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Historical Society Presents "Bob Ellis: Alaskan Aviation pioneer" March 24th

March 20, 2004
Saturday - 1:30 am


Ketchikan, Alaska - Bob Ellis, a giant in Ketchikan's aviation history, will be the subject of a Tongass Historical Society program at the Ted Ferry Civic Center on Wednesday, March

Bob Ellis photo courtesy Peter Ellis

Bob Ellis
Courtesy Peter Ellis
24th, at 7 p.m. Local aviation historian Don "Bucky" Dawson will give the presentation, showing slides relating to Ellis's 33-year career as a leader in the development of Alaskan aviation.

Ellis, born in Vermont in 1903, flew to Alaska in 1929 as navigator on the first direct flight between Seattle and Juneau. After flying with several pioneer air operators in Seattle, Juneau, and Ketchikan, he established Ellis Air Transport, a one-pilot airline flying a YKS-6 Cabin Waco floatplane.

When Ellis retired in 1962, he was already a legend. Ellis Air Lines, eventually merged with Alaska Airlines, was the dominant flying service in southern Southeast. He had been a "flying Santa Claus", carried out daring rescues, served in the Territorial Senate and as Ketchikan's mayor, and had performed distinguished wartime service with the Navy in Sitka, Kodiak, and the Aleutians. He may be best remembered, however, for introducing the Grumman Goose to Southeast commercial aviation. For nearly two decades, "Gooses" were the backbone of the Ellis fleet.

Bob Ellis died in 1994. On February 27, 2004, he was inducted into the Alaska Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame.

The Bob Ellis program is open to the public. Admission is free. Those attending are encouraged to share their memories of Ellis and heyday of Ketchikan aviation.

 

 

Related Story

THE LEGENDARY BOB ELLIS, BUSH PILOT - A long, full life 1903-1994 By June Allen...

 

Source of News Release:

Tongass Historical Society

 

 

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