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Veterans commended for courageous plane crash rescue in Vermont

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The act of war produces heroes among ordinary men, but inside a world that is filled with hate, we create our own heroes.

Veterans Rolland Lafayette and Peter Mason were commended in a ceremony on Friday evening in Vermont.

According to an article from the Associated Press, the men were honored for saving airman James Wilson from an army plane crash which happened during 1944.

The ceremony allocated an opportunity for the courageous rescuers to commiserate with Wilson’s two children, Jeff and Polly.

Lafayette, 85, and Mason, 86, were high school students and members of the Civil Air Patrol at the time.

One evening they were abruptly removed from their studies to search for the wreckage of a B-24 bomber.

The wreck happened on Camel’s Hump - a very large mountain which is printed on Vermont's commemorative quarter.

Wilson had been resting in the back of the aircraft during a usual night training assignment when it struck the 4,083-foot mountain.

The weather was bone-chilling, but Lafayette and Mason were devoted to locating any possible survivors. Furthermore, it took over forty hours for the rescuers to turn up. Unfortunately, out of the 10-man crew, Wilson was the only survivor.

Until they could get Wilson off the mountain, the cadets supposedly used parachutes from the aircraft's wreckage to keep Wilson warm.

Wilson was terribly injured from his ordeal resulting in him losing both feet and both hands. Wilson went on to become a prosperous Denver attorney.

He passed away at the age of 75 in 2000.


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