|Mt McKinley in the cloud|
|Caribou spotted outside of the park|
Flashback, a story of Healy Alaska, near Denali Park: The winter of 1941 my mother-in-law and her husband, Lt. Marvin Walseth, were stationed at Ladd Field, Fairbanks, Alaska. Walseth, an Army Air Corp pilot, shared this story in a letter to his father.
One winter morning Walseth’s commander and friend, Major Dale Gaffney, left Ladd in a single seat fighter plane for a 300 mile flight to Anchorage. His route would take him over a pass in the Alaska Range just south of the current Denali Park. As he approached the pass clouds descended and he decided to land while he could still see. The nearest airfield was at Healy, just north of the current Denali Park entrance.
Gaffney made a pass over the field to see if it was plowed. Seeing two tracks on the runway he concluded that someone had successfully landed before him so he came around, lowered his wheels and settled in. The next thing he recalled was being upside down, hanging from his shoulder harness in four feet of snow.
|Gaffney's plane at Healy; Wheels and flaps down!|