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Thread: Search for Downed WWII B-18a on Mt. Redoubt

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    Question Search for Downed WWII B-18a on Mt. Redoubt

    My father and I will be chartering a plane in August to search for my Grandfather's downed B-18a bomber, which crashed in the summer of 1942. I've posted a blog with details here.

    I was hoping to solicit advise from members of this group who may have experience flying around Mt. Redoubt. I am a private powered/glider pilot, but have exactly zero experience flying Bush planes, flying around slow/glacier covered mountains or flying anything without three wheels.

    Any thoughts, prognostications, or predictions of success are welcome.

    Thanks!

    --Brian Clark, Reston, Virginia USA

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    Wow. Sounds fun. Mt Redoubt is big country. Do you happen to have more information to help narrow the crash sight down? Redoubt erupted a couple of years ago and changed the landscape quite a bit in that area. Also I seen that you had a Beaver chartered in August. You must be taking a lot of people with you to charter that plane. A wheeled 206 would cover more ground and save you a couple of bucks. Good luck, I go by that mountain several times a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A_K_H_U_N_T_E_R View Post
    Wow. Sounds fun. Mt Redoubt is big country. Do you happen to have more information to help narrow the crash sight down? Redoubt erupted a couple of years ago and changed the landscape quite a bit in that area. Also I seen that you had a Beaver chartered in August. You must be taking a lot of people with you to charter that plane. A wheeled 206 would cover more ground and save you a couple of bucks. Good luck, I go by that mountain several times a week.
    Mt. Redoubt really blew in June of 1952. Blanketed Anchorage with several inches of volcanic ash. I reckon that also changed the face and slopes of the mountain. Good luck with the search!

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    Yes...the Saturday evening post article give some description...hoping to write up a summary some time this week. Will reply back here when I do.

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    I have flown over it a few times the last couple years, it is ever changing, it is still puffing foul smelling gasses at times, I flew within about 100 yards of the crater 2 years ago, rugged area, if the crash was on the glacier, it might eventually come out the bottom. A very muddy river comes out to the east.

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    SHE IS PRETTY BUSY. I fly by every now and then, Plus I can see her from afar most days of the week.

    Some eruption history

    "In January and February of 1965, pilots reported that five fissures had opened on the southeast wall of Redoubt and were emitting water vapor and hot gases (Anchorage Daily News, January 29 and 30, 1965;


    n January 24, 1966, Redoubt erupted. 'Giant black puffs' of tephra rising 6,000 m above the summit were reported (Anchorage Daily News, January 25, 1966). A 22-man seismic crew camping and working along the lower Drift River was evacuated following flooding of the river as a result of the eruption. According to their account (Anchorage Daily News, January 26, 1966), the ice-bound river broke up suddenly and water rose 1 to 1.2 m in 15 minutes, carrying chunks of ice 'the size of a D-7 cat'. The flood crested and returned to normal within about 30 minutes. During this flood, boulders with mean diameters of 1 to 2 m were deposited within approximately 3 to 5 km of the volcano. Other smaller floods occurred through February and March (Sturm and others, 1986).

    "Infrasonic waves attributed to explosive eruptions of Redoubt were recorded 550 kilometers away at College, Alaska, during two periods: six explosions from January 24 to February 20, 1966, and five explosions from December 7, 1967, to April 28, 1968 (Wilson and Forbes, 1969)."


    "* * * Sturm and others (1986), in a study of long-term effects of the eruptions on the Drift glacier that drains the summit crater, estimated that 60,000,000 cubic m (0.6 cubic km) of ice were 'blasted, melted, scoured, or washed away by the cumulative events of 1966-68.' When parts of the glacier that were separated by the eruption reconnected, a dramatic thickening of the lower glacier occurred and the surface speed increased by a factor of ten. This surge apparently culminated in 1986 without causing a damming of the Drift River."


