The book "All Present and Accounted For" took home the Silver Medal (history category) from the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) virtual conference in September. "All Present and Accounted For" is the untold true story of the grounding and near-sinking of the Coast Guard cutter Jarvis off the coast of Alaska (Dutch Harbor) in November 1972, and the heroic efforts to save the ship. Written by American Legion member Steven Craig, the book covers the history of the namesake Jarvis and the commissioning of the ship. up to the grounding and later the repair of the ship. Interviewing over 35 former crewmembers, the author covers extensively and intently the events of the entire incident.
"The goal for the launch was to time the height of the swells and to release the tie-downs at the highest point. But before they would leave, LT Huddleston relayed a message to Chief Stanczyk who was in charge of the deck crew, stating that once he dropped his aircrew on land, he would return to begin evacuations of the ship’s crew until everyone was safe or until “I run out of fuel.” With the top swell approaching, Huddleston signaled for the release. Unfortunately, one of the tie-downs was challenging to handle and failed to release, resulting in the helo skidding toward the side but stopping short.
Reattachment of the main tie-downs commenced immediately along with preparations for a second launch. But before this attempt, LT Huddleston motioned for the tie-down crew to come over to his cockpit window. With him shouting in a loud voice due to the deafening noise from the helicopter’s engine and the sea swells, Huddleston relayed a simple message: “If the tie-downs fail to release at the same time, the helicopter will flip over, killing the aircrew AND those on deck!”
On the next try, with the engine screaming and the rotors fully engaged, the tie-downs were released simultaneously, and the helo shot upward off the deck of the Jarvis. The second attempt at the launch of HH-52 was successful at 10:09 pm with destination for Akutan Island. All this was accomplished in severe weather conditions of wind and rain, in erratic and extreme sea rolls, and in the pitch-black night."