b. 1934 Saint Bride’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
DATE OF CV ACTION: 12/11/1971 Calgary, Alberta.
Mary Dohey was a Canadian flight attendant who was the first living person to receive the award Cross of Valour, Canada’s highest award for bravery for a civilian, for her conduct during the hijacking of a commercial DC-8 aircraft in 1971. Mary Dohey graduated years earlier as a psychiatric nurse and that training and experience proved invaluable. At the risk of losing her life, Dohey declined an offer of a safe release from an Air Canada DC8 to remain with her fellow crew members and pacify hijacker Paul Cini, on flight 812 from Calgary, Alberta on November 12, 1971.
At the risk of losing her life, Stewardess Mary Dohey declined an offer of safe conduct from an Air Canada DC8 to remain with her fellow crew members and pacify a hijacker on a flight from Calgary, Alberta on November 12, 1971. During eight hours of terror, a hijacker, with a black hood over his head and armed with a shotgun and two bundles of dynamite, threatened to take the lives of the crew and all the passengers on board the airplane. Although continually threatened with the gun, Miss Dohey spoke gently to the aggressor and succeeded in discouraging him from undertaking violent measures which would have cost many innocent lives. When the aircraft was diverted and landed at Great Falls, Montana, she was able to persuade the hijacker to allow all the passengers and part of the crew, including herself, to deplane. With absolutely no assurance that she would come out of the ordeal alive and because of her concern for the welfare of the remaining crew members, Mary Dohey turned down the offer of release and continued to appease the hijacker until the drama was brought to an end.