    "The most recent eruption at Redoubt began with a major phreatomagmatic, vent-clearing explosion at 9:47 am on December 14, 1989 (Brantley, 1990; EOS, 1990; Miller and Chouet, 1994) after less than 24 hours of intense precursory seismicity. Three more ash-rich explosions occurred the following day, December 15, with the last blast generating a pyroclastic flow down the Drift Glacier. The resulting debris flow contained entrained ice blocks as large as 10 m across and crested about 8 m above the river channel near the Drift River Oil Terminal, 35 km downstream (Waitt and others, 1994). A Boeing 747 enroute from Amsterdam that flew into the ash cloud several hours after the eruption experienced complete engine failure and narrowly avoided tragedy when the crew successfully restarted the engines and safely landed in Anchorage (Casadevall, 1994).

    "These initial explosive events were just the first of 23 major explosive events between December 1989 and April 1990. Following the mid-December explosive phases, the crater vent emitted only minor ash and steam for the next 5-7 days. From December 22 to January 2, 1990, however, a large, over-steepened lava dome grew over the vent. At 5:48 pm on January 2, the first of two powerful explosions destroyed most of the dome and sent ash plumes to over 12 km. Massive block and ash avalanches down the Drift Glacier generated the largest debris flow of the eruption, completely covering the 2-km-wide valley floor and spilling into Cook Inlet. Flood waters entered the oil terminal, as much as 75 cm deep in some buildings, and caused a temporary halt in operations.

    "Three eruptions occurred in the next two weeks during which time the vent remained open. The January 8 event occurred with no precursory warnings and the resulting ashfall on the Kenai Peninsula disrupted commerce and transportation. Open-vent eruptions on January 11 and 16 resulted in minor debris flows down the Drift River.

    "After the January 16 eruption, another period of dome growth ensued through mid-February. This dome was smaller than the earlier dome but larger than succeeding domes (Miller, 1994). Early on February 15, the dome was destroyed in an explosive eruption that again sent a large debris flow down the Drift River and blanketed the lower Kenai Peninsula with ash. A pyroclastic flow and surge traveled down the canyon, across the piedmont lobe of Drift Glacier, and swept up the opposite valley wall 700 m topping the ridge (Gardner and others, 1994). Flow down the Drift River was largely diverted into a side drainage that carried flood waters close to oil storage tanks at the downstream oil terminal prompting reinforcement of the containment dikes surrounding the tank farm. A new dome began growing immediately following the eruption.

    "On February 21, the new, but considerably smaller, dome was destroyed, marking the beginning of a new trend in eruptive behavior. Characteristically, small domes were emplaced and subsequently destroyed explosively or by gravitational collapse, resulting in debris avalanches down the now ice-free canyon leading down to the Drift River valley, and flooding down the Drift River. Ten such eruptions followed from February 24 to April 21 at 4 to 8 day intervals.

    "Following the April 21 eruption, growth of the present lava dome began and continued through early June. During the next several months, seismic activity declined dramatically and only steam emissions and minor rock falls from the dome were recorded as the eruption came to an end.

    "The 1989-90 eruption of Redoubt seriously affected the populace, commerce, and oil production throughout the Cook Inlet region and air traffic as far away as Texas. Total estimated economic costs are $160 million (Tuck and others, 1992), making this eruption of Redoubt the second most costly in U.S. history."

    From Miller and Chouet (1994): "The eruption produced about 20 significant tephra deposits between December 14 and April 26 (Scott and McGimsey, 1994 - this volume) with a total tephra volume of about 20 to 40 x10^6 cubic m (DRE). Tephra plumes rose off the pyroclastic flows to altitudes in excess of 10 km (Woods and Kienle, 1994 - this volume) and were carried mainly northward and eastward by prevailing winds.

    Miller and Chouet (1994) also summarize "The volumes of individual domes ranged from 1 to 30x10^6 cubic m and magma supply rates ranged from 1.8 to 2.5 x10^6 cubic m per day. Total dome volume is estimated at about 90x10^6 cubic m (Miller, 1994 - this volume [Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 1994, v. 62]).

