In 1948, a USAF C-47 ran off course and out of fuel, crash landing on the frozen Stewart River in the Yukon. A few days later a rescue squadron dropped supplies including a large glider that had been towed from Fairbanks by a C-54. The crew of the C-47 got aboard the glider, the C-54 flew past, hooked its tow cable and yarded it into the air and back to Alaska . The damaged C-47 was supposedly repaired, refueled, fitted with skis and eventually flown back to Alaska . We would like to know if anyone recalls this incident and any details about it, for instance, where on the Stewart River , it crashed.
I asked my old friend and ex-coworker about it. He grew up in Fairbanks, worked in the local radio station and early avionics, and knew such Alaska aviation pioneers as the Wien family. He got Will Rogers' and Wiley Post's autographs just before they left for Pt. Barrow on their final flight.
"I think this was the C-47 that left Point Barrow for Ladd field, Fairbanks. It had a single ADF. The ADF needle in the instrument was a tapered (not glued) fit. It came loose and the crew flew the ADF bearing to the Bettles low frequency Beacon until the gas ran out! In those days it was common for Ladd field air rescue to tow a glider to a crash site."