The Grumman Goose and Widgeons

"The sound of a radial engine is unlike anything else"

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Flying Airplane

Their History on Kodiak Island

In the late forties Kodiak Island had awakened from a sleepy little fishing village to a thriving small town fueled by its Military presence from World War II.  Peaking at over 50,000 troops, the town found itself booming from military money and a huge influx of people.

Fishing was still the mainstay of Kodiak.  There were seven or eight fish processing facilities, called canneries around the island.  Boats making scheduled trips around the Island in the summer served the canneries.  In the wintertime, the fishing nets were put away, and the canneries went dormant, with winter watchmen or families watching over the facilities.

World War II brought with it huge advances in aircraft development.  Grumman Aircraft Corporation was one of the leaders, and subsequently developed the Grumman Duck, Widgeon, Goose, Mallard and Albatross that specialized in aircraft that were suitable for landing and taking off in the rough waters around Alaska, and the rest of the war torn world.  As the war wound down, many of these aircraft were declared surplus and sold to private owners for a variety of reasons. Between 1946 and 1948 almost all of the Widgeons and Gooses could be obtained through government surplus sales at a cost of between six and ten thousand dollars, and were in new condition.  Today’s cost for one of these same aircraft ranges from about three hundred to five hundred thousand dollars.  These planes would help shape the future of Kodiak by giving quick, reliable service to villages and canneries around the island.

This web site is dedicated to the Grumman Widgeons and Gooses that found their way to Kodiak Island from the late forties until present day. Many of these planes are still around today, but only one, a Grumman Widgeon, N17481 calls its home Kodiak as this web site is being developed.

I have made every effort to give an accurate account of each aircraft described here.  Please contact me to make corrections on dates, names or any other facts you think should be changed.  As I find out more about individual planes, the website will be updated.  I would appreciate any other pictures of these planes on this website.  Email them to me.  I will give photo credits.

Also, the next phase of this website will be to expand the picture section to include the pilots who flew these aircraft in Kodiak.  If you are one of these pilots, email me a photo, preferably with the aircraft you flew, and you will be included in this site.

I would like to thank the following people for their contributions to this site.  They are:  The Hall Family, The Harvey family, Guy Powell, Larry Malloy, The Horn Family, Patricia Henley, and many others.  Thanks for visiting this Website, Guy Denton in Poulsbo, Washington.




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