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Rupert Pratt


I was born at Ladd AFB August 9th, 1955 in the elevator of the old hospital. The lady that drove my mother to the hospital was a holocaust survivor, and I was named in honor of her. Both my parents are deceased, and with all those who lived there during that time, that are reading these posts, I hope someone remembers Anneliese. I don't know her last name. My parents were Charles (Charlie) and Doris Parrish. I had 3 older siblings, Pam, Jerry & Sylvia. Jerry was the oldest and was about 7 when I was born. Sylvia was 5, and Pam was 18 months.

Does anybody reading this recognize or did you know Anneliese?
October 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Anneliese Parrish
I was stationed at Ladd and Galena from 1952 to 1954. I found the story of the crash of the C 47 very interesting. I spent a number of trips aboard "Gunney Birds" and Beavers in the dead of Winter between Nome and Fairbanks and was always very mindful of the dangers involved. The survivors of that crash were very fortunate indeed. Thanks for creating the web site as it sure brought back memories of flying in Alaska as a 21 years old kid. I just turned 83 this month but the kid still survives. Regards
October 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert "Bud" Stanley
Hello All. I was stationed at LADD AFB, from June 60 to Aug 62, after the Army took over. I started at at Preventive Medicine, then was transferred to Radiology, I was the Medical Administrative Specialist in those two sections at Ladd. I worked part time, helping clean a Government office down town, & attended Calvary Baptist Church. We played in the Midnight Baseball Games on 21 Jun of each year. I enjoyed those 2 years & 2 Months at Ladd, but it did get to -75 degrees F one winter. 89 Degrees F in summer. Enjoyed the long days of summer, but not "Short Nights" of Winter. Many of the USAF folks are now deceased, that were with me at Ladd, but I'd like to hear from those that are left. Bob Gwin Sr, Aged 73, now, In Oklahoma. CGwin@SBCGlobal.net
April 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert A. Gwin Sr.
Thanks, David. I’ve always felt I owed much to James Hill. His words, “Just grab the D-ring and throw it away” were fresh in my memory as I fell toward the snow-covered peaks of Kesugi Ridge that long-ago day. I’ve heard from many members of his family, more than any of the other families, in fact. He was loved and respected, and still is, which is as it should be. Thanks again for reading my book and for joining the family of “those who remember.”
May 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRupert Pratt
I just finished your book Mr. Pratt. James "Bud" Hill would have been my uncle. He died three years before I was born. I was born and raise in Johnsonburg, PA. My aunt Dolly and family lived on the west coast and I only remember meeting them a few times. Because of my age, probably, I never knew much about Jim Hill other than he died in a plane crash. From what I've learned, he was a very special man. Thank you for bringing him to life for me, I really enjoyed your writing.
May 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Candalor
Hello Mr Pratt,
March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSassan Mossanen
You're welcome, Nicole. Writing the book was just something I felt I had to do. I didn't meet most of the members of your family until it was already published. If I ever do another edition I'll add some details about Jacob.
December 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRupert Pratt
I just received my copy of the book this week and I cannot wait to read it. I am the Great-Niece of Jacob Siplivy. Thanks for writing this Rupert.
December 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNicole Simpkins
Kesugi Ridge is a special place, isn’t it? I’d like to visit it again, but I fear time may be against that happening. Yes, I would very much like to see your photos. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.
November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRupert Pratt
I also trudged up Little Coal Creek Trail to Kesugi Ridge several years ago and was so in awe of the majesty and sacredness of that place. Sydney Lawrence was a constant with Denali over my shoulder. I got behind in all my picture taking and stopped to look at a rock pile way up the ridge. I figured I could catch up with my fellow hikers so clambered up the slope. There was a strange statue.....I climbed some more to look and there was a man size inukshuk. I walked around and around it.....why was it there? what did it mean? For at least 4 years now I have been searching for it's meaning, its existence and who put it there? Searching online did not help. But one day in a used book store I saw the picture on a book with the title, Touching the Ancient One. I grabbed the book and said to myself, "This is it!!!!!!' So bought the book. Inukshuks are built to commemorate something. So your friends who died there now have a guardian spirit. If you contact me I will send the three pictures I took.
November 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterelsena horton
Osie, These 38 photos http://touchingancientone.squarespace.com/alaska19531956/number-of-photos-in-gallery/ deal mostly with the crash I survived but were taken within three or four years of your Alaska service. You might find some of interest.
March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRupert Pratt
I was stationed at Ladd 1957-1958 449th FIS. We had just received our first F-101, before that we had F-89D, then 94-C. I was in radar maint. sure would like to find pictures of that era.
March 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOsie Jackson
Lois, yes, I do remember our phone conversation. I’m happy that you were able to return to Alaska and that my book enhanced the experience. Alaska continues to tug at me. I’ve not been there since 2007, but hope to return soon. Thanks for keeping in touch.