    Miller (1994) estimates total bulk volume of the eruption as 0.1 - 0.2 cubic km.

    "Redoubt Volcano, an ice-covered stratovolcano on the west side of Cook Inlet, erupted in March 2009 after several months of escalating unrest. The 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano shares many similarities with eruptions documented most recently at Redoubt in 1966-68 and 1989-90. In each case, the eruptive phase lasted several months, consisted of multiple ash-producing explosions, produced andesitic lava and tephra, removed significant amounts of ice from the summit crater and Drift glacier, generated lahars that inundated the Drift River valley, and culminated with the extrusion of a lava dome in the summit crater. Prior to the 2009 explosive phase of the eruption, precursory seismicity lasted approximately six months with the first weak tremor recorded on September 23, 2008. The first phreatic explosion was recorded on March 15, and the first magmatic explosion occurred seven days later, at 22:34 on March 22. The onset of magmatic explosions was preceded by a strong, shallow swarm of repetitive earthquakes that began about 04:00 on March 20, 2009, less than three days before an explosion. Nineteen major ash-producing explosions generated ash clouds that reached heights between 17,000 ft and 62,000 ft (5.2 and 18.9 km) ASL. During ash fall in Anchorage, the Ted Stevens International Airport was shut down for 20 hours, from ~17:00 on March 28 until 13:00 on March 29. On March 23 and April 4, lahars with flow depths to 10 m in the upper Drift River valley inundated parts of the Drift River Terminal (DRT). The explosive phase ended on April 4 with a dome collapse at 05:58. The April 4 ash cloud reached 50,000 ft (15.2 km) and moved swiftly to the southeast, depositing up to 2 mm of ash fall in Homer, Anchor Point, and Seldovia. At least two and possibly three lava domes grew and were destroyed by explosions prior to the final lava dome extrusion that began after the April 4 event. The final lava dome ceased growth by July 1, 2009, with an estimated volume of 72 Mm3."
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    Cousin Brian, Here is a little more info.

    Almanac: Mounting a Redoubt rescue effort


    Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part story about the attempted rescue of two World War II bomber pilots who were injured when their plane crashed high in the mountains across Cook Inlet. Part one follows the rescue team traveling on foot toward the crash site, and part two will follow the team as it attempts to recover the wounded men and return safely. Most of the information for this story comes from a 1943 Saturday Evening Post article written by one of the rescuers — Anchor Point’s Milo Fritz, who later gained renown for his medical work throughout the state and for his three terms in the Alaska House of Representatives.
    By Clark Fair
    Photo reproduced from Saturday Evening Post. Major Milo Fritz, a surgeon for the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army Air Forces, posed for this photo in 1943, the year his article, “Ambulance Case on Mount Redoubt,” appeared in The Saturday Evening Post.

