Survivor, rescuer reunite at Maine B-52 crash site

May 25, 2013 - 4:34 PM
B-52 Crash Anniversary

Eugene Slabinski, left, 83, of Hanover Township, Pa., poses with Gerald Alder, 81, of Davis, Calif., in Greenville, Maine, at a 50th anniversary remembrance of a B-52 crash in January 1963 on Elephant Mountain, Maine. Slabinski, an Air Force medic, dropped from a helicopter to rescue Adler, one of two survivors of the crash. Seven other crew members died. (AP Photo/David Sharp)

ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN, Maine (AP) — A survivor of a deadly Maine B-52 bomber crash has reunited with the man who rescued him at a somber event marking 50 years since the accident.

Retired Air Force navigator Gerald Adler traveled from California for the event at Elephant Mountain, where seven crew members died during the crash on a training mission in January 1963.

Among those attending the event Saturday was the medic who dropped from a helicopter to rescue Adler. They hadn't seen each other since that fateful day.

Adler, now 81, was injured and frostbitten when he first encountered Eugene Slabinski and remembered him for his red handlebar mustache. He joked that the 83-year-old Slabinski now has white hair.

Adler says he has mixed emotions about surviving while others died.