Indian Airlift

by Daniel L. Haulman

Operation Name: Indian Airlift
Location: India
Date: Early May 1994
Emergency: A leper colony in Calcutta needed medical supplies.
Organizations: 910th Airlift Group
Airlifted: Medical supplies.
Aircraft Used: C–130 (number unknown)

Early in the 1990s, a Youngstown, Ohio, heart specialist named Dr. Paul Wright, who periodically traveled to India as a medical missionary, learned of a leper colony in Calcutta that needed medical supplies. He collected donations in the Youngstown area and arranged with Col. Bernard Pieczynski, the commander of the local 910th Airlift Group, to airlift the supplies to India aboard a C–130 aircraft scheduled to fly to Thailand for a training exercise. The Denton Amendment authorized such a delivery.

In early May 1994, the Air Force Reserve group delivered the medical supplies to Calcutta on its way to Thailand, as planned. The C–130s, which would have flown empty, were able to relieve the suffering of some of Calcutta’s leprosy victims.

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