    Redoubt Reporter
    When U.S. Army Air Forces Sgts. Don Harris and Charles Michaelis arrived in a fishing boat in the port of Anchorage at two o’clock in the morning on June 17, 1942, their appearance created an immediate stir among the military.
    The two enlisted men, comprising half of the crew of a bomber bound for Anchorage, had been missing for more than two weeks. The aircraft’s last known location had been in a mountainous region west of the Redoubt volcano — a region on aeronautical maps of the time left blank except for the word “UNSURVEYED.” An extensive aerial search of the general area at the time of the disappearance had turned up no sign of the bomber.
    In 1942, which was 17 years before Alaska became a state, information and population in the Cook Inlet region was considerably sparser. The 10,197-foot Mount Redoubt was not yet arrayed with sophisticated seismic and photographic equipment. Across the inlet, Kenai and Ninilchik were mere fishing villages, many of the residents of Kasilof were still farming foxes, and homesteading was five years away in the areas that would become known as Soldotna, Nikiski and Sterling.
    Harris and Michaelis informed the authorities that on June 1 their plane had crashed into the side of a volcano they believed was Mount Redoubt, and that both their pilot and co-pilot had been injured too badly to leave the plane. The pilot, Lt. Edward Clark, had either broken or badly sprained one of his ankles, and the co-pilot, Lt. Joe Donaldson, had suffered a compound fracture of his lower left leg and had “something wrong with his eyes.”
    After remaining with the aircraft for two days to tend to the officers and wait out a severe storm, the enlisted men were ordered by the officers to leave the crash site and attempt to find help. In difficult conditions and in territory with which they were unfamiliar, Harris and Michaelis spent the next five days descending the mountain and traveling overland to the west coast of Cook Inlet.
    At the coast they discovered a shelter cabin, where they spent the next week, until they were able to signal a fishing vessel that rescued them and delivered them across the inlet to Anchorage. Although Lts. Clark and Donaldson had shelter inside the bomber and had been left with provisions, Harris and Michaelis had no way to know whether they were still alive.
    Almost immediately a reconnaissance flight was ordered. Included in the flight was Maj. Milo H. Fritz of the Army Medical Corps. According to Fritz — who would garner renown in later decades as an Alaska physician and politician — the skies over Redoubt were overcast, but the clouds dispersed just enough for the recon crew to spot the plane at an estimated elevation of 7,500 feet on the southwest flank of the mountain. In that brief glimpse of the craft, they were unable to discern any movement that might indicate that Clark and Donaldson had survived.
    After he reported back to commanders in Anchorage, Maj. Fritz was ordered to lead a rescue mission, and a plan was hastily pieced together: The rescue team would be taken by boat across the inlet to Redoubt Bay, which lay directly west of lower Kalgin Island, across the inlet from Kasilof. They would disembark and make their way overland about 12 to 15 miles to the mountain, climb and then locate the bomber, rescue the pilots, and return with them to Redoubt Bay.
    As the rescue attempt proceeded — early on, they estimated it would take only 18 hours once they reached the west coast of the inlet — the rescuers were soon to learn that they had grossly underestimated their task, and that their hardiness and determination would have to compensate for the heaviness of their supplies and their general lack of adequate clothing, footwear and gear.
    And their guide — an experienced 50-something outdoorsman named Lee Waddell, who had trapped in the Skwentna area — would have to make up for some poor military planning and the rest of the team’s complete ignorance of the countryside they were about to enter.
    Photo reproduced from The Saturday Evening Post, Oct. 2, 1943. The rescue team — all smiles during the early stages — posed for this photo during their mid-June 1942 attempt to save two pilots who had been injured when their bomber crashed into a southwestern slope high on Mount Redoubt. The man standing on the far left is the group’s mountain guide, Lee Waddell.

