Seven battered U.S. airmen, victims of a beating from a Congolese mob, came home September?
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Background: Seven battered U.S. airmen, victims of a beating from a Congolese mob, came home September 7 and told of their nightmare experiences.
Three of the injured crewmen were still on stretchers. One had both of his smashed hands wrapped in bandages. White bandages on the heads and limbs of others attested to the violence of the attack.
"I was hit with clubs and sticks and guns and fists", said Lt. Kenneth Stickevers of Valley Stream, N.Y.
The crew members estimated 10,000 persons were gathered at the Stanleyville Airport in the heart of the jungle August 27.
They were landing communications equipment for the United Nations forces when Congolese soldiers and civilians suddenly turned violent. UN officials said then that the Congolese suspected the airmen had landed some Belgian troops.
They said they were pummelled with a variety of weapons for 15 minutes to half an hour. Then Ethiopian U.N. troops rescued them.
After treatment at a hospital in Germany, the seven boarded a C118 plane on September 6, converted for hospital use. Ledt behind was the pilot, Capt. Elbert Mott of Glenmore, La, who could not be moved.
Maj. Gen. William P. Fisher, commander of the transport section here, met them as a bright sun bathed the concrete runway where the plane stopped.
The General escorted them to the passenger terminal where he read a citation and pinned blue and gold commendation medals on each man's bathrobe or uniform.
The citation said that "With no provocation of any kind, they were attacked and brutally beaten without warning by armed men as they were unloading their aircraft."