Looking for "Swede" Pennington
I am looking for information about what happened to an old (as in the early '60s) neighbor of mine, and I am hoping you folks can help. Swede ran a guide service in Alaska in the '50s, and in the early '60s he settled with his family in Beaver (Shuwah), Washington where I lived.
Anyway, Swede took up bush flying about 1963 or so, and went missing a few years later while flying in SE Alaska, IIRC with one passenger. Finding Steve Fossett today in California reminded my brother and I of Swede, and we are wondering if any of you can help us find out what happened to him. I do have recollection of reading within the past 10-15 years or so that his airplane and remains had been found, but cannot find any info on the web to verify that.
We have searched the NTSB files for '62-'75, but they are inconclusive since the pilot's name is not listed, and Swede is not listed as the owner of any airplanes that went missing during those years.
Any help would be much appreciated!
If youo're talking about Daryl "Swede" Pennington, I do know the story. It goes something like this:
Originally Posted by Stan
Swede was asked by a good friend of mine, a published author and a known handgun hunter, Al Goerg, from Port Angeles, Washington, to take him on a brown bear hunt on the Alaska Peninsula. I had flown from Lake Tahoe to Alaska to look over the spring brownie situation around Chinitna Bay. Or, failing that, on down to the Meshikk River country behind Port Heiden, on the Alaska Peninsula. I had previously guided Al down there for (a) the world's largest handgun taken moose, and (b) the world's largest handgun taken caribou. See Gunsnport and Guns and Ammo, around the June, 1965 editions.
Anyway, the spring of 1965 was extremely late, and snow and storms made the brownie situation look rather grim for a handgun hunter. I called Al from Anchorage and told him to put it off until the following year. He though he couldn't do that, and talked to Swede Pennington, who agreed to fly him from Port Angeles to the Port Heiden areathat spring. Al told me what he had done, and I begged him to think it over. I didn't personally know Swede, but I DID know the Alaska Peninsula. The Pacific Side is no place for a novice, nor even for a "bush pilot"' who doesn't really know the country. By the way, the registration number of Swede's Super Cub was N1640A, and it was mounted on wheels.
Al and Swede disappeared on that hunt, and I heard from Anne Goerg, Al's wife, that a huge search had been initiated. I asked if she wantd me to fly to Alaska and help search, since I was pretty sure I knew about where they would have gone down. She said no. The Coast Guard search centered around the area where Al and I had hunted a few years earlier. Though it was the largest air search ever undertaken up until that time, nothing was found.
In July of 1966, the wreckage was spotted on the moutainside on Cape Kumlik, near Chignik, on the Pacific side of the Alaska Peninsula. You will note that the hunt did NOT occur in SE Alaska . . .
The entire story, and very well written by Ben East, appeared in OUTDOOR LIFE, in its May, 1968, issue. You might be able to go on Amazon.com and find it. Failing that, you mioght try, (a) your public library, (b) eBay, or (c) Google. Finally, perhaps OUTDOOR LIFE could help you locate a copy of that issue.
Hope this has been of some help, and I hope it isn't so late that you miss this message.
You might contact me at email@example.com, if you want any further information.
Alaska Registered Guide (Ret)
Thank you, Mort! I have passed along the news to my brother, and we thank you for closing an incomplete chapter in our lives. I even found a copy of the issue of Outdoor Life! Thanks again! Stan
You're welcome, Stan. Glad I could help close this sad commentary, and sorry for the bad news.