    As the military portion of the rescue crew was being organized — Sgt. E.I. Robinette Jr. and Cpls. Earl E. Karnatz, Darrell E. Prince, Miles H. Prince, Costello W. Pizzutillo and John W. Garner (all in their early 20s) — Fritz set about putting in order the medical supplies.
    The major, who was then in his early 30s, did not scrimp on supplies: “three units of plasma, two ampoules of 50 percent glucose, 12 rolls of prepared plaster splints, dressings, antiseptic solution, two Thomas splints, adrenalin in ampoules, and two Stokes litters.”
    The litters, which were deemed essential for transporting the wounded down the rugged mountainside, were constructed from “small-mesh chicken wire, reinforced with steel” and weighed about 25 pounds apiece.
    At 2 p.m. — 12 hours after Harris and Michaelis had arrived in Anchorage — the rescuers were under way.
    In a 34-foot cabin cruiser, piloted by a Sgt. Thompkins and a Corp. Van Skike, they departed Anchorage and aimed in the general direction of Harriet Point, which juts into the inlet at the southern tip of Redoubt Bay. Because of the muddy beaches along the bay, they towed a dinghy behind the larger vessel in order to ease transportation ashore.
    They arrived at midnight and slept on the cabin cruiser until 4 a.m.
    Although Fritz was not specific in describing the landing site, they probably began their cross-country journey just north of Harriet Point, and before they departed the cabin cruiser they had to leave behind some of their supplies because of weight considerations. “If we had unloaded all that we thought we should bring along, it would have taken twice our number to handle it, so we had to eliminate what we thought we could do without,” Fritz said.
    On the boat they left the splints and most of their tinned military rations. At 5 a.m. they started up the slope from the coast and headed inland. On their backs, Waddell, their pathfinder, carried 35 pounds of supplies and equipment, Fritz carried about 50, and each of the other men about 60, in addition to taking turns hauling the heavy litters.
    Each man carried a sleeping bag, head net, .45-caliber pistol, knife, gloves, tinned rations, candy bars and a few extra clothes.
    “We each should have had a change of footgear,” rued Fritz, “and I should have seen to it that each man had sunglasses and a little table salt.”
    Following game paths and old hunting and trapping trails, Waddell led the men in a generally southwestern direction, intent on reaching Redoubt Creek — Fritz referred to it as the Redoubt River — and following its channel upstream to the base of the mountain.
    Map courtesy of Al Hershberger. This is a portion of an aeronautical-navigation map from 1941 shows the area described in the story. Note that the region west of Mount Redoubt is labeled “UNSURVEYED.”

    Despite the effort required in this sometimes-difficult terrain, Fritz frequently noted the beauty surrounding him — blooming violets, active beavers in small ponds, trumpeting swans, bear tracks and the mountain itself.
    By 2 p.m., they reached a stand of spruce trees surrounding a pair of unnamed lakes — now known as Bear and Wadell lakes — and then began to hack and pick their way through immense thickets of alders. At 5 p.m., exhausted, they made camp.
    At 2 a.m., Waddell, who had spent an additional four hours creating a passable trail through the alders to Redoubt Creek, woke the weary team and urged them back into action. In order to travel more swiftly — always mindful that the pilots’ lives were on the line — they decided to leave some of their gear at this campsite, so they stashed their sleeping bags and more of their food, and headed out.
    Only an hour later, Garner, who had been wearing an infantry pack that none of them had known must be adjusted to each particular wearer, was so sore about his kidneys that he could no longer continue. He was sent back to the previous night’s camp and instructed to wait for their return.
    As the remaining members of the rescue team dropped into the Redoubt Creek drainage, spotted the plane high on the mountain, and made their way west toward the boulder-strewn glacial moraine in the distance, Garner could not have known that he would be waiting for more than 48 hours before any member of the team returned to his camp.
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    Cousin Brian, here is part two. (Alex Clark, Homer Alaska.)


    PART TWO:

    Almanac: Rescuers risk ravages of Redoubt — Fritz recounts chilling backcountry tale


    Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part story about the attempted rescue of two World War II bomber pilots who were injured when their plane crashed high on Mount Redoubt across Cook Inlet on June 1, 1942. Part one followed the rescue team as it traveled on foot toward the crash site, and part two follows the team as it attempts to recover the wounded men and return safely. Most of the information for this story comes from a 1943 Saturday Evening Post article written by one of the rescuers — Anchor Point’s Milo Fritz, who later gained renown for his medical work throughout the state and for his three terms in the state House of Representatives.
    By Clark Fair
    This is the cover of The Saturday Evening Post containing Maj. Milo H. Fritz’s Oct. 2, 1943, article, “Ambulance Case on Mount Redoubt.”

