Author : Dorene Schiro

Chapter 6 – Shungnak

Shungnak is a small Inupiaq village that lies about 150 air miles up the Kobuk River from Kotzebue. In 1958 it had a population of about 150. Oliver learned from a traveling nurse that there were no empty houses in the village, but this did not deter him. He believed that he and his family […]

Chapter 5 – Kotzebue

Kotzebue lies about 30 miles above the Arctic Circle and a little over 400 air miles northwest of Fairbanks. It is accessible only by plane, or seasonally by boat. It is situated on a narrow spit of land that has long been a popular gathering and meeting place for native peoples, since it lies near […]

Chapter 4 – Fairbanks

Delta Junction was the Alaska Highway’s official endpoint, but not the Cameron’s. From there they followed the Richardson Highway on to Fairbanks.  In 1951 Fairbanks had a population of around 6,000. Established in 1901 when gold was discovered nearby, it was a gold rush town for several years. By World War I the easily available […]

Chapter 3 – Transition

Oliver and the rest of the crew of Dragon Lady waited in Bari for a backhaul on an empty C-47 freight plane. They had not yet completed the required number of missions to finish their tour of duty, but the military reassigned them on account of their twenty-eight days in Yugoslavia.   After a couple […]

Chapter 2 – The War

Oliver had barely finished high school when the Nazis invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and he had just turned 20 when the Japanese bombed the U.S. Pacific Fleet on December 7, 1941. As Tom Brokaw wrote in The Greatest Generation, “When Pearl Harbor made it irrefutably clear that America was not a fortress, this […]

Chapter 1 – Beginning

The wolves were howling off to the north again. It was late February, 1991, and 69-year-old Oliver Cameron could hear them through the log walls of his dwelling, a 10 X 12-foot structure dug about four feet into the ground, the walls built up another three feet with stacked logs. It was a snug, warm […]

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