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God's Machine: The Miracle at Gander

Paul Fardink, U.S. Army (Ret.)

May 10, 2022


After crossing the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of September 18, 1946, a Sabena Airlines DC-4 OO-CBG, carrying 37 passengers and seven crew members, crashed in dense fog and drizzle 22 miles short of the Gander, Newfoundland Airport. Considered by many to be the first major civilian airliner crash, it was also the first major U.S. Coast Guard rescue mission with helicopters. Working together, the Coast Guard, the U.S. Army, and Canadian personnel used Sikorsky helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to successfully complete this heroic rescue of 18 survivors in what the media considered "the Miracle at Gander." This inter-service and civilian team exhibited unrivaled courage, innovation, and compassion, resulting in a nearly flawless operation. What happened at Gander would also serve as the turning point for future Coast Guard rescue mission use of the helicopter, which many, then and since, have considered to be "God's machine."

God's Machine: The Miracle at Gander

  • Presented at Forum 78 - Best Paper for this session
  • 27 pages
  • SKU # : F-0078-2022-17562
  • History
    Winner of the VFS International Bernard Lindenbaum Award for Best Historical Paper at Forum 78 (2022).‚Äč

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God's Machine: The Miracle at Gander

Authors / Details:
Paul Fardink, U.S. Army (Ret.)