World Flight Flies to Nazan, Atka
-- Still no trace of "Seattle" --
"Seattle" Search Update
The "Seattle", last heard from on April 30th, is still missing. No trace of the plane or crew has been found as of yet, but it's hoped the aircraft landed off its planned route. The probable landing harbors, coves and inlets along the planned route have all been searched with no success.
Land search teams are being assembled or are already out searching land areas where the plane may have been forced down.
The Coast Guard cutter Haida has been recalled to support the World Flight and is expected in Dutch Harbor tomorrow for refueling and resupply before proceeding to Atka Island to act as a radio relay station for the World Flight. The Haida is required to receive radio weather reports transmitted by the Eider currently on its way to Attu, the next scheduled stop of the flight.
by Lt. L. H. Smith Commanding
This morning, the flight was up at daylight and, with the help of the natives, launched the planes; the personnel returning ashore to obtain breakfast and final weather reports which indicated fair flying conditions. The start was made at 10:56 for Nazan on the Island of Atka. The course flown was around Cape Cheerful; along the northern edge of Unalaska Island and Umnak Island, Seguam Island and straight into Nazan Bay, landing at 3:15. The U.S. fishing boat, the Eider, was waiting and had previously prepared excellent moorings for the three planes in a well protected portion of the harbor.
Major Blair was here, having established a temporary weather station to furnish reports for the flight from Dutch Harbor to Atka. At this time, it was decided that the Eider proceed immediately with Major Blair to Attu in order to establish moorings and furnish weather reports from that point. The Haida was to come into Nazan Bay to receive the reports and assist the planes. The town of Nazan is populated entirely by Aleutes, with the exception of one American school teacher. During the absence of both the Haida and the Eider, the flight personnel established a camp in a local trading store owned by Mr. Goss of Dutch Harbor, using army blankets and cooking our own food.
by Lt. L.P. Arnold "Chicago" Mechanic
Again we made preparations to leave and this time the weather reports were favorable. There was a stiff wind in the harbor and in casting off from the buoys it was necessary to lay flat on the pontoons and with the spray & waves going all over us we all got pretty wet and consequently were cold all the rest of the day.
Just before eleven everything was in readiness and at 10:58 #2 took off, closely followed by 3 & 4. The rough water and heavy wind made it possible to get off in 38 seconds, whereas in calm water it has often taken two minutes.
Ay 11:02 Chignik passed out of sight as we headed up the lagoon and cut through a pass in the mountains to Kuinkta Bay, thus saving about 15 miles. From here on we followed the coastline which looked just about the same as the country previously passed, the only difference being that there was not quite as much snow which made the country look even more barren and desolate, if such a thing is possible.
In Unga Straits we saw a whale splashing and playing around, on Unimak Island saw some goats running up the beach, and at Ikatan saw two tugs that belong to one of the canneries near there, otherwise there was no life at all.
All of the way we bucked a head wind of from 30 to 35 miles velocity. There were snow squalls that struck us and we bounced and tossed around like corks, gaining and losing a thousand feet altitude at the will of the wind. Our ground speed was 55 miles an hours & happy indeed were the cold, tired & hungry gang that landed in Dutch Harbor at 6:15 after 7 hours and 20 minutes of flying.
The Coast Guard cutter Haida was there and there boats took us off and to the cutter, where after warming up we had a wonderful roast turkey dinner, words could never express our appreciation of it.
Lt Bissell (Division I advance officer) was also on hand and after dinner took us in tow and escorted us to the hotel where all arrangements had been made, and after four nights of fishermen's cots to climb into a nice bed was a great feeling.
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