of the

Revolutionary Government"met the aircraft at Tehran airport.

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After searching the aircraft the guards allowed the evacuees

and their luggage to go on board» Iran airways personnel

assisted in loading the aircraft»

On the flight to Bahrain the evacuees were served

refreshments by the Hercules5 s crew.

The evacuees, who expressed relief at being flown

out, are being accommodated in a hotel in Bahrain.

The aircraft, from No. 37 Squadron, Richmond, NSW,

was piloted by Flight Lieutenant Frank Martin, of Wilberforce,

near Richmond, with Pilot Officer Barry Edington as co-pilot.

The aircraft was on a flight from Ismailia, in Egypt, to

Australia' after- resupplying, the Australian detachment which

is serving with the UN peace, keeping force on the Suez Canal.

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