I was delighted to see a July 30 Guestbook entry from Dave Hill, the nephew of Capt. James Hill, the highly decorated soldier who served our country during two wars. Capt Hill died in the Alaskan C-47 crash of 1954, the tragedy that is the central focus of my book, Touching the Ancient One–A True Story of Tragedy and Reunion.
Since our 1996 initial reunion of survivors and family members of victims of the crash, many more relatives and friends have surfaced, and continue to do so. Some of that happened as a result of the magazine article that appeared in the September 23, 1996 issue of People. The process continues as my book circulates. There is also a wonderful thing that happens as connections are made and strengthened in and among families that had known nothing of one another just a few years ago. To cite just one: Keith Betscher, son of the pilot, and David West-Watson, son of a British doctor were both too young to remember their fathers. Now, more than fifty years later, they are fast friends and visit each other across the Atlantic Ocean. Both have visited the crash site on Kesugi Ridge, which is now within the boundaries of Denali State Park.
Another young man, whom I’ll not name at this time since I don’t have permission to do so, is right now on his way to Alaska to hike to the site of the crash. He’s also a nephew of another of the victims. He’s promised me an account of his trek for this website. I look forward to that.
And thanks to Dave Hill for posting his letter.
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