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U.S. Coast Guard ship to be named after man with Gander connection

Oliver F. Berry was the chief mechanic in charge of the helicopters used in the rescue of the Charlie Baker George survivors.

Published on September 12, 2017

GANDER, NL - A few weeks ago Frank Tibbo received a call from Captain (retired) Robert Grant of the United States Coast Guard.

Captain Grant wanted to know if he (Tibbo) was the one who wrote the book Charlie Baker George about the 1946 crash of the Sabena OOCBG.

The purpose of the call was to advise that the US Coast Guard have decided to name their new ship after Oliver F. Berry. Berry was the chief mechanic in charge of the helicopters used in the rescue of the Charlie Baker George survivors. Taking the helicopters apart in order to airlift them on transport aircraft, and putting them back together when they arrived in Gander was critical to the operation.

Related:
Remembering the Sabena Airlines crash

Berry, considered the world’s first expert on the maintenance of helicopters, received many awards, however, the Sabena rescue was considered his most important achievement.

The Coast Guard established an annual award named after Berry, issued to an outstanding aircraft technician who best followed Berry's tradition.

The Ship, a Sentinel class cutter, will be commissioned in October, and will be based in Hawaii.