Search and Rescue Operation

During her evaluation, Flagstaff was involved in a number of search and rescue cases. She was dispatched from Long Beach, California, to investigate a report of a burning boat about 50 mi (80 km) away. In one hour, the ship was on scene and quickly located a family of three who had jumped into the water to escape the flash fire that had engulfed the cabin of their 40 ft (12 m) boat. Flagstaff's speed in arriving on scene was "a major factor in saving the lives of the three"

• Other Related Knowledge ofthe rescue operation

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Holocaust rescue operation and "passport" affair

In March 1940 Khl was employed in the Legation of Poland to Switzerland and Liechtenstein as an auxiliary employee. After the German and Soviet invasion of Poland and their subsequent occupation, the Legation remained loyal to the Polish government-in-exile headed by general Wadysaw Sikorski which pledged to continue the struggle against the Axis powers. Soon Khl's superior, minister Tytus Komarnicki, was replaced by Aleksander ado, former member of the Polish government in exile, who would later on become Khl's protector and top collaborator and - after the war - personal friend and business partner. Khl was tasked with working with Polish refugees coming in massive numbers from occupied France, Belgium and the Netherlands, vast majority of whom were Jews and Poles of Jewish descent escaping from Nazi persecution. Starting in 1941 Khl and his superiors Stefan Ryniewicz and Konstanty Rokicki supervised the illegal market of Latin American passports bought by Jewish organizations for Jews in occupied Poland. The documents were bought from the consuls and honorary consuls of, among others, Honduras, Haiti and Bolivia or received gratis from the consulate of El Salvador. A particular case was the honorary consul of Paraguay, the Bernese notary Rudolf Hgli, who did not produce passports himself, but rather sold blank passes to the Legation of Poland. Consul Konstanty Rokicki would enter by hand the names and personal details of their beneficiaries - Polish and Dutch Jews who could thus claim they were citizens of neutral countries and were largely considered exempt from deportations to German Nazi-concentration camps. Particular help was provided to people inside the Warsaw Ghetto. Funds to acquire the documents were raised mostly by World Jewish Congress represented by Abraham Silberschein and Agudath Yisrael and the leader of its Swiss branch Chaim Eiss. In 1943, the Swiss police broke the ring and brought Hgli, Khl, Eiss and Silberschein in for questioning. In September the Federal Council took a decision not to recognize Khl's status as an 'employee of the Polish diplomatic mission'. Probably by December 1942, the Gestapo was aware that most Latin American passports were part of a larger conspiracy and may have been falsified. The Swiss police identified Khl and Rokicki as top perpetrators. A report signed by Federal Councillor Edmund von Steiger on 21 July 1943 stated the following: According to the records available, Messrs Konstanty Rokicki, a vice-consul at the Polish Diplomatic Mission in Berne, and Dr. Julius Khl, employed at the same Diplomatic Mission at the time, were also instrumental in arranging a significant number of inaccurate citizenship certificates for Polish Jews in the Germany-occupied territory. Mr Rokicki holds a blue card issued by you. Mr Khl's status was that of a tolerated foreigner, to whom a time limit for 'preparation of the departure' was granted, in combination with a ban on any gainful employment or taking up any work, in March 1940, when he was employed as a consular service assistant by the Polish Diplomatic Mission. We kindly request you to verify whether you should not issue a firm warning to Mr Rokicki in an adequate manner, and further request Mr Khl's dismissal from the service of the Polish Diplomatic Mission.In January 1943, while being interrogated by the police, Khl admitted his part in the production of false passports and claimed that Paraguayan passports had been already in use in 1939, during which time they served to enable influential Polish Jews to leave the Soviet occupation zone. Let me start by saying that I was not involved in this matter of my own volition, but by order of my superior, Consul Rokicki, and Legation Councillor Ryniewicz. The question, how we could obtain foreign passports for Polish citizens arose for the first time after Poland had come under German and Russian occupation, in late 1939 and early 1940. Primarily, the issue at hand was to evacuate from the Russia-occupied part of Poland certain persons about whom we were concerned. We were able to do this through Consul Hgli, who provided us with Paraguayan passports for such persons. The passport forms would on each occasion be collected from Mr Hgli and then filled out by Consul Rokicki, and subsequently returned to Consul Hgli for signature. The latter was carried out by myself on most occasions. For the issuance of the passports, we would pay Mr Hgli the amounts between 500 and 2,000 francs, depending on the case and the number of persons. Neither the Diplomatic Mission nor the Consulate nor myself have benefited from this activity in any way.Aleksander ado refused to dismiss him and tried to extend his status. He also intervened in Khl's defense with the Swiss Foreign Minister Marcel Pilet-Golaz. After the passport operation ended, the Polish government in exile granted Khl in January 1944 full diplomatic status and the minor rank of attach. According to Michal Potocki and Zbigniew Parafianowicz, the whole Polish Legation including Khl contributed to issuing 4000 passports and saved the lives of 400 people. Agudat Yisrael estimated the number of rescued people at 'many hundred'.

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