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Kachemak Air Service


Alaska Magazine ran a story titled "Bill de Creeft - Homer's Flying Good Samaritan" in July of 1985. Click on the thumbnails below and you can read the original, page by page.

Rescue from fishing vessel "Linda K" wreck.

Full text of Homer News article

"Their story is one of bitter mistakes and tragically naive decision making. It is also a story of love and courage and perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. A cIassic Alaskan tale, the ordeal could have been written by Jack London or Robert Service."

Their ordeal and rescue by Bill was the subject of a Reader's Digest story, and became Hollywood motion picture To Brave Alaska.

Homer News
Homer, Alaska 99603

Dear Editor:

I would like the following article printed as public recognition of the efforts of Mr. William DeCreeft on 13 August 1970.

On 13 August 1970, the CGC Ironwood, the C & GS Vessel Pathfinder and the Bessie M. were engaged in searching for the survivors of the Grizzly II in the vicinity of Shaw Island (Kamishak Bay). Mr. William DeCreeft, flying in the area of Mt. Augustine at the time immediately volunteered to search the mainland beach areas due west of Shaw Island on the Alaskan Peninsula. Weather conditions at the time were: winds 30 knots with higher gusts from the northeast, visibility 2 miles and patchy and ceiling about 200 feet. It was the sort of weather that keeps most aircraft on the ground but Bill never hesitated to join the effort. He quickly located all three survivors on the beach near Douglas River. The shallow water and visibility in that area would have made detection by any of the searching vessels impossible. Bill's successful efforts alone saved all three survivors from a wet, cold night ashore. Knowing the exact location of the men ashore, evacuation was then accomplished by Coast Guard helicopter from Kodiak.

Bill's superb flying ability and his devotion to fellow Alaskans puts him high on the list of people it's, nice to have around (bagpipes and all). He has been of assistance to the Coast Guard in the past also, especially in the timely detection of oil spills. The entire crew of the CGC Ironwood tip their hats to Bill for a demanding job well done. We're glad to have him aboard.

Sincerely yours,
L. G. Krumm
Lieutenant Commander, U. S. Coast Guard
Commanding Officer
USCGC Ironwood

"...1929 Travel Air pressed into emergency service..."

"...gremlins made our radio inoperable, (some) of our wives were alarmed..."

End of an era; we sell our Otter "Big Red"

"...a familiar sight, even something of a flying landmark, drawing interest from Homer residents and visitors alike...."

"...(Now) The attraction of flying in a 1929 vintage aircraft, which was considered the lap of luxury in the air, lures plenty of tourists in the summer...."

Kachemak Air Service
PO Box 1769
Homer AK 99603

Call 1-907-235-8924

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