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Dawson City in a Grumman Widgeon float plane, 1946



Northern Aviation History


Honeymooners on Exciting Flight to the Northland - headline from the July 11, 1946 'Dawson Daily News'

The Dawson Daily News, July 11, 1946

    The Grumman amphibian plane of the McRae-Patty mining interests returned here from Coal Creek district at an early hour Tuesday morning and spent a busy day between Clear Creek and Thistle camps of the company before heading for Whitehorse.

    Accompanying Ernest Patty Jr., pilot of the speedy maroon-colored ship were his bride and his mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Dean N. Patty.

    Dean Patty is vice-president and general manager for the McRae-Patty interests in Yukon, Alaska and northern B. C.

    Arrival here on Saturday, June 29 of the amphibian marked the end of an exciting honeymoon flight for young Patty and his bride.

    The day after their wedding in Seattle on June 21, they flew from Seattle to Yellowknife, in the North-West Territories and thence via Vancouver and Watson lake to Dawson. Little more than a week had elapsed since their wedding day before they were at their Dawson base. But in between that time they experienced a honeymoon such as befalls few newlyweds.

    Leaving Seattle June 22 with Ira Joralman, geologist, Pilot Patty and his bride flew to Yellowknife via Great Falls, Montana, and Edmonton. Basing at Yellowknife the 25-year-old flier spent the next flew days flying geologist Joralman to various quartz prospects between Great Slave and Great Bear Lakes.

    While at Yellowknife, Ernie played the leading role in an exciting rescue flight. A Waco plane had been forced down and smashed up on a small lake. The Grumman was the only plane of its type that could make a landing at the small, postage-sized lake. Young Patty flew grub and repair parts in to the stranded pilot.

    Hopping off from Yellowknife Ernie and his bride flew to Vancouver via the regular air route, gassed up at Watson Lake on the flight North and came on to Dawson.

    After several flights to the up-river camps of Yukon Gold Placers and Clear Creek Placers, Pilot Patty and his wife flew to the Coal Creek district where they spent several days. Meantime Mr. and Mrs. Dean N. Patty had come in from the coast, met their son and daughter-in-law at Coal Creek for the flight to Dawson. The four of them planned on flying to Whitehorse Tuesday afternoon of this week to meet Mr. and Mrs. Patty’s other son Stanton, who was on a 10-day furlough from the U. S. army.

    Following their visit with Stanton the Patty party were scheduled to fly into the Atlin district where Mr. Patty is inspecting his company’s mineral projects in that area.

    They expect to return to Dawson Friday of this week.

    The new plane is a Grumman Widgeon amphibian and can land either on water or on an airport. It is a monoplane high wing job with two Ranger in-line motors. The plane is brand new, Ernie Patty Jr. having taken delivery right at the factory in New York before flying it to Seattle. Cruising speed of the amphibian is 135 miles per hour with 60 per cent throttle.

    C. H. Chapman, of the Klondike Photo Shop, took some excellent pictures of the Grumman the day it first landed on its maiden flight to Dawson.




This article has been reprinted here in its entirety. The photograph of a Gruman Widgeon of that era has been added.