A few months ago, we reported how young Billy Hallicrafters used his Hallicrafters shortwave receiver to save the lives of some men aboard a sinking ship.
Here, we see young Billy at it again, saving the life of a pilot in distress, as reported in the November 1957 issue of Boys’ Life.
Billy was apparently late for school that day, but I’m sure his tardiness was excused. We enter the story as Billy’s mother reminds him that it’s time to get ready for school. He prepares to shut down his receiver and get to school, but at the last minute, he hears something truly ominous.
He hears a pilot, apparently in communication with air traffic control, since the pilot is acknowledging a message. But the pilot interrupts the acknowledgment to declare a mayday, which apparently only Billy hears. The pilot had “flamed out 10 miles south of Westport” and was bailing out.
Billy interrupts his school preparations and frantically calls the Civil Air Patrol to report the emergency. Within minutes, a CAP helicopter is dispatched, and spots the parachute. One of the crew comments that it’s a good thing that boy was tuned in, since nobody else heard the Mayday.
The crew quickly gets the unconscious pilot out of the tree where he’s dangling and to the hospital. In the next scene, Billy is visiting the hospital where the downed pilot thanks Billy for saving his life.