|AN EIGHTH AIR FORCE BOMBER STATION, England—A life—saving drama took place at 26,000 feet in the air over enemy territory when Second Lieutenant Joseph A. Yaksick, 27, of Clairton,
Pa., bombardier on an Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress, administered first aid to the copilot of his bomber, who slumped over unconscious in his seat and with one leg almost
completely severed by German anti-aircraft fire, during a bombing attack on Nazi installations at Hamburg, Germany.
Lt. Yaksick, notified by the pilot over the interphone system that the copilot was badly wounded, went to the injured flier and succeeded in bring him to consciousness with a rich mixture of oxygen from the emergency supply. Then with the wounded copilots own help, the bombardier got him to the flight deck where he administered first aid that won the praise of the base's flight surgeon and other Medical Corps personnel for its thoroughness and efficiency.
The Pennsylvania flier said, "It happened so fast that he didn't have time to think of the terrific pain. I gave him morphine to ease the pain, and he was a big help himself. I hastily devised a tourniquet from the heating cord, and applied pressure. After we had bombed the target, I pointed through the open hatch, and asked him if he wanted to be thrown out to get medical treatment in Germany--I had read of that being done before. He said that he was content to take his chances on going home with us."
As soon as possible, the pilot left the bomber formation and headed for his base in Britain. Meanwhile, the copilot was given excellent care, and although he has lost a leg, he is now recovering his health.
Lt. Yaksick, a member of the Eighth Air Force's 3rd Bombardment Division, which has been cited by the President for its famous African shuttle attack on the Messerschmitt plants at Regensberg, Germany, is the son of Mrs. Mary Yaksick of 346 Chambers Street, Clairton. He was employed as a mill worker by the Carnegie-Illinois Steel Company of Clairton before entering the AAF in January 1941. He has two brothers in the armed forces; Pvt. Charles Yaksick, stationed with an artillery unit in Arkansas, and Cpl. Thomas Yaksick, an aerial gunner with the AAF in Florida.
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