Monthly Archives May 1981

Mount St Helens Disaster

[Notes from Ben Johnson]
Det 6, 602nd TAIRCW, Ft. Lewis. activated (volunteers only) to the Mt St Helens disaster on May 24 1981 to aid in the rescue effort and provide communications throughout the area. 1 cubic mile of earth disappeared. Three times over national television it was reported that there had been a lava flow. Fact is there never was! One report was triggered by an unnamed airman. It happened just outside the Sherrifs Rasmussen Sherrif office/Realty office. SrA Alan Brogan was monitoring the radios and someone else transmitted the code words “Hot Flash”. This airman assigned the wrong meaning and came out running and yelling “Lava flow, Lava flow!” At which point the press ran for the only phone booth in town to call it in...

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