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John G. McCall (2) John G. McCall (3) John G. McCall (4) John G. McCall (5) John G. McCall (6)

JOHN G. McCALL became famous after his separation from the service.  He  was one of the first to climb Mt. McKinley and that experience enabled him to volunteer to lead a successful rescue expedition six years later when a climber was stranded at the 11,000 foot level.

Page 4 - Fairbanks News-0Miner, Saturday, Nov 27, 1954
Congratulations to Rescuers
The army has recognized the heroism of the men who brought Corp. George Argus down from the 11,000 foot level of Mt. McKinley last May. Medals and citations have been given to the participants in this dramatic and successful rescue.
It was most fitting for the army to do this, for the men who ascended Mt. McKinley performed a most heroic deed, and every one of them volunteered to do this job.
The late Dr. John McCall knew well the dangers of Muldrow glacier. He'd climbed the mountain previously with Bradford Washburn. He wasn't eager to go up the mountain again, for he was thinking of his wife and four children and the possibility of serious accident in the crevasses of the glacier and the avalanches along its sides. But when his help was needed, he didn't hesitate one moment. He told university officials that, "it is my duty," and he grabbed his equipment and left immediately for the scene of the accident
Fred Milan, and the men from the Army Arctic training center at Big Delta all volunteered their assistance, and commenced a very difficult and dangerous ascent of the mountain in snowfall, sleet and overcast weather. The going was extremely difficult, but .speed was essential, so they had to take chances that mountain climbers ordinarily do not (take. They extended themselves to the very limit of physical endurance.
They reached the tent, and rescued George Argus, proving once again that Alaskans have the fortitude and courage to overcome all the obstacles that harsh elements and wild terrain can place before them.
Just as heroic as the deeds of the men on the mountain were the feats of the fliers who supplied the rescue party. Capt. Flavius Simmons, time after time, guided his tiny single engined plane deep into the dangerous glacier, and while circling between its towering walls, dumped supplies out the door of his plane with one arm while flying with the other. Virtually every time he entered that glacier at the high altitudes the rescue party reached, he took his life in his hands.
The men who ascended Mt. McKinley wrote a glorious chapter in the annals of Alaska rescues. They richly deserve their awards, and we offer all of them our congratulations. Alaska is proud of them.
 

READ MORE ABOUT THE DENALI RESCUE

 

Life Magazine June 14, 1954 :
Mt. McKinley climbing rescue - Marton Wood, Elton Thayer, Leslie Vierck and George Argus, great climbing photos. (Click magazine cover to view article)

 

 


Read of McCall' role in Band of Brothers - Remembering Denali's Greatest Rescue
 

 


Listen to Morton Wood Audio interview (Articles 7 and 19 mention McCall)
 

 

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