European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Jan 5 1968, Page 12

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European Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - January 5, 1968, Darmstadt, HesseThe plane with the big Cross on it Tail win special place in hearts of passengers As does Capr. Maureen Hunt and other nurses who care for them on Hospital in the sky flights., is photos by Bob Milnes capt. Hunt and sgt. Turner Smith Check on tiny passenger making his first flight at Ripe old age of one week. 12 a the stars and stripes by Mary Ann Reese staff writer Mpwo week old babies whimpered j. In their mothers arms breaking the 7 . Cold muggy stillness near one of Rhine main s runways. A dozen soldiers and airmen convalescing from various ailments Shiv ered a Little and a Young boy who jus lost his tonsils asked his daddy what the big red Cross meant on the plane. Aboard the medicinal smelling c-118liftmaster sporting the bold red Cross a Jas my White jacketed airman 1c.jjichael Ray sets. Turner Smith Wil lard. Miller and t. Sgt. Lev Scott checked the oxygen tanks the litters and other emergency gear. Tall slender Auburn haired capt Maureen Hunt decked out in her sky pants suit went Over the patient list and checked details. When All was ready she led the Little group into the plane assuring one Ner Vous lady the flight would be very pleasant and congratulating the Moth ers on their Fine looking sons. Another Day had begun for one flight nurse in one of the most unusual and dramatic missions of the american military or for that matter any Mili tary. I must say this Job is never Dull said capt. Hunt in route to Athens. Squeezing in comments while serving Coffee Tea or milk fixing baby for Mulas and filling out countless forms capt. Hunt said she hated to see her three year tour end next nursing Veteran of_16 years capt Hunt finds working in the sky quit different from regular Hospital work. He 2nd aeromedical evacuation Roto taken Over in 1964 by military the clock readiness a Fleet of Smau hospitals in the sky for the care of ailing servicemen and their dependents in the european area. There Are not enough medical specialists for All stations so we exist to move patients around explained col 5wa Mir commander of the 2nd Aero med evac group. Meg from his Rhine main Headquarters. Pecan have an emergency patient any where in the Safe area off the ground and headed to the nearest hos Pital in two hours or less. If the cases critical we can take a physician on the however most of Meg s Passen Gers Are routine non critical types the group operating jointly under Safe surgeon general and the 322nd air pm England moves an average2,200 patients in the Safe area each month and usually jets 400 patients to America in the same period. Pilots and engineers from the 55thmilitary Airlift so. Work closely with flight nurses medical technicians med techs and personnel from ��?1$lce?t �8 in Frankfurt athe Sand Mildenhall England to ensure mis Sions run promptly and smoothly. A Large share of the responsibility of seeing patients get moved Safe rests with 27 flight Nur is Bac usually there is Only one flight nurse on a Mission. Although she is assisted by two to four med techs she is the commanding officer of the patients Rea Ald must make emergency Deci Sions. She must decide How much space is available for non medical passengers usually servicemen on leave or duty change and which have also serves As stewardess com Forter of the frightened teacher Secre tary Mechanic seamstress Babysitter and Public speaker. For capt. Hunt some of the most warding aeromedical evacuation flights Are those involving expectant mothers we feel like part of the big event after we Fly them from their Homes i Turkey or Greece or Ethiopia to a hos Pital several weeks before the baby is Erin word and helping hand As patient and husband enter plane. \ due. Then often we get them anew additions on our flights Back Homes. It s a delightful experience tithe faces of the dads when they s offspring for the first but Stork flights Are Only portion of the medical missions every Day s a new Challen always work under the threat emergency. I try to think in iof what could possibly happen i ready for it said capt. Hunt. But i can t really say what happen in an emergency for e an emergency Landing. So far never had one. We have a great record. And every time we Lakeland a fire truck is there just in Vatch their Small we an danced get Voul Druple we Vea Fety of preparing for emergencies Diarl of the four to six week special Traung fora flight nurse. The preparation in Ludes two weeks of schooling on Maci operational requirements and learn Iii what to do for the patients should the Craft be forced to an emergency land in on water or she must make Throe to lining flights with an experienced flight Nusrein each of the three types of aircraft used by Mac. They include tllci31for Short local runs the cell lift master for longer missions front Ger Many to Italy Athens Turkey Ethiopia and Spain and the c141 transatlantic flights. Before advancing to a larger tithe nurse must take written sex tons on the previous one and the make a proficiency evaluation with an examining after she passes All ments her training continues. Year she undergoes proficiency on each of the three aircraft. The flying Crew at the also take the Mission to heart. This is one of the Best flying Menifi in the military claims f continued on Page m Craft Mina must flight quire ice a exams h kit sign capt. Msj it r.,-.�,""s he a to ? a jct i a. Two Danny Potashnick Athens checks flight list with nurse Marie Jason. Tiny passenger gets a cuddle from flight nurse. Every flight nurse who s been loathes in recent years knows cd Danny Potashnick. And it s no As or. Medevac the ban Tam sized commanding officer of Aero medical evacuation s Del. 2 is the first person they see on Landing and the Las they see before take off. He always greets the Crew with equip a smile a Pat on the Back. I figure at the end of any flight the Crew is tired and should be rewarded with a smile and a joke says Potash Nick whose humor and ebullience makes him the sort of person who known and greeted the minute he walks into any Athens restaurant or club greek or american. He s the kind of Guy who does Teven know what an eight hour work Day is said one of his admiring s out there to meet every air evac plane himself no matter How Early or How late it arrives. He was spending so much time on the flight Lin that his Superior officer finally ordered him to take it easy for his explained Potashnick i meet a Many of the planes As possible because i feel any professional problem of the flight nurse or Pilot should come to my attention and that i should handle the number one thought in his Friday Jan iry 5 1968 the stars and stripes mind said another of his Crew is to move the patients the Best and fastest possible. He s in Complete command around Here. There s no better than Danny. But he can get mad too. I there s some inconvenience to patients which he feels is uncalled for fur flies. He indoctrinated everyone who works with him that they Are not mov ing cargo but sick people who mus never be when Potashnick was commander of the first air evac unit at Lowery fab Denver 15 years ago he and his wife bought a second hand car for pilots and nurses to use when they were in even ran errands for them. One Christmas Potashnick and his wife decorated a Small tree and cooked a big Christmas dinner for the patient flying that Day. That s just the kind of Guy he is say his friends. Father of sons Arthur 19, Gary 16,and daughters Sandra 14, and Carfa 12, Potashnick in his spare time coaches Little league baseball. And whenever his assignment gives him the Opportunity he is Active in the local synagogue. In the military since feb. 5, 1042,Potashnick has no plans to retire in the near future. This is my life he explains. I would t know what to do if i retired . Page 13

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