- Title: ITALY: U.S PILOT MAKES HERO'S RETURN
- Date: 9th June 1995
- Summary: AVIANO, ITALY (JUNE 9, 1995) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. SV U.S. PLANE LANDING 0.24 2. U.S. PILOT SCOTT O'GRADY GETS OFF PLANE 0.47 3. SV UNITED STATES (U.S.) MILITARY PERSONNEL GATHERED OUTSIDE HANGAR 0.56 4. SV PEOPLE GATHERED FOR WELCOME HOME CELEBRATIONS 1.15 5. SV RESCUED PILOT CAPTAIN SCOTT O'GRADY ARRIVING/CROWD APPLAUDING 1.29 6. SV SCOTT SAYING "FIRST THING I WANT TO DO IS THANK GOD. IF IT WASN'T FOR LOVE FOR GOD I WOULDN'T HAVE GOT THROUGH. I THANK MY FAMILY, FRIENDS, US, NATO (NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANISATION) COUNTRIES. I KNEW YOU WERE ALL THERE BEHIND ME. I WANT TO THANK PEOPLE WHO CAME IN AND RISKED THERE LIVES TO GET ME OUT -- THE PEOPLE ON THE USS KEARSAGE, THE NAVY AND MARINES. IF YOU WANT TO FIND SOME HEROES THAT'S WHERE YOU SHOULD LOOK. THEY'RE THE BIGGEST HEROES IN THE WORLD" (ENGLISH) 3.15 7. SV PILOT WAVES AT EVERYONE 3.38 8. SV CHILDREN SINGING UNITED STATES NATIONAL ANTHEM 4.13 9. SV NEWS CONFERENCE 5.20 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA62HPNC8VCXXPS91OYLZK19WFQ
- Location: AVIANO, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Duration: 00:05:15
- Story Text: American pilot Scott O'Grady, snatched to safety by United States (U.S.) marines after six days evading capture in Serb-held Bosnia, made a hero's return to his fighter squadron base in Italy on Friday (June 9).
The 29-year-old Air Force captain touched down at the Aviano air base in a C-29 aircraft to a jubilant welcome from more than 1,000 airmen and their families, many of them waving small Stars and Stripes flags.
O'Grady, smiling broadly, made a brief statement to the media in which he thanked his family and God.
"He's the one that delivered me here and I know that," he said.
Punching his fist in the air, O'Grady said he was humbled by the reception.
He also thanked those who risked their lives to rescue him.
"If you want to find some heroes, that's where you should look because they're the real heroes," he said.
A huge cake, decked in yellow icing with the U.S. flag and the words "Welcome Back Zulu", and a ceremonial fly past of U.S.
warplanes greeted O'Grady.
He made his statement in front of an F-16 Fighting Falcon jet, the same class of plane he was flying when it was brought down by a Bosnian Serb surface to air missile over northern Bosnia last Friday.
The pilot spent the night following Thursday's dramatic dawn rescue on the Marine Corps amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge in the Adriatic Sea. He survived for almost six days in Bosnia on insects, rainwater and his survival skills.
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- Embargoed:24th June 1995 13:00
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