The American aircraft carrier 'Kearsarge' steamed into San Francisco March 15. On board were four?
The American aircraft carrier 'Kearsarge' steamed into San Francisco March 15. On board were four Russian soldiers she had rescued from a crippled landing craft in the Pacific on March 6.
As the carrier berthed, the Russians were flown ashore by helicopter, and on arrival were embraced by a Soviet official from the Embassy in Washington.
When rescued, the four men were at the end of their tether. Their boat was crippled in a storm off an island in the Kuriles, north of the Japanese island of Hokkaido, and they had since spent 7 week drifting 1,000 miles east across the Pacific to a point half way to Midway Island. They had little to eat and had gathered rainwater to drink during their 49 days adrift.
Soviet Premier Khrushchev, March 16, thanked President Eisenhower, the US Government and Navy, for saving the men, and another message of gratitude came from the Soviet Minister of Defence, Marshal R.Y.Malinovsky. Premier Khrushchev said he hoped the rescue helped the further development of relations between Russia and America.