    Redoubt Reporter
    Sometime between 4 and 5 a.m. on June 20, 1942, Maj. Milo Fritz, now traveling solo ahead of the rest of the rescue team, crested a ridge of snow high on Mount Redoubt and spotted the wreckage of the airplane, lying on the edge of a crevasse 200 feet wide. Finally, after approximately 48 hours of overland travel, Fritz was about to learn whether either of the pilots who had crashed there 19 days earlier had survived their injuries.
    Doggedly, then, in the gusting wind and deep, swirling snow, he began to climb up and around the crevasse toward the aircraft.
    Just 24 hours earlier, the rescue team — sans Corp. John Garner, who had been sent back to the first camp after he was too sore to continue — had been cheered by the warm, early morning sun and its first sighting of the braided waters of Redoubt Creek.
    But the team members’ enthusiasm was soon tempered by the cold, silty stream they found necessary to cross and recross in their leather boots, and by the seven to 10 miles still left to travel before reaching the first low ridges of Mount Redoubt.
    They had arisen in camp that day at 2 a.m. and had hiked into this drainage. The day before — after a 10-hour boat ride from Anchorage — they had hiked for nearly 12 hours, beginning just north of Harriet Point at the lower end of Redoubt Bay on the western shore of Cook Inlet.
    The seven men pushed the pace because they wished to reach the wrecked bomber that lay at an approximate elevation of 7,500 feet and rescue the injured pilots who had been trapped there since crashing on June 1. Moreover, the rescuers hoped that the pilot, Lt. Edward Clark, and the co-pilot, Lt. Joe Donaldson, were still alive.
    Two uninjured members of the flight crew — Sgts. Don Harris and Charles Michaelis — had managed to descend the
    Photo reproduced from article in The Saturday Evening Post . Lt. Joe Donaldson receives an emergency dose of plasma as he is tended to by Corp. Darrell Prince in the Redoubt Creek drainage in June 1942.

    mountain, travel across country to the coast, and, after a week of waiting in a shelter cabin, flag down a fishing vessel and travel to the authorities in Anchorage. Arriving on June 17, they had reported that Clark (badly sprained or broken ankle) and Donaldson (compound fracture of the lower left leg) had been too injured to travel and had ordered them to seek help.
    Now picking his way at the head of the rescue team was the only nonmilitary man in the bunch, Lee Waddell, an experienced outdoorsman about 50 years old, who had been hired to guide the others up the mountain and then safely down and out to the coast.
    Behind Waddell — each carrying a pack full of gear and taking turns toting two 25-pound litters — were the much younger Sgt. E.I. Robinette, Cpls. Earl Karnatz, Costello Pizzutillo, Miles and Darrell Prince, and Fritz, the medical officer who was in charge of the mission.
    In order to lighten their loads and thereby quicken their pace, the rescuers had left their sleeping bags and some of their food behind at the camp now occupied by Garner. At about 8 p.m., when they finally reached the rocky moraine at the base of the mountain, they stashed even more items — their extra clothing and all but four tins of their military rations.
    Then they clambered onto the boulder-strewn moraine, which twisted upward into the main rocky bulk of the mountain and became progressively snowier with increased elevation. High above them they could see that soon they would be climbing through deep snow and over exposed ridges of rock.
    Photo reproduced from article in The Saturday Evening Post. Much more subdued on their arduous descent than they had been in the early stages of their rescue attempt high on Mount Redoubt, members of the rescue team take a breather as Lt. Joe Donaldson lies strapped into a litter.

