Naval Station Helicopter Airlifts Maternity Case

In the early hours of the morning of March 26, the Canadian National Telegraph office at St. Lawrence, Placentia Bay, picked up a call from Father Power, parish priest of Merasheen, Placentia Bay, who was trying to contact the Harbor Entrance Port Control at the US Naval Station, Argentia, for emergency assistance.

The Canadian National Telegraph at St. Lawrence relayed the message to Placentia then on to the Naval Station at Argentia, where at 10:35AM, a phone call was received at the Flight Support Office from the naval station Officer of the Day, Lt. (j.g.) Steven D. Black. He informed them of the emergency maternity case needing expert medical attention.

The Search and Air Rescue (SAR) helicopter, piloted by Chief Neil G. Fowler, with Dr. Robert F. Kirk and William A. Joseph, hospital corpsman third class, for the Medical Department, and crew members, George C. Specht, aviation machinist’s mate (jets) second class, and Roger A. Frekson, airman, arrived at Merasheen Island, 20 miles west of Argentia. The patient, Mrs. Leo Pomroy, was taken from her home on Merasheen to Argentia,, where an awaiting ambulance whisked her off to the Placentia Cottage Hospital. The hospital staff headed by Dr. John Ross rendered emergency assistance to Mrs. Pomroy, who gave birth to a 7 pound boy, 15 minutes after arrival at the hospital.

The appreciation felt by Mr. and Mrs. Leo Pomeroy for the naval station and the SAR crew in particular, was expressed in a letter received by the command from Reverend V. Power, Administrator of St. Joseph’s presbytery, Merasheen. It reads in part:

“On behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Pomroy, of Merasheen, I wish to extend to you and those under your command our very sincere gratitude for the assistance rendered Saturday morning, March 26, in getting Mrs. Pomroy to the hospital. Time didn’t permit me to speak with the doctor or the crew of the helicopter, but to them also our most sincere thanks. A friend in need, is a friend indeed and Saturday morning your men proved it true. Thanking you once again, Sir, for your valuable assistance in our time of need.”

[From the St. John’s Daily News, April 29, 1966]