Seeing a massive C-17A Globemaster prepare for an Antarctic resupply mission was a dream come true for young Tasmanian George Miedecke.
George, an aviation-obsessed 12-year-old from the town of Cressy in Tasmania’s north, was recently diagnosed with Leukemia.
He faces a long program of treatment, leading his teacher, Bianca Johnstone, to reach out to the Air Force’s No. 29 Squadron in Hobart with a request to host George for the day.
George’s dream became a reality on February 26 when a C-17A touched down at Hobart Airport to conduct a mission for Operation Southern Discovery.
Squadron Leader Paul Gough, Acting Executive Officer with 29 Squadron, said George and his dad, Sam, were thrilled by the experience and made a four-hour return trip to Hobart to see the C-17A.
“George is one of the finest young men I’ve ever met. He was so excited and grateful for the experience and said ‘thank you’ about 1000 times,” SQNLDR Gough said.
“He was beaming from ear-to-ear and we were so pleased that he was able to visit the aircraft before it departed for its mission.
'George is one of the finest young men I’ve ever met. He was so excited and grateful for the experience and said ‘thank you’ about 1000 times.'
“During his visit, George was able to spend 45 minutes on the flight deck interrogating the C-17A crew.
“He was also able to watch the mobile air lead team in action, loading a snow groomer for deployment in Antarctica.”
Aviation runs strong in George’s family, with his grandfather awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross during World War II and his uncle, Ben, serving as a pilot in the RAAF.
Wing Commander Dion Wright, Commanding Officer of 29 Squadron, thanked the C-17A crew and the mobile air lead team for their enthusiastic support and participation.
“The crew did a fantastic thing by this young boy and his dad, all on the day before the C-17A conducted its first mission to Antarctica for 2020,” Wing Commander Wright said.
“It was a busy day for the crew, but the fact that they devoted time to focus on George and his dad meant a great deal to the family.”
WGCDR Wright said while George faced a difficult journey ahead – including the prospect of losing his hair during the treatment – everyone at 29 Squadron wished him a full and healthy recovery.