    As they ascended beyond the snow line and onto the high white slopes, they entered an extended sort of twilight common around Alaska’s summer solstice. At some point, they hunkered behind a large boulder and munched all but two of their remaining candy bars — saving the final two for the pilots.
    At this point, Fritz divested himself of most of his remaining gear, and continued ahead of the others with plasma and plaster, figuring that his earlier arrival was most crucial.
    On slopes steep enough that he sometimes had to bend low and grip with his gloved hands, Fritz climbed steadily. Sometimes he post-holed in drifts that were hip-deep. Exhausted and having to stop every few steps to catch his breath, he pushed on until, at about 4 a.m., he had the plane firmly in his sights.
    After rounding the crevasse and sliding carefully down to the battered bomber, he peered inside and saw something rolled up in a sleeping bag near the bulkhead behind the pilots’ section.
    Fritz was initially dismayed.
    “Crawling in to investigate what I thought would surely be a corpse, I was startled to have someone throw back the covers and say, ‘Who’s there?’ It was Lt. Donaldson, perfectly rational, but a most pathetic sight.”
    Almost immediately, despite his relief at finding someone alive, Fritz detected the “sick-sweetish stench” of gangrene. He moved outside and fired a pistol shot to signal the other rescuers, then inspected his patient and inquired about Lt. Clark.
    Donaldson was emaciated, covered with filth and three weeks of beard, and his eyes were red from hemorrhaging. As he chewed hungrily at the two chocolate bars Fritz presented, Donaldson told him that Clark had headed down the mountain five days earlier, bound for the coast.
    Soon, they were joined by Karnatz, Darrell Prince and Waddell — the others had stopped farther down the mountain, too
    Alaska Digital Archives. Dr. Milo Fritz ministers to a young patient in Allakaket in June 1961.

    exhausted to continue — and they cut and fashioned parachute risers into ropes for hauling and braking the litter once Donaldson had been secured onboard. Soon, even as the wind intensified, they had the patient strapped in and were trudging with him around the crevasse and downhill.
    They found Miles Prince and Pizzutillo a short distance below and learned that Robinette, dressed only in coveralls, had stopped even lower and turned back for warmer climes. They all shared the burden of the heavy litter and continued their descent, moving easily despite the deep, soft snow — until they reached the moraine, at which point they were forced to carry the litter as they stumbled around boulders and over porous sand.
    At 6 p.m., they were just above the bed of Redoubt Creek and they continued to stay above the drainage until 10 p.m., when they stopped to make camp. Then — while Waddell hiked back nearly two miles to retrieve their stash of food and clothing — Fritz and the Prince brothers cleaned and casted Donaldson’s wounds, which Fritz described as “gangrenous,” “badly infected” and “splintered.”
    Despite a situation he referred to as “a nightmare of fatigue,” the doctor did not entirely lose his sense of humor. While giving Donaldson an IV of plasma and glucose in far less than sanitary circumstances, he remarked that, “the conditions of asepsis … must have made (pioneer of antiseptic surgery, Sir Joseph) Lister turn 180 degrees in his grave.”
    He was delighted to note later, however, that Donaldson seemed to suffer no ill effects.
    They were awakened by the sun at 4 a.m., and the group determined that Waddell should forge on ahead and try to reach Anchorage for more help. On the way to the coast, Waddell stopped at their first campsite to retrieve Garner and learned that Robinette had passed through already, bound for the inlet.
    As the main rescue team continued its slow struggle down the long drainage, Waddell and the others arrived at the coast and were hurried to Anchorage in the group’s cabin cruiser. On the morning of June 22, Waddell was inside a small civilian plane, flying over the weary rescue team and dropping a parachute load of rations to them.
    Then, as the thankful men gorged themselves on the food, Waddell flew back to Anchorage, and then returned with a large group of volunteer soldiers in a six-passenger Bellanca floatplane, which landed on one of the twin lakes the rescuers had encountered on their first day.
    Eventually, the Bellanca hauled in 13 volunteers, who were led by Waddell, back to the Redoubt Creek drainage. As Waddell then returned to the lakes for a well-deserved rest, the volunteers moved on until they encountered the rescuers at 4 a.m. on June 23.
    Traveling all day through rugged conditions and voracious mosquitoes, the entire group arrived at the floatplane shortly after midnight. Fritz, Donaldson, Waddell, Karnatz and Miles Prince took the first 50-minute flight out, and by 3:30 a.m. on June 24, Donaldson was in bed in Station Hospital in Anchorage.
    The next day, Fritz learned that Lt. Clark was alive. Just like the sergeants before him, he had managed to walk all the way to the coast and signal a boat ride to Anchorage.
    Despite the horrific condition of his leg, Donaldson did not have to undergo an amputation. In fact, Fritz said that “maggots had kept the wound clean,” and the lieutenant was expected to start flying again later in 1943.
    Fifty-seven years later, after Dr. Milo Fritz had passed away in his Anchor Point home at the age of 91, he was memorialized in the Congressional Record by then-Sen. Ted Stevens. Stevens recalled that Fritz, who had risen to the rank of command surgeon during his tenure in the Army, had served three terms in the state House of Representatives, had performed pioneering medical work with Native children in Bush communities across Alaska, and had received commendations for rescuing one pilot from Mount Redoubt and another from a burning plane at Elmendorf Air Force Base.
    In spite of the acclaim he had received at the time of the Redoubt rescue, however, Fritz preferred to share the credit. At the latter part of the 1943 article he wrote about the rescue for The Saturday Evening Post, Fritz gives credit to the many men who took part in the adventure — but particularly to Lee Waddell, without whom, he says, “this rescue mission might well have failed.”
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    Alex...thank you very much! Though based on the Saturday Evening Post article that I already had, this new article clearly has a great deal of background information I did NOT already have. Very helpful!

