Chapter 9.


In an operation of this type, where help is hundreds of miles away and evacuation is out of the question, sick or badly wounded members are very much a problem as the patrol is simply not equipped to cope.  In the circumstances we do the best we can, but what can you really do, for instance, with someone who is badly wounded, loses a limb, or is shot in the chest or other vital part?  He is totally disabled and can't go on and can't be sent back to base or cared for by the rest of the party.  A predicament to be avoided!  Those days one could not call up a chopper to pick up the seriously wounded!

So what do you do when you are two or three hundred miles from your friends?  I leave it to your imagination!  All sorts of plans for such emergencies can be made beforehand but I fear that if and when the time came for a decision of this magnitude no one would be eager to abandon a comrade.  A very tough decision to make!

Before going on operations, of this type, all personnel were made well aware of what could become of them if this sort of situation arose.  Success of the operation comes first, at just about, any price!  Fortunately, for us, on all our operations we did not have to make this decision, as we were never placed in this predicament — thank goodness!  We came close several times but each time was able to call up a Catalina to land on a river and evacuate the wounded.  If the situation arose on this operation there would not be the remotest chance of rescue!

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