Alaska’s Father Goose (edited by William F. Cass, Jr.)
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Occasionally tense, frequently humorous, and always straightforward, Alaska's Father Goose is a celebration of flight, a wartime memoir, a history of airline growth, and ultimately a quintessentially Sourdough success story. Nicknamed Father Goose because of his many thousands of hours piloting the Grumman JRF Goose, Captain Gerald A. Bud Bodding's career began in the age of the Curtiss Jenny and lasted through Alaska Airlines' jets. Graduating as a commercial pilot in 1939 from the then premier flying academy in America, the Ryan School of Aeronautics in San Diego, Bodding began a remarkable aviation career as a junior pilot with three of Alaska's flying legends: Shell Simmons, Bob Reeve and Bob Ellis. Bodding's logbooks read like a roster of the great planes from aviation's Golden Age, and include time in the Ryan STA, Fairchild 71, Lockheed Vega and Waco YKS-6, among many others.
After surviving a horrific crash at sea and stranding on an uninhabited island, Bodding returned to bush flying before being caught up in the Second World War. As a navy pilot, Bodding flew in the North Pacific theatre's Aleutian campaign where the weather posed every bit as much a danger as the Japanese. You are in the cockpit with Father Goose as he flies some of the navy's most memorable wartime aircraft, such as the Consolidated Catalina, Vought Kingfisher, Grumman Duck and the immortal Grumman Goose. With the war won, Bodding returned to Ketchikan, building a family, an airline and a reputation as Alaska's Father Goose.