October 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterRupert Pratt
Mr. Pratt: When I was in Alaska in 2008 I purchased your book and finally got to read it last spring. If you remember, I called you as I was so moved by the book. I promised myself if we ever returned to Alaska I was going to look up the memorial. Well last summer I had that chance, and as I stood there looking at the memorial, I was once more moved as I recalled so much I had read in the book. (I saw many more copies of Touching the Ancient One on this trip than on the last.) Lois
October 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLois Ferguson
Thanks, Rita. There have been many contacts made with friends and family members since the book's publication in 2006. Most of those are discussed on my website, so after you finish the book, you might want to search this site for additional information and photographs.

October 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRupert Pratt
Mr.Pratt My sister Cece sent me the info on your web site. I was 13 when Uncle Bud died. I remember him well. He and Aunt Dolly made a handsome couple.I ordered your book. All I ever knew was that his plane exploded. Am looking forward to learning more. Rita
October 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRita Candalor Armanini

I was quite impressed by your Aunt Dolly. Imagine joining the Peace Corps at her age! I never met her in person, but we did correspond through the mail for a time. As I related in my book, she wrote to me after learning through a People Magazine article (http://touchingancientone.squarespace.com/main-page-journal/2008/6/4/reunion-article-in-people-magazine.html#entry1884747) about our first survivor's reunion in 1996. Several of James Hill's relatives stay in touch, as well.

Our reunions and the publication of my book opened a whole new set of relationships. Although our full reunions seem to have ceased, we still keep in touch. I think you'll enjoy the book. Even though it's written from my own viewpoint, it contains a great deal of historical material about the crash and the families involved.

Thanks for your letter. Please keep in touch.

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRupert Pratt
Mr. Pratt, just ran across your site while looking up facts on my home town of Johnsonburg, PA. I know live in Pittsburgh, PA but remember very much the crash in 1954--I was 9 years old and Bud HIll was married to my Aunt Dolly, my mother, Viola Candalor's sister. There were so many years of sorrow for my Aunt and I don't think that she ever recovered from her loss. Bud gave my Mom a silk parachut and she made a slip for my sister's wedding gown from it. I flagged your site for my brothers and sisters and intend to get your book. After all these years with my Aunt and my Parents gone I will learn the whole story.
Thank you,
Cece Candalor
September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCEce Candalor

Thanks for telling me about that. We've had several men identify themselves as being in on the search and rescue when our C-47 went down. One of the first was Dr. Stan Nelson who flew over the crash site and took photographs a couple of days later. He even supplied film which we showed at our first reunion in 1996. He and I had a nice telephone conversation just last week. It's good to hear from someone who shared that space (Ladd AFB) at that time. I thought it was difficult then, but now I see it in a favorable light. I probably filled your fuel tanks at some point.

December 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRupert Pratt
mr.pratt just found this site and your book i was a flt.eng. with the 5001st ops sqd at the time searched for you with my pilot john roberts in a L-20 beaver often wondered what happened to that crew after 53 years im glad you are well had many anxious moments in the L20 as well as the C47 during my stay at ladd regards R.Emery
December 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrobert emery

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