Rescuers of victim of 1944 Army plane crash honored - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rescuers of victim of 1944 Army plane crash honored

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It was a special afternoon for two former cadets from the Civil Air Patrol.

Rolland Lafayette, 85, and Peter Mason, 86, were honored at the Vermont Statehouse with a search and rescue award. They are the only two surviving cadets who responded to the scene of a B-24 crash on Camel's Hump back in 1944.

They were pulled out of their classes at Waterbury High School to join the search and helped rescue James Wilson, 19, who was the only survivor in the wreckage. They found him in the dark, wrapped the crash victim in parachutes to keep him warm and melted snow in their hands to give him water.

None of the cadets were dressed or equipped to spend the night on the mountain, let alone care for a severely injured airman. But they did their best and they saved Wilson. He had been lying there for 41 hours before the cadets arrived.

Despite losing his feet and his hands, Wilson went on to become a lawyer in Colorado. He died in 2000.

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