The Joe Crosson Story
Joe Crosson became a national hero between the world wars flying mercy missions in the North, including a dangerous search in a dark Siberian winter for a lost pilot, Carl Ben Eielson, and a bitterly cold winter flight in an open cockpit carrying serum through unchartered mountains to Barrow, Alaska. He was the first pilot to land on a glacier. Thriving on adversity and overcoming tragedy, Crosson's is a story of grit and determination.
"Joe Crosson was bundled in a heavy fur parka and pants, moosehide mitts, and fur boots, but still he shivered in the open cockpit of the Stearman biplane as he flew through minus 30-degree temperatures. The plane carried no radio. No weather forecasts were available. No runways existed north of the imposing Brooks Range, which presented a formidable barrier to Alaska's North Slope. No one could help him if things went wrong, and Joe knew it, but more lives were at stake than his own. An epidemic was threatening Barrow, and his cargo was diptheria serum."
"Author Dirk Tordoff's loves for Alaska and aviation come shining through in this thoroughly compelling story of one of aviation's earliest heroes. The book makes for fascinating reading if only for the tales of survival and air disasters, let alone the stories of the early flights over the unforgiving Alaskan wilderness... aviation fans take note: Consider this book a must-read."
"All in all, a quite satisfying book, well worth reading, as Crosson's career is a mini-history of aviation in Alaska. Highly recommended."
--Daily Sentinel, Sitka, AK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dirk Tordoff, a lifelong Alaskan, conducted the research for MERCY PILOT to satisfy his project requirement while earning a master's degree in northern studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.