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    My folks live out by FRITZ CREEK, ( Named after Doc Fritz ) and I went to school with some of the Fritz family. I never knew he was on this rescue until recently.

    Do you have any photos of your Grand father. I am curious if he looks like any of the Clarks in my line.
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    Sure, here a couple with my Grandmother. Here's a link the full sized versions.

    Val_Ed_Camp_Rapid_Color_300_cropped.jpg

    1969_Fall_03.jpg

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Looks my dad did back then...

    I sent you a P.M.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    Interesting story. Looking forward to reading about how the trip goes! I have flown in that general area, but not spent a lot of time there yet.
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

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    I believe it is a tough road for you guys. 1942 is a long time ago and reliable pin point information did not exist back then, compared to today.

    I do not know how many fires have happened in that area since the crash, but if they did happen a very real possibility of the plane burning on impact, being burnt by forest fires and covered by new growth and mature forests at least twice since then exists. Also, the possibility of a crash in Cook Inlet may exist.

    It is a long shot at best. But, I pray you have success and closure. Best wishes and God speed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post

    I do not know how many fires have happened in that area since the crash, but if they did happen a very real possibility of the plane burning on impact, being burnt by forest fires and covered by new growth and mature forests at least twice since then exists. Also, the possibility of a crash in Cook Inlet may exist.
    According to the articles the plane was at about 7500' elevation on Redoubt itself.....no trees to burn up that high. It didn't burn on impact as all 4 men survived the crash, and the man with the fractured leg spent 21(?) days inside the wreckage waiting for rescue. The article also says how the plane came to rest above a 200 foot crevasse. I wouldn't doubt it that the plane may have eventually dropped down into the crevasse, was covered in snow the following winter, then engulfed in ice, and became part of the many glaciers on that mountain still there today. Alaskan winters were much colder back then and I could easily see how the plane could become part of a glacier now even if it didn't fall down into the crevasse. Besides, after all this time and all the thousands of flights that have passed over that spot, a large plane that was able to be seen from down below, (as described in the article) imo, would have definitely been found by now. As Gerberman mentioned above, it may eventually be found years from now as the glaciers recede, if they do in fact keep receding....

    PS.... Very interesting stuff no doubt! What does surprise me though is that nobody in the rescue party managed to get lost getting separated like they did all over the place......lol.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Surprised that they were even using a B18 at that point in time, as it was considered antiquated, and had been replaced by numerous other, superior aircraft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Surprised that they were even using a B18 at that point in time, as it was considered antiquated, and had been replaced by numerous other, superior aircraft.
    Actually, I believe the Army Air Corps were still using both B-18s and Cessna's Bamboo Bombers in 1942.

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