After witnessing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbo in 1941, Lt. Cmdr. Frank Erickson became convinced helicopters would greatly improve search and rescue capabilities. He might have been described as a zealot but eventually convinced then-Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Russell Waesche to take a chance on using the helicopter as a search and rescue platform. Erickson created a helicopter training program and was the first to conduct a rescue by helicopter in 1943.
Tag: Frank Erickson
Today America remembers, mourns and honors the 2,403 Americans who were lost 75 years ago during the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. While we mourn the loss of American soldiers and sailors in observance of the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, it is important to remember the resolve of the American spirit that perseveres and preserves their memory and sacrifices. In the heat of war, Coast Guard lieutenant and aviator, Frank A. Erickson theorized history’s greatest advance in rescue technology that forever changed how we conduct search and rescue.
Graham is credited with many helicopter firsts, including the first wartime anti-submarine patrol requiring him to perform the first take-off and landing from a vessel on the high seas. In 1947 he successfully completed the Coast Guard’s first-ever night helicopter medical evacuation. As one of the first to use this technique, Graham was instrumental in exhibiting the capabilities and possibilities of rotary-wing technology to decision makers ensuring support for helicopter programs for decades to come.
Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp and Thomas Talbott, a retired United States Marine and member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, prepare to throw a wreath aboard Coast Guard Cutter Taney in honor of the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley. Coast Guard Commandant