SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Gillam crash 

By John Tippets


February 23, 2018
Friday AM

I greatly enjoyed reading and appreciated Dave's article about the Gillam crash of 75 years ago. 

jpg Family photograph of 'Chick' Hailes in Alaska, 1943

Family photograph of 'Chick' Hailes in Alaska, 1943

Yes, the men were extremely careful in stretching out the food items they had; cutting Sardines into five parts (or four after Harold left) and breaking candy bars into the small squares for one piece for each, each a day. 

Two special food stories of the early days after the crash: 

1) Joseph Tippets once described, "I remember going back into the airplane to search for leftovers from the lunch we had eaten just before the crash...I got down onto the floor, picking up crumbs of bread, frozen grapes, and disintegrated apples. I put them all onto something and took this little tray back up under the wing where we were living...I thought for a while that frozen grapes must be the greatest thing since home cooking."     

2) I learned after writing 'Hearts of Courage' that a young lady in Utah had sent with my Dad a fruitcake for her Fiancé pilot (Charles 'Chick' Hailes) based at Elmendorf. I'm sure that fruitcake was much appreciated by the survivors.

John Tppets
Fort Worth, Texas


Related Article:

Gillam Crash transfixed Ketchikan; Dramatic rescue of survivors occurred 75 years ago By DAVE KIFFER - Seventy five years ago this month, while most Americans were transfixed by news reports of the World War II battles at Stalingrad and Guadalcanal, Ketchikan residents were following a dramatic local story: The crash and subsequent rescue of the survivors of the crash of famed pilot Harold Gillam's Lockheed Electra in what it now called Misty Fjords. - More...
SitNews - February 20, 2018


Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.


Received February 22, 2018 - Published February 23, 2018

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